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Omaha Fathers' Rights Legal Blog

Tips for the father trying to survive a custody battle

Custody battles are stressful, to say the least, for all parties involved. They can sometimes be even more intense as a father. In some courtrooms, it can be a steep, uphill battle for a father to prove that it would be in the child's best interest for him to be awarded custody. Understandably, the stress of doing so can create much tension and pent up anger. If a father reaches his boiling point and acts on those emotions, he can hurt his chances of a favorable decision. Here, we give you some tips of what not to do while going through a custody battle.

Don't trust anyone outside of your attorney. That's right... no one. Not family, friends, co-workers, strangers in a chat room, or the next person in line at the coffee shop. You have no idea who may have connections to your ex. In our technologically advanced world, we never know who may be recording what we do or say. Also, don't try to use your children as weapons. They are not pawns in a game, and should never be used as a means of negotiation. Truthfully, they shouldn't even know the custody battle is taking place.

Joint custody helps your child stay healthy

As a divorced father, the biggest question you may ask in a child custody dispute is what is really best for your child. You care about them. You care about their health, wellness and happiness. What can you do to seek that out every step of the way?

One thing you can do is work toward a joint custody solution. Many studies have found that this is better for the children on a lot of levels. It helps them develop. It gives them a strong relationship with both parents. It helps them adjust to life after the divorce. It keeps them happier and gives them the same opportunities as children whose parents are still married.

A father's ally in the courtroom

It is no secret that in some courtrooms fathers have to work twice as hard to prove their value in a child's life. It is also no secret that implicit bias exists, even in our judicial system. Traditional gender roles in a family often sway a judge's decision when deciding matters such as child custody, visitation, and the best interests of a child. Therefore, wouldn't it make sense to obtain the services of an attorney who is also willing to work twice as hard to prove your parenting fitness?

Fathers in today's society find themselves in various predicaments when it comes to paternity and parenting. To someone who has never been forced to navigate the family court system, simply establishing paternity in order to pursue father's rights can become overwhelming. In the state of Nebraska, a father has four years from the day of a child's birth to establish paternity. If an application is filed even four years and one day later, a father's rights are automatically terminated. This is why, if a father intends to be a part of a child's life, it is of the utmost importance that he consult with legal counsel as soon as he even suspects that he may be the father. Time is of the essence.

What should be included in a parenting plan?

Attempting to create a viable parenting plan for the years following a divorce may seem like a monumental task. While it can be stressful when viewed as a whole, it becomes easily managed when broken down into smaller areas of consideration. In this post, we give you the basic necessities of what a great parenting plan should include.

First, consider the ultimate goal. What do you want your co-parenting relationship to look like? Be honest with your intentions. Do you feel that you are able to communicate respectfully with your ex-spouse? Are you willing to be flexible with schedules and considerate of the other's relationship with your children? Establish clear boundaries by which each parent will abide. Parenting styles and punishment tactics should be discussed.

What happens to your house and cabin in a Nebraska divorce?

Real estate is one form of investment that most people consider infallible. While certain areas may experience fluctuations in price, overall, real estate tends to trend upward. Local property values improve with a stronger economy, but population increases also increase demand for housing and land. The longer you hold on to a piece of real estate, the higher the potential increase in value.

Even if you purchased your home at a time when the market was relatively soft and prices were low, you likely think of your house as one of your biggest possessions. Any secondary real estate you own, such as vacation homes, cabins or vacant investment property also represents substantial value when compared with your total household income and assets.

Fighting gender bias in a judicial decision

Even today, when one would think gender bias no longer exists, it still runs rampant in our U.S. court systems. Numerous studies have shown that even more so than lay people, judges tend to default to implicit bias when making decisions regarding matters in which there are traditional gender roles. Cases such as custody matters, domestic violence, and sexual assaults all fit the bill.

One study asked participants to analyze two mock court cases to determine whether gender bias exists in judicial decision-making. One of those cases was a child custody matter, and the other was a sexual discrimination lawsuit. In each, the plaintiff was presented to the parties as either male or female. They were then asked about their beliefs in traditional gender roles. For example, stereotypes such as the wife stays home to cook, clean, and take care of the children while the husband is the breadwinner.

Protecting custody while on active military duty

Custody agreements that involve active duty military service members are complex matters. There are issues that must be addressed in addition to the usual visitation and custodial schedules within a typical settlement agreement.

When a child has one parent who is a military service member, the possibility of that parent becoming deployed for months, or even years at a time are very real. Therefore, it is crucial that plans are in place for the child to have a proper caregiver while that parent is away. If the military parent is awarded sole or joint custody, then it is best to create a family care plan that dictates who will provide for the child while the military parent is away. Having this plan helps explain to caregivers in detail what steps need to be taken during a time when things are likely hectic and uncertain.

Military members face consequences for cheating

For most divorces in Nebraska, infidelity isn't a major issue. Given that most couples file no-fault divorces and that the Nebraska family courts cannot consider marital misconduct when dividing your assets, adultery has next to no impact on the average divorce besides perhaps being the reason for someone to file. Only in extreme cases will infidelity of any sort impact how the courts rule in a civilian divorce.

However, military service members should be aware of the additional risks of infidelity in a military divorce. Those who serve in the armed forces are subject not only to the civilian laws of the country and state in which they reside, but to military laws as well. The military criminal code has rules within it that are much more strict than the rules and laws that apply to civilians.

Can I lose custody over a false domestic violence allegation?

To answer this question, we must first define the term "domestic violence" as it is defined by Nebraska courts. First-degree domestic assault takes place when one partner causes serious bodily injury to another. Second-degree domestic assault occurs when bodily harm is caused with a dangerous instrument such as a knife. Finally, third-degree domestic assault has taken place when bodily harm occurs that is not serious in nature, or one party is threatening the other with such harm. Both first and second degree charges are considered felonies. Third degree in the first instance is a misdemeanor, but becomes a felony when it occurs subsequent times.

Now that we are clear on what is actually considered to be domestic violence in the state of Nebraska, we can answer the question of how these charges may affect child custody. In order for one partner to request a modification of child custody on the basis of domestic violence, he or she must be able to provide credible evidence that the assault took place. By credible, we mean objective evidence. More than "he said, she said."

High-profile split shows that men should be aware of gray divorce

The divorce of a former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, arguably the most important law enforcement officer in the country and perhaps even the world, and his wife of over 60 years has put renewed focus on the phenomenon of gray divorce.

On the whole, Americans are splitting at a rate slower than in decades past. Many Millennials, for instance, are more likely to never marry at all in lieu of going through a split. However, among those over 50, more and more couples are getting divorced. In 1990, five out of 1,000 couples over 50 divorced. By 2015, this number was 10 out of 1,000.

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