Grandparents can add a lot to a child’s life, especially when the child’s parents are divorced. Unfortunately, when one spouse divorces another, they often “divorce” their ex’s parents as well. In Nebraska, grandparents can go to court to request visitation rights for their grandchildren, but it can be an uphill battle since Nebraska requires very specific criteria to grant these rights.
Nebraska’s grandparent visitation statutes allow a grandparent to petition for visitation only under the following conditions:
- One or both of the child’s parents are deceased.
- The child’s parents are divorced or in the process of getting a divorce.
- The child’s parents were never married, but paternity has been legally established.
To be successful, the petitioner must be able to provide clear and convincing evidence that:
- A significant beneficial relationship exists — or has existed — between the child and the grandparent;
- It is in the best interests of the child that this beneficial relationship continue; and
- Grandparent visitation will not interfere with the parent-child relationship.
There is one exception to the state statutes on grandparent visitation: if the child is under the jurisdiction of the Juvenile Court, the grandparent must file a Complaint to Intervene in the Juvenile Court case and provide proof that visitation is in the best interests of the child.
If grandparents have to go to court to gain access to a grandchild, it is likely that there is already a high level of conflict between the custodial parent and the grandparents. Mediation can be quite helpful in resolving these differences, striking a balance between the acknowledging the positive aspects of the grandparent-grandchild bond and respecting parental authority.
Your legal team at Koenig|Dunne understands the nuances and complexities of family law, and we are here to help guide you through the process.