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How Can You Prove Removal or Relocation is in a Child’s Best Interest?

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What Factors Determine a Child’s Best Interest?

In Nebraska, the court considers several factors to determine what is in the best interest of a child. These factors include the child’s age, health, emotional ties, and the ability of each parent to provide for the child’s needs. The court also considers the child’s relationship with each parent, the child’s wishes (if the child’s wishes are based on sound reasoning), and the mental and physical health of all parties involved.

For instance, let’s say you’re a parent seeking to relocate with your child. You’ve been offered a job in another city that would significantly increase your income. This could potentially improve your child’s quality of life by providing better educational opportunities, healthcare, and overall living conditions. However, the court will also consider the impact the move would have on the child’s relationship with the other parent, including the effect on parenting time, travel costs, etc.

What Role Does a Child’s Preference Play in Relocation Cases?

In Nebraska, a child’s preference may be considered by the court if the child is of sufficient age and maturity and is based upon sound reasoning. However, the child’s preference is not dispositive and may be disregarded by the Court. The judge will also evaluate the reasons for the child’s preference. For instance, if a child wants to move because they believe it will be more fun or one parent is more permissive, the court may not give much weight to this preference. However, if the child wishes to move because they feel safer or have better opportunities, such as a specific school or extracurricular activity, that may have value to the court.

Imagine a scenario where a teenager wishes to move with a parent because the new location offers a specialized high school- college dual program aligning with their career aspirations. In such a case, the court might give considerable weight to the child’s preference.

How Can I Prove That Relocation is in My Child’s Best Interest?

Proving that relocation is in your child’s best interest is one of the most challenging types of modifications a parent may file in Nebraska. The requesting parent must present compelling evidence to the court that the move will significantly improve the child’s quality of life. This could include evidence of better educational opportunities, access to specialized healthcare, or a safer living environment in the new location.

For example, if your child has a specific medical condition and the new location has a renowned specialist or better medical facilities to address the condition, you could argue that the move is in the child’s best interest. Similarly, if the new location has a lower crime rate or better schools, these factors could also be used to support your case. However, keep in mind that a Nebraska court often considers Nebraska to be a superior location to raise a family.

What If the Other Parent Opposes My Relocation?

If the other parent opposes your relocation, it will complicate the process. The other parent may argue that the move would disrupt the child’s relationship with them, or that it would cause undue hardship. In such cases, the court will carefully consider the potential impact on the child’s relationship with both parents.

If the other parent has been actively involved in the child’s life and the move would significantly limit their time with the child, the court is less likely to approve the relocation. However, if you can demonstrate that the move would provide substantial benefits for the child that outweigh the potential disruption to the child’s relationship with the other parent, the court may still approve the move. The requesting parent should also be prepared to show how the child’s relationship with the staying parent can be protected and supported if the move is allowed.

What If I Have Sole Custody of My Child?

Even if you have sole custody of your child, you must get the court’s permission to relocate as required by Nebraska law.

Can I Move Before Getting Court Approval?

Moving before getting court approval has serious negative consequences. If you move without the court’s permission, the most common remedy is a court order returning the child to Nebraska with or without the moving parent.

If you’re considering relocation, consult an experienced attorney who can guide you through the legal process. They can help you understand your rights and obligations and ensure you take the necessary steps to protect your interests and those of your child.

What If I’m Relocating Due to a Job Opportunity?

Relocating due to a job opportunity is a common reason parents seek to move with their children. In such cases, you’ll need to demonstrate to the court how the move will benefit your child. This could include a higher income that allows for better living conditions, access to better schools, or the ability to provide more opportunities for your child.

What If I’m Relocating Due to Remarriage?

Relocating due to remarriage is another common reason parents seek to move with their children. In these cases, the court will consider the stability and support the new family unit can provide. However, as with any relocation case, the court will also consider the impact of the move on the child’s relationship with the other parent.

How Can an Experienced Lawyer Help in Proving My Case?

An experienced lawyer is important to helping you evaluate your case for relocation and to prove that relocation is in your child’s best interest by gathering the necessary evidence, presenting your case effectively, and navigating the complex legal process. An attorney can also help you understand the specific laws and regulations in Nebraska related to child custody and relocation.

If you are considering relocation and need to prove that it’s in your child’s best interest, call GordenLaw LLC today at 402-817-1450 for your paid strategy session!

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