Nebraska Family Law on Domestic Violence

Unfortunately, domestic violence occurs all too often. Thankfully, Nebraska has a number of laws to assist victims with issues like temporary or permanent restraining orders, child custody, and ownership over pets. The following is a quick summary of Nebraska family laws on domestic violence.

Nebraska Restraining and Protection Orders During Divorce

Either spouse may seek a temporary restraining order or a lengthier "protection order" from a court. Among other things, these orders prohibit the abusive spouse from threatening, calling, or entering the residence of the victim. Such orders can also be used to award temporary custody of minor children for up to 90 days and keep the abuser from possessing or purchasing a firearm.

Upon application, a temporary restraining order may be issued without the other party present. This is called an "ex parte" order. A temporary restraining order is valid for 10 days or until the court hearing for the protection order, whichever is earlier. At the hearing for the protection order, both spouses are able to present their arguments before a judge decides upon whether or not to issue the protection order. Once issued, the protection order is good for 1 year but may be renewed after it expires if the court finds that the threat of domestic violence still exists.

Child Custody and Domestic Violence in Nebraska

Like many states, Nebraska uses the "best interests of the child" standard for determining child custody. The court determines who should have custody based upon a number of factors including the relationship of the child to each parent, the wishes of the child, and evidence of prior domestic violence, child abuse, or neglect.

Nebraska Family Law on Domestic Violence

The following table outlines family laws related to domestic violence in Nebraska.

Code Sections

NEB. REV. STAT. ยงยง 21-6412 , 23-3202, and 60-3106 et seq.

How is Child Custody Affected?

Nebraska's child custody laws specifically state that issues concerning domestic violence will be taken in account in determining child custody arrangements. This includes evidence of abuse inflicted on a family or household member, intimate partner such a current or former spouse or person with whom there is a current or former dating relationship, child abuse, and neglect.

What Happens to the Family Pet?

Family pets are considered personal property and marital property laws apply. Therefore, the party who owned it before the marriage or inherited may have the animal has separate property or it may be divided as part of the divorce. In that case, the court may consider any animal cruelty issues concerning the pet.

Where Can I Get Help?

In an emergency, the victim should call 911. Once the victim is at a safe location, they can also contact the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services to seek help with legal issues, referrals, and safety planning. Nebraska also has a statewide crisis hotline: 1-877-215-0167. There are also a number of local resources which victims can turn to for help.

Nebraska Family Law on Domestic Violence: Related Resources

If you need legal assistance with a divorce or other family law issue, you may contact an experienced Nebraska family law attorney. You may also read FindLaw's sections on Nebraska Legal Requirements for Divorce, Nebraska Child Custody Laws, and Nebraska Protective Order Laws for more articles and information on these topics.

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