Nebraska Child Custody Laws You Should Know

Learn more about parenting plans, joint custody, and hiring a lawyer

Mother and son playing baseball in park
Blend Images - KidStock/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

If you are a Nebraska resident who is going through a marital breakup and there are children involved, it is important that you know the child custody laws specific to Nebraska. This is especially the case if your breakup is contentious or you have anything in your background that might make winning custody of your child or children more difficult.

A family court in Nebraska uses several factors to determine child custody laws.

Primarily, the court determines custody based on the best interests of the child

A court in Nebraska will not give preference to any parent based on gender, which is good news for fathers. Some states may skew (even when determining "the best interests of the child") more toward mothers. No matter your circumstances, parents who wish to file for child custody in Nebraska should first become familiar with the custody statutes in Nebraska.

Parenting Plans

In Nebraska, courts require parents to agree to a parenting plan regarding custody and visitation. A parenting plan sets the tone for each parent's rights and responsibilities with respect to the child and can help minimize any parental conflict for the child.

By developing a parenting plan, both parents can discuss and agree upon decisions that affect a child's education, healthcare, and spiritual upbringing. A parenting plan will help determine who provides for the child's physical care.

A parenting plan will usually provide both parties equal access to medical, dental, and educational records. And, the plan can assist parties in creating a visitation plan in the event that one party is not awarded custody of a child

After you file the parenting plan, the Nebraska court may accept the parenting plan, modify it, or reject it, based on whether it serves the best interests of the child.

Best Interests of the Child

A Nebraska court determines custody of a child based on the best interests of the child. Factors included in determining best interests of the child are:

  • The child's wishes, if the child is of an age to express a reasoned opinion (generally age 12 or older)
  • The child's relationship with each parent
  • The health, welfare and social behavior of the minor child 
  • Any history of abuse by a family or household member

Joint Custody in Nebraska

A Nebraska court will place a child in a joint or shared custody arrangement if both parents agree to the arrangement. Parents will have equal rights to make decisions in the child's best interests. If parents do not agree to joint custody, a Nebraska family court may still order joint custody if it determines joint custody to be in the best interest of the child.

Getting an Attorney

For more information about child custody in Nebraska, you should speak with a qualified attorney in the state. Depending on your unique circumstances and background, hiring a good attorney and being armed with all the knowledge you need about your rights in child custody proceedings will give you the best chances at winning custody of your children.

For the best results in custody proceedings, make sure that you list all of your concerns about custody to your lawyer, such as reasons why you would be the better choice or, conversely, the reasons why the other parent might not be the best decision for your child.