It is a sad reality that sometimes a child’s mother will die while the child is still young, and this can happen in situations where the father of the child is not living in the same household.
While the most important thing in the immediate aftermath of such a tragedy is of course to offer comfort to the child, men should keep in mind that, among their fathers’ rights, Nebraska law makes them what is called the natural guardian of their children, on par with the child’s mother.
In order to be considered a natural guardian, it is important that the man first establish paternity by some means recognized in Nebraska. However, assuming he is a natural guardian, that gives him the right to take over custody of the child in most circumstances.
There are some nuances to this rule. For instance, the mother can use a will to ask for someone else to act as the child’s guardian, in which case a court can give that request due consideration. In other cases, the child’s grandparents or other relatives may simply try to set up a guardianship over the child, even over the father’s objections.
Many Omaha, Nebraska, men had to fight hard on many levels to maintain a relationship with their children. Oftentimes, these men do a fine job of paying support and seeing their children regularly, even though the children live with their mother most of the time. These men in particular should have the right to raise their children if the mother should die, and his doing so is frequently what is also best for the kids.
However, any dad facing this sort of situation should remember that the law gives a lot of weight to his parental rights, although he may wish to have professional legal assistance in exercising them.