When your marriage is ending and the family unit is breaking up, child custody issues will no doubt occupy your thoughts.
To ensure the protection of a child’s best interests, divorcing couples must create a parenting plan in accordance with the Nebraska Parenting Act.
Two types of child custody
Child custody matters involve both physical and legal custody. Physical primarily refers to where the child will live and how much time he or she will spend with each parent. Legal refers to parental responsibility for making major decisions on behalf of the child.
Parenting plan requirement
When court proceedings address child custody issues, the Nebraska Parenting Act requires parents to develop a parenting plan for the court to review. The preferred method is for the parents to work together to create the plan, but the court can also order the parents to try mediation or some other form of alternative dispute resolution.
Parenting education class
The Parenting Act also requires a divorcing couple with a minor child to attend a parenting education class. They may make arrangements to attend separately, but each parent must file a certificate of attendance with the court. In addition to tips about parenting plans, the class provides participants with information about the impact divorce has on children.
Granting child custody
In Nebraska, there is no gender bias with regard to granting custody. The court will make a decision on this matter based on facts, such as each parent’s role in the upbringing of the child, the quality of life he or she has had, and what effect a move to another home is likely to have. Just as the court encourages teamwork to create a parenting plan, it also encourages joint custody where possible to preserve the child’s relationship with each parent.