Reisinger Booth & Associates, P.C., L.L.O.

Nebraska fathers seem stuck in time for child custody issues

When parents get divorced, both parents probably want to take an active role in their child's life. For fathers in Nebraska, it can prove very difficult to have the same rights afforded to fathers in other states. Yet fathers in Nebraska are demanding better rights when it comes to children. For the past three years, a bill promoting equality for parents in child custody cases has been introduced in the state legislature; however, I hasn't yet made it to the first floor debate.

Fathers in Nebraska face what some might consider an uphill battle. Unless the mother and father can come to an agreement on child custody and visitation guidelines, the court usually falls back on the old standard of the father getting the child for visits every other weekend, for a little while in the summer, and for every other holiday. This means that otherwise minor issues, such as inclement weather or a child's illness, can mean the child doesn't see his child.

Sadly, the lack of being able to see his child can have a profound impact on the child and the father. The relationship between father and child isn't allowed to grow as it should. Despite that, the father still has to support the child. The child support payments continue regardless of how the father is allowed to see his child. If he doesn't pay the child support, he risks penalties.

While it is widely accepted that the laws need to be updated to reflect fathers wanting to see their children, the updates have to go through the legislative process. Until that happens, fathers in Nebraska have to work to ensure they can have the relationship they want with their child. This might mean having to go through the court system. Knowing your rights and learning how to assert those rights in an effective manner can help you along the way.

Source: North Platte Bulletin, "Divorced dads say: Shut out of parenthood" George Lauby, Nov. 09, 2014

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