Articles Posted in Family Law

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A substantial right is not affected until judgment is entered in a garnishment action, and therefore, a judgment debtor who unsuccessfully objects to a garnishment may not immediately appeal. After the district court overruled Appellant’s objection to a garnishment and ordered that “the garnishment may proceed,” Appellant appealed. The court of appeals dismissed the appeal, concluding that it lacked jurisdiction because there was no final order. Appellant filed a petition for further review, asserting that he appealed from a final order because the order that the garnishment “may proceed” affected a substantial right and was determined in a special proceeding. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding that the order overruling Appellant’s challenge to the garnishment did not affect a substantial right and therefore was not a final, appealable order. View "Shawn E. v. Diane S." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court dismissed for lack of jurisdiction the State’s appeal from the district court’s order disestablishing paternity of one child and taking no action on other claims in this proceeding initiated by the State to establish support for two children based upon notarized acknowledgments of paternity. The pleadings in this case framed multiple claims. After the district court entered its order, the State purported to appeal. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction, holding that Neb. Rev. Stat. 25-1315, which governs multiple parties and multiple claims, dictates that the order was not final or appealable. View "State ex rel. Marcelo K. v. Ricky K." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme court vacated the district court’s order granting grandparent visitation to Frederick and Ann Heiden and remanded with directions to dismiss, holding that the Heidens were not grandparents of the children at issue for purposes of the grandparent visitation statutes, Neb. Rev. Stat. 43-1801 to 43-1803. After noting that the plain language of the statutes provides that a grandparent is defined as the biological or adoptive parent of a minor child’s biological or adoptive parent, the Supreme Court held that the Heidens were not entitled to an order of visitation under Neb. Rev. Stat. 43-1801 to 43-183 because the Heidens failed to show that they were Mother’s biological or adoptive parents. View "Heiden v. Norris" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the county court denying Petitioner’s petition to be appointed guardian of his niece, holding that the county court lacked jurisdiction over the guardianship proceedings under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). The county court denied Petitioner’s petition after finding that Petitioner had failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that his niece’s parents were unfit. The Supreme Court vacated the judgment for lack of jurisdiction, holding that because Nebraska was not the niece’s home state under either of the alternatives in section 43-1238(a)(1) of the UCCJEA, the court court lacked jurisdiction under the UCCJEA over this guardianship proceeding. View "In re Guardianship of S.T." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decree of dissolution entered by the district, holding that there was no abuse of discretion in either the amount or duration of the alimony award. The district court entered a decree of dissolution that ordered Husband to pay Wife alimony of $2,500 per month for ten years. Husband appealed, challenging the alimony award. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the district court had ample evidence from which to conclude that Husband’s income and earning potential were sufficient to support a monthly alimony award of $2,500; and (2) given the length of the parties’ marriage, the ages of their minor children, and Wife’s chronic medical conditions and high medication costs, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in ordering alimony for a period of ten years. View "Wiedel v. Wiedel" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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Tina E., the biological aunt and adoptive sister of the father of Joseph C., lacked standing to appeal the juvenile court’s order ruling that Joseph’s placement with his nonrelative foster parents and permanency through adoption by them was in his best interests. On appeal, Tina argued that the juvenile court erred in changing the permanency objective from reunification with her to adoption by the foster parents and in failing to change Joseph’s placement from the foster parents to Tina. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal, holding that Tina was not entitled to the statutory right to appeal delineated in Neb. Rev. Stat. 43-2,106.01(2). View "In re Interest of Joseph C." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the juvenile court’s order adjudicating Kane L. and reversed the juvenile court’s order declining to adjudicate Carter L. after Kane and Carter were removed from their family home as a result of methamphetamine use by their parents. . The Court held (1) the county showed an evidentiary nexus between the use of methamphetamine and a risk of harm that would support adjudication, and therefore, the juvenile court did not err in adjudicating Kane; and (2) it was error not to adjudicate Carter because Carter was exposed to the same threat of present harm as Kane. View "In re Interest of Kane L." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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In these three consolidated appeals from district court orders in the proceeding for the dissolution of the parties’ marriage, Wallace McCullough appealed an order of contempt for failing to make childcare and property division equalization payments, an order of contempt for failing to pay child support, and an order setting the amount of a supersedeas bond. The Supreme Court (1) dismissed for lack of jurisdiction the appeal of the order regarding the amount of the supersedeas bond, holding that the order was not separately appealable; and (2) affirmed the district court’s orders in the two other appeals, thus rejecting Wallace’s assignments of error. View "McCullough v. McCullough" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s decree dissolving the marriage of Jennifer Westwood and Cheryl Darnell and dividing their marital estate. After a trial, the district court awarded each party the personal property and automobile in her possession, her separate retirement account, and any bank accounts in her own name. Westwood was also ordered to make an equalization payment to Darnell. Westwood appealed, asserting three assignments of error. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not err in its division of the parties’ marital property. View "Westwood v. Darnell" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court construing the meaning of provisions in a divorce decree and incorporated property settlement agreement (PSA) regarding payment of post-majority child support to require Father to pay post-majority child support if certain conditions were met and denying Father’s request to modify such support. The Court held (1) once a decree for dissolution becomes final, its meaning, including the settlement agreement incorporated therein, is determined as a matter of law from the four corners of the decree itself; (2) the district court did not err in finding that the terms of the decree and incorporated PSA were ambiguous or in construing the decree and incorporated PSA to require Father to pay post-majority child support under certain circumstances; and (3) the district court did not err in denying Father’s complaint to modify the decree. View "Carlson v. Carlson" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law