[Copyrighted Material Omitted]
Petition for further review from the Court of Appeals, IRWIN, PIRTLE, and RIEDMANN, Judges, on appeal thereto from the District Court for Cass County, RANDALL L. REHMEIER,
Judgment of Court of Appeals reversed, and cause
remanded with directions.
Karen S. Nelson and Liam K. Meehan, of Schirber & Wagner, L.L.P., for appellant.
Steven M. Delaney, Darin L. Whitmer, and A. Bree Swoboda, Senior Certified Law Student, of Reagan, Melton & Delaney, L.L.P., for appellee.
Heavican, C.J., Connolly, Stephan, McCormack, Miller-Lerman, and Cassel, JJ.
Syllabus by the Court
1. Rules of the Supreme Court: Appeal and Error. Parties who wish to secure appellate review of their claims must abide by the rules of the Nebraska Supreme Court. Any party who fails to properly identify and present its claim does so at its own peril.
2. Rules of the Supreme Court: Appeal and Error. Neb. Ct. R.App. P. § 2109(D)(1)(d), (e), and (f) (rev.2008) requires a separate section for assignments of error, designated as such by a heading, and also requires that the section be located after a statement of the case and before a list of controlling propositions of law.
3. Rules of the Supreme Court: Appeal and Error. Assignments of error consisting of headings or subparts of the argument section do not comply with the mandate of Neb. Ct. R.App. P. § 2109(D)(1)(e) (rev.2008).
4. Rules of the Supreme Court: Appeal and Error. When a party fails to follow the rules of the Nebraska Supreme Court, an appellate court may proceed as though the party had failed to file a brief or, alternatively, may examine the proceedings for plain error.
[287 Neb. 530] 5. Appeal and Error. The decision to proceed on plain error is at the discretion of the appellate court.
6. Appeal and Error. Plain error is error plainly evident from the record and of such a nature that to leave it uncorrected would result in damage to the integrity,
reputation, or fairness of the judicial process.
7. Evidence: Appeal and Error. Where credible evidence is in conflict on a material issue of fact, the appellate court considers, and may give weight to, the fact that the trial court heard and observed the witnesses and accepted one version of the facts rather than another.
8. Child Custody. Child removal determinations are matters initially entrusted to the discretion of the trial judge, and the trial judge's determination is to be given deference.
9. Child Custody. In order to prevail on a motion to remove a minor child to another jurisdiction, the custodial parent must first satisfy the court that he or she has a legitimate reason for leaving the state. After clearing that threshold, the custodial parent must next demonstrate that it is in the child's best interests to continue living with him or her.
10. Child Custody: Visitation. The purpose of requiring a legitimate reason for leaving the state in a motion to remove a minor child to another jurisdiction is to prevent the custodial parent from relocating the child because of an ulterior motive, such as frustrating the noncustodial parent's visitation rights.
11. Child Custody. In considering a motion to remove a minor child to another jurisdiction, the paramount consideration is whether the proposed move is in the best interests of the child.
12. Child Custody. In determining the potential that the removal to another jurisdiction holds for enhancing the quality of life of the parent seeking removal and of the children, a court should consider the following factors: (1) the emotional, physical, and developmental needs of the children; (2) the children's opinion or preference as to where to live; (3) the extent to which the relocating parent's income or employment will be enhanced; (4) the degree to which housing or living conditions would be improved; (5) the existence of educational advantages; (6) the quality of the relationship between the children and each parent; (7) the strength of the children's ties to the present community and extended family there; and (8) the likelihood that allowing or denying the move would antagonize hostilities between the two parties. Depending on the circumstances of a particular case, any one factor or combination of factors may be variously weighted.
13. Child Custody: Visitation. The impact the move will have on contact between the child and the noncustodial parent must be viewed in light of the court's ability to devise reasonable visitation arrangements. A reasonable visitation schedule is one that provides a satisfactory basis for preserving and fostering a child's relationship with the noncustodial parent.
[287 Neb. 531] ...