Do It Yourself Divorce
For Individuals who are in agreement regarding children and own little property
Approved Parenting Education Providers (approved by NE State Court Administrator)
- List of Approved Providers; Parents are required to attend a basic parenting education class. Click the link for the State Court Administrator-approved list of providers.
Parenting Mediation Resources
Contact information for the ODR list of approved Parenting Act mediators.
Contact information for Nebraska's court-connected mediation resources
The Parenting Act:
- emphasizes the "best-interests of the child" standard as the basis by which child custody and parenting time issues are resolved;
- recognizes the importance of maintaining parent-child relationships while at the same time protecting victims of abuse and neglect;
- defines the court-recognized distinction between joint legal and joint physical custody arrangements;
- requires parenting plans for all parenting, custody, visitation, and access to children matters;
- requires parents involved in custody and parenting time cases to attend a parenting education course;
- encourages the voluntary use of mediation to create parenting plans;
- may require mediation in some contested cases.
What is a Parenting Plan?
Simply put, a Parenting Plan is a "blueprint" for how children are going to be co-parented after their parents have separated or divorced.
In addition to indicating how the day-to-day time with the children will be shared, and how holidays and vacation time will be shared, a good parenting plan can include decisions on issues such as:
- Who takes them on unexpected snow days, teacher-workshop days
- How will it be decided which school the children attend
- How will it be decided what daycare is used
- How will it be decided what religion the child is raised in
A plan can even be as detailed as describing of telephone contact with the child when at the other parent's home or who gets to choose the Halloween costumes and take the little ones Trick-or-Treating.
Parenting Plans can be developed by parents, attorneys or through mediation. If no plan is developed, the court will order its own parenting plan.
Benefits of Mediating a Parenting Plan
1. Overriding benefit: establishes a plan in the best interest of the child
The overriding benefit of a mediated parenting plan is simple: mediating a plan allows both parents to come together in a neutral setting, generate options, and focus on the best interests of the child. The parents, rather than the judges, are involved in creating a solution. Most importantly, the process is designed to benefit the child.
Mediation takes co-parenting out of the adversarial arena and into a cooperative, "what's best for the kids'' discussion.
2. Details for on-going parent-to-parent communication
Mediation helps to lay out the details for on-going parent-to-parent communication. At the end of the process, which can take from two to four mediation sessions, the parents have not only created their own plan for co-parenting their children, and they've also experienced a process that models how to handle future disagreements.
3. Reality testing
Assisting the parents to do 'reality testing' is one role of the mediator when creating a workable parenting plan. Reality testing involves planning for the "what ifs" that life throws your way. Because they've "seen it all" experienced mediators bring an extensive list of "what ifs" to the table for discussion and planning.
4. Results in greater satisfaction with the plan
Studies prove that parenting plans that have been developed with mediation are much more likely to be adhered to on a long-term basis as both parents crafted the agreement together.
Nebraska Child Abuse/Neglect Hotline : 1-800-652-1999
Domestic Intimate Partner Abuse (DIPA) Resources
If you have concerns about your personal safety, your children's safety or have experienced domestic abuse, locate contact information for services across the state.