If there is a custody order in effect, or if you are currently married and have not addressed custody of the children of your marriage, you will need to seek permission of the court to move with your child out of the State of Nebraska. This is called a "removal case."
However, if your child was born out of wedlock, and there is no court order addressing custody, you do not need the court's permission.
A removal case is started like any other domestic relations case, with a Complaint filed with the District Court in the appropriate county. The Complaint in a removal case sets forth the request of the party to move with the child from the state and the basis of their request.
In a nutshell, the judge will decide whether to allow removal based on a two part test:
1. Is there a legitimate reason for the removal?
2. Is the removal in the child's best interest?
The test may sound simple, but there are multiple factors the court considers within these two main areas of concern.
Some things that the courts have held constitute a legitimate reason for leaving the state include actual employment opportunities when there is a reasonable expectation of improvement in the career or occupation of the custodial parent or increased potential for salary advancement. Remarriage is also commonly found to be a legitimate reason for leaving the state in removal cases. However, a custodial parent’s desire to continue living with a boyfriend or girlfriend is not a legitimate reason for leaving the state with a child.
When deciding the second prong of whether the move is in the child's best interests the court will weigh three broad considerations: (1) each parent’s motives for seeking or opposing the move; (2) the potential that the move holds for enhancing the quality of life for the children and the custodial parent; and (3) the impact such a move will have on contact between the children and the noncustodial parent, when viewed in light of reasonable visitation.
Be aware also that the Nebraska Supreme Court has made it clear that trial courts are discouraged from granting temporary permission to remove children to another jurisdiction prior to a ruling on permanent removal.