Justia Family Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Nebraska Supreme Court
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In this dissolution action governed bay a premarital agreement the Supreme Court affirmed the decree in all respects with the exception of the court's itemization of a truck as part of the marital estate, which the court vacated, holding that there was largely no error in the proceedings below.The district court imposed a constructive trust over certain limited liability companies titled solely in Wife's name so that, under the agreement, they were considered additions to the marital estate. On appeal, Husband argued, among other things, the court abused its discretion in allowing Wife to amend her pleadings to include the issue of the constructive trust and that the evidence did not support the constructive trust. The Supreme Court largely affirmed, holding (1) there was no error in the court's imposition of a constructive trust; (2) the truck owned at the time of filing should not have been calculated as part of the marital estate; and (3) Husband's remaining assignments of error were without merit. View "Simons v. Simons" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the county court dismissing Appellant's petition for appointment of a guardian over her daughter, Appellee, holding that the county court did not err in excluding a report created by the guardian ad litem (GAL) from evidence.After Appellee was arrested and detained Appellant petitioned to have the Office of the Public Guardian appointed as guardian over Appellee. The GAL then filed its report regarding Appellee's medical history. After a trial, the county court granted Appellee's motion to dismiss, ruling that Appellant had failed to make a prima facie case for appointment of a permanent guardian. View "In re Guardianship of Jill G." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals summarily dismissing Appellant's appeal from the order of the district court that dismissed her amended complaint for grandparent visitation, holding that the court of appeals erred when it dismissed the appeal rather than reversing the district court's dismissal and remanding the cause with directions.The district court dismissed Appellant's complaint with prejudice after it determined that it lacked jurisdiction because the minor child's father had not been given notice of the proceedings. The court of appeals summarily dismissed the appeal, concluding that it lacked jurisdiction over the appeal because the district court lacked jurisdiction. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) Neb. Rev. Stat. 25-323 required the district court order that the father, as an indispensable party, be brought into the action before it dismissed the action for lack of an indispensable party; and (2) the court of appeals erred by endorsing this dismissal. View "Williams v. Williams" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the district court dismissing Appellant's petition to establish grandparent visitation with her minor grandchildren for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, holding that the district court erred in determining that it lacked jurisdiction.The biological grandmother of the children at issue in this case, filed a petition to establish grandparent visitation with her minor grandchildren. The parents filed a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The district court granted the motion to dismiss, concluding that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the petition because allowing the grandmother visitation would infringe on the parents' fundamental liberty interest in raising their children. The Supreme Court vacated the judgment, holding that the district court erred in concluding that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction. View "Kane v. Kane" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the county court adjudicating Xandria P. as a juvenile under Neb. Rev. Stat. 43-247(3)(a), holding that there was no merit to the appeal.The court's order of adjudication found that Xandria was a juvenile under section 43-247(3)(a) who was abandoned by her parent, lacked proper parental care, or whose parent neglected or refused to provide proper or necessary care. The court found that the home environment created by Xandria's parents was injurious to her health, safety, morals, and well-being. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the State sustained the adjudication petition by a preponderance of the evidence; and (2) the juvenile court had jurisdiction over the petition. View "In re Interest of Xandria P." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the order of the district court declining Father's request for a contempt citation after Mother moved the parties' child to another school in a district town without obtaining a modification of the marital dissolution decree, holding that the district court erred.The decree in this case, a settlement agreement, and a parenting plan granted joint legal and physical custody of the parties' child to Mother and Father. When Mother moved with the child, Father requested a contempt citation. The district court declined the request, and the Supreme Court reversed. On remand, the district court found no violation or willfulness. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the district court erred in its assessment of Mother's actions and in its interpretation of the decree. View "Vyhlidal v. Vyhlidal" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court renewing a domestic abuse protection order, holding that the evidence was sufficient to support the district court's finding that renewal of the protection order was necessary to prevent future harm.The domestic abuse protection order at issue issued on March 18, 2020. The protected party was Margaret Garrison, and the order was against her former spouse, Logan Otto. On March 17, 2021 Garrison filed a petition to renew the domestic abuse and protection order. The court issued an ex parte renewal of the ex parte domestic protection order. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the court did not err in ultimately determining that renewal was justified. View "Garrison v. Otto" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed as modified the provisions of a district court order that found Mark Becher in contempt for failure to pay various expenses following his divorce from Sonia Becher, holding that the court's order is modified slightly but that Mark's remaining assignments of error were without merit.On appeal, Mark argued that the district court erred in (1) finding him in contempt for failure to pay for a portion of the children's 2016 medical expenses, real estate taxes, and a wilderness therapy program and requiring Mark to pay for his share of those expenses as part of a purge plan; (2) requiring him to pay for his share of the children's future medical expenses as part of the purge plan; (3) assessing interest; and (4) ordering him to pay Sonia's attorney fees. The Supreme Court affirmed as modified, holding (1) the portion of the order regarding contempt findings and purge provisions related to the children's 2016 medical expenses and future medical expenses must be deleted; and (2) there was no merit to Mark's remaining assignments of error. View "Becher v. Becher" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court vacated the order of the district court, which established the paternity of Franklin M. as to the parties' two children and decided issues regarding custody and child support, holding that the district court erred as a matter of law when it applied an improper standard regarding removal.Franklin filed a complaint for paternity, custody, and support seeking to establish custody and support for two children he had with Lauren C. The district court found the Franklin and Lauren were the biological parents of the two children and decided issues regarding child support and custody. The Supreme Court remanded the cause, holding that the district court (1) applied an improper standard regarding removal; and (2) erred when it awarded shared legal and physical custody to Franklin. View "Franklin M. v. Lauren C." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the juvenile court placing physical custody of B.C. with Mother, from whom B.C. had initially been taken, holding that there was no error.B.C. was removed from Mother's home pending adjudication in proceedings following a petition alleging child endangerment. The juvenile court later granted the Department of Health and Human Services' motion for a placement change and ordered that the physical custody of B.C. be placed with Mother upon her completion of certain conditions. The juvenile court also considered and overruled Father's motion for legal custody and placement of B.C. Father appealed, arguing that the order exceeded the juvenile court's authority. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the juvenile court's order placing B.C. with Mother pursuant to the terms of a transition plan were consistent with this Court's opinion and mandate. View "In re Interest of A.A." on Justia Law