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Custody And Parenting Time

Omaha Child Custody Lawyers

Reliable Legal Counsel for Custody and Parenting Plans in Douglas County, Nebraska

Child custody and parenting time negotiations can be difficult to navigate. An Omaha child custody attorney can better help ensure that the arrangements set forward are in your and your child’s best interests.

Note that Nebraska’s laws are geared to providing as much contact between both parents and the child as is feasible and reasonable under the circumstances of each case. 

There are two types of custody: legal custody and physical custody. These can be awarded jointly to both parents or solely to only one parent.


For more information, contact our law firm at Slowiaczek Albers & Whelan. Call (402) 928-2007 or submit a contact form here to speak with our Omaha child custody attorney.


Understanding Nebraska’s Parenting Act & Child Custody

Nebraska’s Parenting Act mandates that each parent attends a co-parenting education course and participate in mediation. 

In mediation, the parties may agree upon a parenting plan on their own rather than letting a judge decide.

The goals of a Nebraska parenting plan are:

  • To clearly set forth where the children will be during the weekdays, weekends, holidays, and summers
  • The parenting plan will establish when and how long a parent may spend time with their child during those periods when a parent doesn’t have physical custody

Types of Child Custody in Nebraska

In Nebraska, child custody matters are a critical component of family law cases, and understanding the various types of child custody is essential when making decisions that affect the well-being of children. 

The state recognizes two primary forms of child custody:

  • Legal Custody: Legal custody refers to the authority to make important decisions about the child's life, such as their education, healthcare, and religious upbringing. It can be granted as either joint legal custody (where both parents share decision-making responsibilities) or sole legal custody (where one parent has the final say).
  • Physical Custody: Physical custody pertains to where the child resides on a day-to-day basis. Like legal custody, it can be joint (shared physical custody) or sole (the child primarily resides with one parent).

Nebraska family courts prioritize arrangements that are in the best interests of the child. While joint custody is often preferred to ensure both parents remain involved in the child's life, the specific arrangement depends on individual circumstances, including the child's age, the parents' ability to cooperate, and the child's own wishes.

In some cases, a combination of legal and physical custody arrangements may be crafted to suit the unique needs of the family. Ultimately, the goal is to provide stability, support, and a nurturing environment for the child's growth and development. Consulting with an experienced Omaha child custody attorney from Slowiaczek Albers & Whelan can help parents navigate the complexities of child custody and reach arrangements that prioritize the child's welfare.

Is Nebraska a 50-50 Custody State?

Nebraska is a 50-50 custody state. Courts try to award 50/50 joint custody when possible unless there are extenuating circumstances. This type of custody is favored because it allows the child(ren) to build an equal relationship with both parents. Divorce courts are willing to award 50/50 custody when parents are deeply involved in their children's lives. 

However, if one parent can show that they have been the more active parent, 50/50 custody is much less likely. If you are negotiating custody of your child following divorce, it is best to have an experienced attorney on your side to ensure everything runs smoothly. For professional legal representation – in the negotiation process or in the courtroom – let one of our lawyers at Slowiaczek Albers & Whelan help. We will do our best to protect your and your child’s best interests in your custody agreement.

Can the Child Choose Which Parent to Live With in Nebraska?

Regardless of the child’s age, the court will at least consider the child’s preferences of which parent they wish to live with. Of course, their wish must be of sound reason. A judge will only accept mature grounds and stay in line with the child’s best interests. 

Therefore, it is not uncommon for children 12 years and older to have their requests carry more weight. Also, the court must determine whether the child’s wish was due to parental influence.

How to File for Emergency Custody in Nebraska

To file for emergency custody in Nebraska, you must complete forms to request ex-parte orders. This will include an affidavit and a sworn statement indicating why emergency custody is being sought. 

You may ask that the court prohibits the other person from contacting you or your child. The forms are available on the Judicial Branch of Nebraska's website and in person at your local courthouse.

You start the legal process by filing a Complaint for Paternity, Custody, Parenting Time, and Child Support with the district court clerk in the county where the child(ren) live(s). If proceeding without a lawyer, you must complete all the necessary forms.

How to Prove a Parent Unfit in Nebraska

Several factors will be examined When the court evaluates a child custody case. The fitness of a parent is one of those factors. 

Being “fit” to raise a child means that you are mentally and physically capable of carrying out your role as guardian and provider. If a judge rules you to be unfit, your custody or visitation privileges may be at risk.

Here are several questions that may be assessed by a judge to determine fitness:

  • Does the parent have a history of drug or alcohol abuse?
  • Has the parent shown an unwillingness to work with the court’s decisions?
  • Is there a history of domestic violence or child abuse?
  • Does the parent suffer from a mental illness that limits their capability of caring for and protecting a child?

For additional information, the court may hire an evaluator to monitor the interactions between the parent and child. If applicable, they may interview close friends, therapists, and teachers for insight.

Navigating Child Custody Laws in Nebraska

When it comes to child custody, it's important to have a clear understanding of Nebraska's laws and regulations. Our Omaha child custody attorneys are well-versed in the state's Parenting Act and can provide guidance on how it may impact your specific case. Whether you're seeking sole custody, joint custody, or a modification to an existing custody arrangement, we can help you navigate the legal process with confidence.

Our team can assist with:

  • Legal and physical custody agreements
  • Visitation schedules and parenting plans
  • Mediation and negotiation with the other parent
  • Representation in court proceedings

With our expertise in Nebraska's child custody laws, we can advocate for the best interests of you and your children, ensuring that your rights are protected throughout the legal process.

To speak with an experienced Omaha child custody attorney, contact us online or give us a call at (402) 928-2007 today.

  • Virginia A. Albers Photo
    Virginia A. Albers

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    For 25 years, Virginia has committed herself to family law practice, accumulating a wealth of knowledge and experience to the benefit of her clients and the legal community.

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    Patricia Kelley Read Full Bio
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    Dennis G. Whelan Read Full Bio
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    Jacquelyn E. Warren Read Full Bio
  • John S. Slowiaczek Photo
    John S. Slowiaczek

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    With 47 years of practice experience and leadership at the highest level of family law practitioners nationwide,

    John's reputation and track record precedes him.

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Can a Mother Move a Child Away from the Father in Nebraska?

In Omaha, Nebraska, the courts generally presume that it is in the best interest of the child to have both parents involved in their life. However, there are some circumstances in which one parent may be granted primary custody and the other parent may only be allowed limited visitation.

If a parent wants to move a child out of state, they must first obtain the consent of the other parent or obtain permission from the court. If the other parent objects to the move, they can file a motion to block it. The court will then hold a hearing to determine whether or not the move is in the best interest of the child. Omaha child custody lawyers can help parents navigate this process and advocate for their rights.

What Age in Nebraska Can a Child Choose Which Parent to Live With?

In the state of Nebraska, the age at which a child can choose which parent to live with is 19. However, Omaha child custody lawyers note that this is not a hard and fast rule, and that courts will often take the wishes of older children into account when making a custody determination.

Omaha child custody lawyers also stress that even if a child expresses a preference for one parent over the other, the court will still consider what is in the best interests of the child when making a custody determination. Ultimately, the court will always put the needs of the child first in any custody decision.

Let Slowiaczek Albers & Whelan Help! Call (402) 928-2007.

If you are negotiating custody of your child following divorce, it is best to have an experienced attorney on your side to ensure everything runs smoothly. For professional legal representation – in the negotiations room and the courtroom – let one of our lawyers at Slowiaczek Albers & Whelan help. We will do our best to protect your and your child’s best interests in your custody agreement.


Call (402) 928-2007 or find us online to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today.


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