The preference of the courts in Nebraska is for joint custody of children unless circumstances exist which do not make joint decision-making possible (e.g., domestic violence, drug abuse, etc.).
Every custody decision prioritizes the best interests of the children and considers the impact on their health, welfare, emotional wellbeing, security and education.
When it comes to legal custody, the court generally takes the stance that both parents in combination make the best choices for their children, unless there is a compelling reason for one parent to have sole custody.
For joint legal custody to work, parents must be able to communicate well and be able to solve disagreements. If you can work well together for the benefit of your children, joint custody should be encouraged. The Court may require both parents to testify in court that you intend to cooperate in raising the child.
Day-to-day decisions are made by the parent that has the children in his/her care. It is rare to share parenting time completely equally so a primary residential parent usually spends at least slightly more time with the children. This should not affect joint decision-making about the upbringing of the child.
Sole legal custody means that one parent makes all major decisions on behalf of the children without needing to seek the agreement of the other parent. This is generally only awarded if the child’s physical or psychological safety or wellbeing are threatened by a joint custody arrangement.
There are no hard and fast rules. Decisions of the court are case-specific and depend largely on family dynamics and interpretation of the child’s physical and emotional needs but every chance is usually provided for a joint custody arrangement.