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Omaha Law Blog

Addiction and child custody: Why informal agreements are risky

Methamphetamine drugs don't just cause addiction and claim lives. In Nebraska, they're creating a crisis that's overwhelming the foster care system. Meth use is now behind one-third of the cases where a child is removed from a parent's care.

In many cases, the drug causes parents to simply neglect their children. Whether on a high or hungover from one, meth users become so heedless of their surroundings that they don't remember to feed their children, bathe them, clean the house, respond to crying infants or make sure that the children attend school.

What can you do to avoid estate taxes?

A lot of people worry that a large chunk of what they've earned and saved over the years will end up going to the state when they die through taxes.

For most, that's an unnecessary concern -- in 2017, the gross value of someone's estate has to be worth more than almost $5.5 million in order to be subject to estate tax at all.

Mother in jail after violating custody order, abducting children

Even if you are a child's natural parent, you can be charged with kidnapping if you ignore a custody order and decide to take the situation into your own hands.

While parents all across the country have ended up in jail for just that reason, it still surprises a lot of people to find out just how serious the charges can be. Worse -- taking action like that can permanently ruin your chances of regaining custody.

Joint bank accounts and death: What you should know

A lot of people have joint bank accounts because they want their spouse, parents or favorite niece to have access to the funds in case an emergency happens.

However, if someone dies, the rules about what happens to those joint accounts may surprise the survivor, unless the account was set up properly.

How to avoid common adoption mistakes

If you are considering adoption, know that the process often proves complicated, but can be tremendously rewarding. No two adoptions are the same, and there are many factors at work in any given adoption situation that can lead to roadblocks along the way as you grow your family. The better you understand the process, the more likely you are to avoid these roadblocks, so one way to expand your knowledge is to recognize some of the common adoption mistakes prospective parents like you sometimes make.

For example, you may make the adoption process more complicated than it needs to be if you:

Proving an established, beneficial relationship with a grandchild

Every state has different rules regarding the rights of grandparents to maintain an active relationship with their grandchildren despite the wishes of the children's parents.

In Nebraska, the court generally can't intercede in a family dispute and order visitation for grandparents who have been shut out unless certain circumstances apply.

Adopting through the foster care system: Points to ponder

If you know you want to adopt a child, but you are unsure of how to start, you may want to consider the benefits of going through the foster care system. Many people have concerns that keep them from going in this direction.

Here are some of the benefits of adopting a foster child.

Father wins another chance at custody in Nebraska

A father from Nebraska, outraged at what he believed was nothing more than rampant sexism -- a sexism that striped him of the right of a real relationship with his daughter.

The father has been protesting on the public sidewalk outside the courthouse in Nebraska City every day while waiting on his hearing.

Nebraska's judges need new insight into the science of custody

The top experts in child development and divorce gathered recently to talk about one thing: the well-being of the children of broken marriages.

While legal presumptions have historically favored sole custody situations during certain time periods and shared parenting during others, shared parenting has come out on top. Absent parental abuse or another reason why one of the parents can't care for the children, it's definitely better for children to be in a shared custody arrangements of some sort.