When parents separate, leaving decisions about the custody of their children to a judge is a terrifying prospect. It’s critical to have experienced representation to help guide you through the process, protect your rights, and find solutions that work both now and as children grow up.
With a negotiation-first mindset, we will help you look for ways to reach consensus and find a fair settlement that will be workable for your whole family both now and in the future. Using a combination of mediation and strong litigation preparation, we can help put you in the strongest position possible to achieve the best negotiated resolution. We can also help you have an eye on the long term, to make sure that the solutions you reach will work for you and your family well into the future. And, most importantly, by using a negotiation-first mindset, we help make sure that you maintain control of this most important outcome, instead of leaving that momentous decision up to a judge.
Most disputed custody cases end in a settlement, an agreement between the parents. But, of course, not all do. A critical part of a negotiation-first mindset is knowing that there are times when you have to walk away from the negotiating table. In those times, you need an experienced litigator who can help prepare your case for trial and find the strategies that will give you the best chance at a good outcome from a judge.
Whether it’s negotiation or litigation, in a custody dispute there will be three questions that get resolved and put into an order. The first is legal custody, determining who has legal decision-making power for the children. Legal custody can be joint, meaning both parents have equal authority and have to agree in advance on any decisions requiring parental authority, or sole, where one parent has the final say on such decisions.
The second question is physical custody, meaning the schedule of time the children spend with each parent. A physical custody schedule can be very flexible, taking into account the needs of both the parents and the children. It will address both a day-to-day schedule and division of holidays.
The third question is child support. The Nebraska Child Support Guidelines use each parent’s income, apply applicable deductions, and make a recommendation as to what a reasonable amount of support will be. The physical custody schedule of the children may affect what the Guidelines recommend for child support.
If you have any questions about a custody dispute you may be facing, please call us for a free initial consultation at (402) 390-9577, e-mail us, or schedule a consultation online.