A. Property and Liability Statement:
(1) When property and liability division is contested at final hearing, the parties shall prepare a joint property and liability statement for use as an exhibit at trial. The Plaintiff shall prepare a complete property and liability statement and serve a copy upon the opposing party 60 days prior to trial. The Defendant shall then complete the property and liability statement by adding to it any additional items of property and liabilities and the Defendant's opinions of value of all property and liabilities listed. The Defendant shall serve a copy of the revised property and liability statement upon the Plaintiff at least 30 days prior to trial.
The property and liability statement shall be similar to and contain the information identified in Appendix No. 1 attached to these rules.
(2) Extensions and Pretrial Filing Deadline: Either party may request an extension of time for filing or completing property statements on written motion and good cause shown. Except by agreement of the parties or order of the Court, amendments to the property and liability statement shall not be permitted unless served upon opposing counsel at least 10 days prior to trial. Property and liability statements shall not be filed with the Clerk of the District Court; however, proof of service shall be filed with the Clerk of the District Court.
B. Temporary Relief Hearing (i.e. Support, Custody, Etc.): All applications for temporary support, allowances, custody, parenting time, restraining orders, etc. shall be supported by evidence in the form of affidavits unless otherwise allowed by the Court upon a showing of good cause. No affidavit regarding temporary relief applications, other than ex parte relief allowed by statute, shall be considered by the Court, unless a copy has been served on the opposing party not less than 24 hours (Saturday and Sunday excluded from this calculation) prior to the temporary hearing.
Except for good cause shown, no more than 20 pages of affidavits (excluding exhibits attached thereto), will be considered by the Court at the time of the temporary hearing.
Where child support is an issue, counsel shall also prepare and exchange the applicable child support worksheets not less than 24 hours (Saturday and Sunday excluded from this calculation) prior to the temporary hearing.
C. Ex Parte Custody Orders: No ex parte order shall be entered in a domestic relations case without one or more supporting affidavits from a party or his or her witnesses. Except for good cause shown, no ex parte temporary order shall be entered in a pending case if the opposing party is represented by counsel or a guardian ad litem/attorney for minor(s) has been appointed. If an ex parte order is issued, it shall be served upon the opposing party or counsel forthwith, and a temporary hearing date and time shall be set forth therein.
D. Education and Mediation in Domestic Relations Cases:
Parenting Education Course: Parties to domestic relations matters involving parenting issues of children are required to attend an approved parent education program within sixty (60) days from date of service of process or the date filing a voluntary appearance. A list of approved programs can be obtained from the Administrative Office of the Court.
This requirement applies to all cases in which parenting issues are involved, including dissolution of marriage, determination of paternity, motions to enforce existing orders, and applications to modify existing custody orders.
Participation in the course may be delayed or waived by the Court for good cause shown. Failure or refusal by any party to participate in the course shall not delay the entry of a final judgment by more than six (6) months.
If the Court deems it appropriate, the parties may be required to complete a second level parenting class.
E. Parenting Plan/Mediation:
(1) For cases filed on or after July 1, 2010, all parties who have not submitted a parenting plan to the Court within the time specified by the Court shall be required to participate in mediation or specialized alternative dispute resolution with an approved mediator to complete a parenting plan or visitation schedule, including child custody, parenting time, grandparent visitation, and any other issues relating to the children that may be susceptible to mediation. A list of approved mediation service providers can be obtained from the Administrative Office of the Court.
No trial date will be scheduled until mediation to resolve custody and/or parenting time/visitation issues have been attempted; provided, however, that failure to reach an agreement on a parenting plan shall not delay entry of a final judgment by more than 6 months. It is further provided that, notwithstanding the language in this paragraph, domestic violence issues may, upon consideration by the trial court, disqualify the parties from mediation. On or after July 1, 2010, a party may not terminate mediation until after an individual, initial screening session and one mediation or specialized alternative dispute resolution session are held.
(2) When, in any case involving parenting issues as described in paragraph (1), there are allegations of domestic intimate partner abuse or unresolved parental conflict between the parties in any proceeding, or when screening by a mediator or mediation center identifies the presence of child abuse or neglect, unresolved parental conflict, domestic intimate partner abuse, other forms of intimidation or coercion, or a party's inability to negotiate freely and make informed decisions, then mediation shall not be required; however, the parents shall be required to meet with a mediator who is a trained facilitator in specialized alternative dispute resolution. The list of such trained and approved mediators can be obtained from the Administrative Office of the Courts.
The specialized alternative dispute resolution process shall begin with each parent meeting individually with a qualified facilitator to provide an opportunity for the facilitator to educate each party about the process; obtain informed consent from each party in order to proceed; establish safety protocols; allow support persons to attend sessions; and consider opt-out-for-cause. Any party may terminate after an initial, individual screening session and one specialized alternative dispute resolution session are held. The primary consideration in each specialized alternative dispute resolution session shall be the safety of each party and each child. The facilitator of the process has a duty to determine whether to proceed in individual sessions or caucus sessions in order to address safety and freedom to negotiate. Joint sessions shall not be used unless, after a safety assessment by the facilitator, all parties agree to a joint session to be conducted at the courthouse, with appropriate safety measures in place.
(3) For good cause shown and (i) when both parents agree and such parental agreement is bona fide and not asserted to avoid the purposes of the Parenting Act or (ii) when mediation or specialized alternative dispute resolution is not possible without undue delay or hardship to either parent, the mediation or specialized alternative dispute resolution requirement may be waived by the court. In such a case where waiver of the mediation or specialized alternative dispute resolution is sought, the court shall hold an evidentiary hearing and the burden of proof for the party or parties seeking waiver is by clear and convincing evidence.
F. Child Support Guidelines Calculations:
(1) In all matters in which a final order includes the setting of child support, a child support guideline calculation shall be completed by the parties and submitted to the court. A copy of said child support guideline calculation shall be attached to every proposed order submitted to the court.
(2) If a deviation is proposed to be granted, the proposed order shall contain specific findings of fact which support the conclusion that a deviation is warranted, a completed worksheet 5 as specified in Neb. Ct. R. § 4-203, or both.