Your Family Law Attorney Can Be Your Strong Advocate
Choosing the right lawyer for your divorce, custody case or private adoption can have a long-lasting impact on your life. The decisions leading to the conclusion of your case may affect your relationships with your children and other family members, your parental rights and your finances for years to come.
I understand the importance of helping people make informed decisions in family law cases. At Ryan J. Lewis, P.C., LLO, communication is a focus. I can help ensure that you have the understanding and information necessary to make the decisions that are in your best interests.
About Divorce In Nebraska
Regardless of the troubles that have led you to the brink of divorce, it is important to understand the key facts in a divorce case:
- You or your spouse must be a resident of Nebraska for at least one (1) year before filing your divorce with the court. The one exception is when you were married in Nebraska, have been married less than one (1) year, and have lived in Nebraska the entire time since your marriage.
- Nebraska is a no-fault state. Neither spouse has to be guilty of any wrongdoing to file for a divorce. If one spouse wants a divorce it is going to happen.
- Nebraska is a marital property/marital debt state. With a few exceptions, the general rule is that all property and debt that was acquired during the marriage gets split equally.
- There is an automatic 60 day waiting period from the date that the Complaint for Dissolution is filed and served to when the divorce can be finalized.
About Child Custody
Whether you are filing for divorce or a paternity/custody case, it is important that you understand the key facts about child custody:
- The Court will require that a Parenting Plan be developed to address child custody and parenting time. The parties can come to an agreement on a Parenting Plan on their own. If the parties cannot come to an agreement on their own, the Court will require that the parties go through formal mediation.
- Both parties will be required to take a parenting education course approved by the Court.
- There are two types of custody that must be addressed: Physical Custody and Legal Custody. Physical Custody is simply the amount of time the child or children spend with each parent. If a party’s parenting time exceeds 142 days per year, it will be considered joint physical custody. Legal Custody is determined by which parent has the final say in major decisions affecting the child’s life such as school, medical and religion.
- The Court will require that you provide a child support calculation. Nebraska has Child Support Guidelines. Every lawyer and every judge has the same child support calculator.
- Child Custody and child support can be modified. As children grow, their needs change. It is normal to need to request changes in custody and support orders. Modifications may also be necessary if one or both spouses experience significant changes in income or move out of town.
Whatever the reason to petition the court for Child Custody, I can help protect your parental rights and your children’s well-being.
Adoption requires careful attention to legal requirements. The most common adoption I see is a stepparent adoption. It is important that you understand the key facts to a stepparent adoption:
- The stepchild must have lived with the stepparent for at least 6 months, and stepparent must have lived in Nebraska for at least 1 year.
- In most cases, a stepparent can only adopt a child if both biological parents give their permission. Circumstances where an absent biological parent’s consent is not required include incarceration, a record of neglect or evidence showing that the parent is unfit or unable to parent the child.
- A stepchild over the age of 14 must give his or her written consent to be adopted and must understand that adoption will mean that the other birth parent will no longer be a legal part of their life.
- As implied, the spouse of one of the child’s parents adopts the child legally. At the conclusion of the adoption process, in turn, the parental rights of the non-custodial, biological parent are terminated.