Grandparent Rights in Nebraska: Do They Exist? (spoiler alert, they do…)

October 18, 2019

Grandparent Rights in Nebraska Can Happen

A grandparent may have the right to seek court ordered visitation with a grandchild in very particular circumstances, and the right is to visitation of the grandchild, not to custody. A grandparent may have a right to visitation if: 1) one or both of the child’s parents are deceased; 2) the child’s parents are divorced, or a divorce is pending; or 3) the child’s parents were never married but paternity has been legally established. This means that if the parents of your grandchild are married, you will not meet the criteria to petition the court for grandparent visitation.

Best interest of the child will be the focus

If it is determined that one of these three criteria are met, the court will next consider whether grandparent visitation is in the best interest of the minor child. In making this determination, the court will access the beneficial nature of the relationship of the grandparent to the child. The Court will be looking for evidence that a “significant beneficial relationship” exists between the grandparent and grandchild, or that one has existed in the past. The Court will also determine that visitation between the grandparent and grandchild will “not adversely interfere with the parent-child relationship”.

You must have a “significant and beneficial relationship” with your grandchild

In previous Nebraska grandparent visitation cases, when determining if a “significant and beneficial relationship” exists,  Nebraska Courts have considered the following factors:  how many times the child has seen the grandparents; if the child requested time with the grandparents; if the child has asked about the grandparents; if the child had special names such as “nana” or “papa” for the grandparents;  if the child was hesitant around the grandparents or need time to “warm up” around them;  how the child reacted after visits; if the grandparents are overly intrusive or pushy about visitation; and the ages of the children.

If you have been denied visitation with your grandchild you should consult with an attorney experienced in grandparent visitation cases right away, to discuss if you may qualify for court ordered grandparent visitation.


This article should not be construed as legal advice. Situations are different and it’s impossible to provide legal advice for every situation without knowing the individual facts. 


If you need help with an Omaha area case, contact Hightower Reff Law today and come visit with one of the attorneys at the Omaha office. 

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