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The Court Has Ordered Supervised Visitation: What Does This Mean?

The Court Has Ordered Supervised Visitation: What Does This Mean?

When determining a parent’s custody and visitation rights, Nebraska courts consider what type of arrangement will serve the child’s best interests. In some cases, courts order that a parent’s visits be supervised. This can be upsetting for the parent whose visits must be supervised, especially if the parent disagrees with the court’s decision. Fortunately, courts in the majority of situations favor reintroducing unsupervised visits after a period of time.

Why Do Courts Order Supervised Visits?

Courts in Nebraska consider a number of factors when deciding whether supervised visits are appropriate and necessary. In many cases, one parent asks the court to order supervised visits. In these cases, the court holds a hearing to allow both sides to present evidence as to why a parent’s visits should (or should not be) supervised.

After hearing both sides, the court must determine whether a child’s physical or emotional health is best served by ordering supervised visits. Common reasons for supervised visit requests include a parent’s drug use, domestic violence in the home, anger issues, or a prolonged period of having no contact with the child. In other cases, the court must order supervised visits by law, such as when a parent has been convicted of certain crimes.

Who Supervises the Visits?

The supervisor can range from someone the parents know, such as a family member, to a third party appointed by the court. In many cases, the court will try to arrange for a grandparent or other close relative to supervise the visits. This often helps the non-custodial parent feel more comfortable about the supervision.

Courts may also order a neutral third party to supervise. In some cases, the court asks a family therapist […]

By |July 20th, 2015|Uncategorized|Comments Off on The Court Has Ordered Supervised Visitation: What Does This Mean?

Is Bird’s Nest Custody Right for You?

Is Bird’s Nest Custody Right for You?

Custody arrangements come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with joint custody being one of the most common. In a joint custody arrangement, parents share custody of their children by rotating the kids from one parent’s house to the other. Typically, one parent keeps the children during the weekday, with the other parent seeing the children during weekends and perhaps one day during the week.

The downside to this type of shared parenting arrangement is that the kids are constantly on the move. Many parents worry that moving back and forth between houses is exhausting for their kids. It can also be tough on parents who must keep track of schedules as well as which parent is handling pick-ups and drop-offs, holidays, practices, clothing, doctors’ visits, homework, vacations, and other everyday activities.

As most parents know, staying on top of these things when you live in one household is difficult enough – spreading it all between two houses can lead to logistical nightmares.

Bird’s Nest Custody

One solution to more traditional forms of joint custody is “bird’s nest custody.” As the name implies, bird’s nest custody places the children in one central location – the “family nest” – with mom and dad exercising their time with the kids in this central location. When a parent’s custody time ends, the parent leaves the kids in the central spot and return to his or her own separate residence.

One obstacle for parents contemplating a bird’s nest arrangement is determining where they will live when they’re not with the kids. In some families, the parents decide to share an apartment where each one will stay when they’re not with the children. In other situations, each […]

By |July 20th, 2015|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Is Bird’s Nest Custody Right for You?

What Is a QDRO?

What Is a QDRO?

If you’re considering a divorce, you may feel a bit overwhelmed by some of the legal terminology you encounter. The more you read, the more questions you have. Familiarizing yourself with basic law terms can help ease your stress and anxiety. QDROs, which divide retirement assets, can be an intimidating topic, but it’s very important to understand what these complex documents do.

In Nebraska, as in many other states, courts use qualified domestic relations orders (QDRO) to divide a divorcing couple’s retirement assets. Frequently pronounced “que-dro” or “qua-dro”, these orders allow a spouse to appoint an alternate payee (rather than himself or herself) to receive the benefits under his or her retirement plan. In many cases, one spouse names the other spouse as alternate payee as part of the divorce settlement. It’s also possible for the QDRO to address both spouses’ retirement plans and specify who gets what.

Requirements for QDROs

In Nebraska, a QDRO must satisfy several requirements to obtain approval from the court and the retirement company’s plan administrator. If the plan administrator rejects the QDRO, it must be revised until all information and formatting is accurate.

In general, a QDRO must list the names and addresses of both the plan participant and the alternate payee. It must also describe how and when the benefits will be distributed. How much money will the alternate payee receive? Will the money be awarded in payments? A lump sum? These are all questions the QDRO must answer.

Furthermore, the QDRO must address any tax consequences. The language concerning taxes must be handled with care, as a poorly-drafted QDRO can leave one or both spouses with significant tax liability.

For many people, retirement assets represent a significant part of […]

By |July 20th, 2015|Uncategorized|Comments Off on What Is a QDRO?

Do I Get a Say? A Child’s Role in Nebraska Divorce.

The Role of the Child in Custody Disputes

Most divorcing parents worry about how their divorce will affect their children. The divorce process involves a lot of emotion, as well as the division of the family home. If the divorce also includes a contested custody dispute or allegations of abuse or neglect,
it can be especially tough on the kids. Fortunately, in some cases, children are allowed to state their preference regarding custody and, in shared parenting cases, which parent they would like to serve as primary residential parent.

The Best Interests of the Child Standard

Like other states, Nebraska courts determine custody arrangements based on the “best interests” of the child as set forth by Nebraska Revised Statute Section 43-2923. When deciding how custody and parenting time should be awarded, Nebraska courts look at a number of factors, including:

• The child’s relationship with each parent;
• The child’s wishes;
• The child’s health, well-being, and social behavior;
• Any evidence of abuse in the home; and
• Any evidence of child abuse or neglect or abuse of a domestic partner.

Under Nebraska law, a child’s chronological age is unimportant when it comes to his or her ability to state a preference with respect to custody. The statute simply states that a child must “be of an age of comprehension.” Whereas one case might feature a remarkably mature five-year-old who can clearly state her wishes, another case might involve a 12-year-old who struggles to articulate a preference. A child must have the ability to comprehend what he or she is being asked to decide before the court can take the child’s wishes into consideration.

The Pressure to Pick One Parent over the Other

Some child psychologists and other experts who frequently deal with […]

By |October 8th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Home Valuation Methods in Divorce

Dividing the Marital Home

For many divorcing couples, the family home is their largest asset. If they are fortunate enough to possess equity value in their home, they must find a way to divide it. In some cases, one person decides to remain in the home and pay the other spouse his or her share of the equity in a lump sum or payments. Because most people are unable to produce a large sum of cash, many couples end up selling the family home when they divorce. Selling is also common in divorce due to the reality of downsizing when going from two incomes to one or struggling to maintain a large family home on a single income.

Whether you’ve owned your home for two years or twenty, it’s important to know exactly how much it is worth before you begin negotiating with your spouse. There are several ways to approach home valuation in divorce as set forth below.

Assessor Valuation

Your county assessor is the local authority in charge of determining real property values for tax purposes. The majority of assessors publish real estate values on the Internet, which makes it convenient to look up your home’s current value online. Use caution when consulting your assessor’s valuation, however, as the assessor may not have the most accurate number in its database. For example, the assessor’s office is unlikely to know if you refinished your basement or installed a new kitchen. The assessor’s value might be good enough, though, if you have only lived in your home a short time and have made no significant improvements.

Real Estate Agent Valuation

Real estate agents can perform a market analysis of your home, which includes comparing your […]

By |September 17th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments