August 9, 2016: Adam R. Little recently won a custody appeal for his client in a ruling from the Nebraska Court of Appeals in State on Behalf of Gaige R. v. James M., Case No. A-15-698. The case involved complex procedural issues, where an order establishing paternity had been entered in Nebraska; however, neither party remained in the state and both parties sought full custody and permission to remove the child to South Dakota or Colorado respectively. For the first six years of his life, the minor child had resided exclusively with his Mother. Despite the overwhelming evidence that he was thriving under her care, the trial court awarded custody of the child to the Father and allowed him to remove the child to Colorado.
On appeal, Adam argued that the district court incorrectly applied the legal standards for a change of custody and for permission to remove the child from Nebraska. He successfully persuaded the Court of Appeals that the district court abused its discretion because the change in custody and move to Colorado was not in the child’s best interests. The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s decision, ordering that custody be awarded to the Mother and she be allowed to remove the child to South Dakota.
Adam also defeated an attempt to Petition the Nebraska Supreme Court for further review.
This was a huge win for Adam’s client, as she was reunited with her son and allowed to bring him to South Dakota, where she now resides with her husband.
Following his victory, Adam also won an attorney fee award of $2,900 for his client in prosecuting this appeal.
The Court of Appeals’ full opinion can be read here.