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Nebraska Child Custody Basics

This article will give you some basic information regarding Nebraska child custody law, but is not a substitute for legal analysis of your child custody situation and advice from a licensed child custody attorney, which you should seek immediately.

The Parenting Act

The Nebraska Parenting Act requires any parent involved in a court case involving child custody, like separation, divorce, modification of an existing child custody Decree, or any other action involving parenting functions, to do the following:

  • Create a parenting plan for court approval;
  • Attend a parenting education class;
  • Participate in mediation if they or the attorneys involved are unable to negotiate a court approved parenting plan.

The Parenting Class

The Parenting Act requires both parties in a child custody case to complete a court approved basic parenting class, unless the court specifically excuses the requirement for good cause shown. After you finish the class, a certificate of completion must be filed with the court. Your district court clerk or county courthouse can provide you with a list of approved parenting classes in your area. You can also find information at the Nebraska Supreme Court website.


A good faith attempt at mediating a parenting plan is mandatory in all cases that fall under the Parenting Act if the parties are unable to create a court approved parenting plan on their own or with the help of their lawyers. Mediation is a process during which a neutral, trained Parenting Act mediator works with you and the other parent informally to assist you in creating a parenting plan.

In some cases the mediation process can assist you and the other parent in reducing tension between the two of you so you can function better as parents in the best interests of your children. Specialized mediation is available for relationships involving domestic violence.

Resources for You and Your Children

Books for you:

  • Baris, Mitchell & Carla Garrity - Children of Divorce: A Developmental Approach to Residence and Visitation.
  • Garrity, Carly & Mitchell Baris - Caught in the Middle: Protecting the Children of High Conflict Divorce

Other Resources for Parents in a Child Custody Matter:

  • Douglas County Conciliation and Mediation Office: Hall of Justice, 1701 Farnam St., 1st floor, Omaha, 402-913-3676.
  • Nebraska Supreme Court Self-Help Center Website

Books for Your Children who are the Subject of a Child Custody Matter:

  • Blume, Judy - It's Not the End of the World
  • Brown, Laurene Krasny & Marc Brown - Dinosaurs Divorce

A Final Note on Legal Representation in Your Child Custody Case

This article is not a substitute for legal advice from your child custody attorney. It is meant as a brief overview of the child custody court process to enhance your knowledge about and comfort with the basic child custody litigation process.
A good child custody lawyer is a crucial support that you should not be without during this challenging time in your life.

Nebraska Parenting Act

Family & Juvenile Law Omaha
Anita L. Mayo, P.C., L.L.O.