Grandparent Rights Generally
In Nebraska, there are three main courts where grandparents may assert their rights to be involved with their grandchildren: 1) District Court, in the event of a paternity action or divorce action or after the death of a parent 2) County Probate Court, to establish guardianship over their grandchildren where parental rights have been terminated by choice or circumstances or 3) a Separate Juvenile Court where the grandchild or grandchildren is subject to juvenile court jurisdiction by reason of abuse or neglect.
Grandparent Rights in Juvenile Court
There are three ways children may become subject to juvenile court actions: 1) by violating the law (actions that would be criminal if the child was older); 2) by substantiated allegations of abuse/neglect by a parent, custodian, or care giver; 3) through being in a situation dangerous to life or health through no fault of a parent, custodian or caregiver. In each of these situations, grandparents may have rights to priority consideration for placement of a grandchild or even to intervene as party to the case and proceedings to ensure their relationship with their grandchild or grandchildren is protected.