The definition of family seems to have become more elastic as time passes. No longer limited to mother, father and children, families have expanded beyond the traditional biological units. However, this evolution creates challenges for child custody courts in Nebraska and beyond. One out-of-state family demonstrated this in their recent custody battle.
The family consisted of a man, his wife and their girlfriend. The married couple invited their neighbor to move in with them, and their friendship developed into something more. When the wife learned that she could not conceive, the three decided the friend would carry the child, but the child would belong to all of them as parents. Unfortunately, the adults’ relationship did not last.
The married couple split when the wife and their friend became a couple. With the breakup of the family, the husband and the friend — the biological parents of the child — agreed to joint custody. However, fearing she would lose rights to the child because she was not biologically related, the ex-wife took the matter to court.
Despite the unorthodox makeup of the family, the judge agreed that the child, now 10 years old, was a well-adjusted boy who loved all three of the adults. The judge also noted that the boy considered all three of the adults his parents. The judge granted visitation rights to the ex-wife even though she was not biologically related to the child.
Sometimes relationships between parents and children in Nebraska are difficult to categorize. This makes it a challenge when child custody issues arise and parents must present their cases. Having a dedicated family law attorney to defend their interests is crucial in such situations.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Dad And Two Moms Get ‘Tri-Custody’ Of Child In Unique Court Case”, Elyse Wanshel, March 16, 2017