How Does A Judge Decide Which Parent Gets Custody Of The Children?

There are two types of custody in Nebraska: Legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody is the parental authority to make major child rearing decisions, including those concerning education, health, and religious decisions. Physical custody determines where the child will actually live.

Legal and physical custody are awarded indpendently. Courts can award joint or sole legal custody, and joint or sole physical custody. In determining how to award custody, courts are required to decide what arrangement provides for a child's safety, emotional growth, health, stability, and physical care and regular and continuous school attendance and progress for school-age children. The focus is what is in the best interests of the child, not necessarily the parents.