Accomplished Child Custody Attorney Serves Omaha & Douglas County
Simply put, “legal custody” refers to parents’ authority to make important decisions regarding their children’s welfare, such as choices concerning health and education. By contrast, “physical custody” refers to one parent’s authority regarding the child’s residence — i.e. the actual time that the child is physically with his or her parent. Under Nebraska state law, a court will consider both joint legal and physical custody, though the court is not required to grant joint custody if it is not in the best interest of the child.
Nebraska state law defines a parenting plan as any plan involving custody or visitation. The plan must specify how parenting responsibilities are to be divided. The more specific a parenting plan is, the easier it will be to follow and to enforce. If both parties fail to agree to the parenting plan, they must likely attend mediation, wherein a neutral third party will help them develop a satisfactory plan.
Best Interests of the Child
When it comes to agreeing upon a satisfactory child custody arrangement, there are numerous factors to consider in determining the best interests of the child. For example, the health and safety of the child is paramount, as is careful consideration of his or her emotional and developmental needs. Both parents (and the court) must also agree upon a custody arrangement that takes into account the location of the child’s school, the legal residence of each child, the child’s residential schedule (i.e. holidays, vacations and/or school breaks) and the means by which the child will be transported between each parent’s home.
The Effect of Domestic Violence on Child Custody Arrangements
Simply put, a judge must take domestic violence into account when issuing a child custody decision. Nebraska state courts take domestic abuse very seriously when making decisions regarding child custody arrangements. Domestic violence between the parents and/or against a child must be considered, but domestic abuse in other relationships is also important. If a parent was abusive toward a previous partner and/or another child, the judge will likely take that behavior into account when deciding who should have custody of the child/children.
Wesley S. Dodge Attorney at Law provides exceptional legal assistance to families throughout Omaha and Douglas County. If you are currently struggling with a child custody arrangement, contact Mr. Dodge today at (402) 333-1604.