Carolyn Gatzemeyer and Robert Gatzemeyer, appellees.
Jennifer L. Knihal, appellant.
Visitation: Appeal and Error. Determinations
concerning grandparent visitation are initially entrusted to
the discretion of the trial judge, whose determinations, on
appeal, will be reviewed de novo on the record and affirmed
in the absence of an abuse of the trial judge's
Judges: Words and Phrases. A judicial abuse
of discretion exists when a judge, within the effective
limits of authorized judicial power, elects to act or refrain
from action, but the selected option results in a decision
which is untenable and unfairly deprives a litigant of a
substantial right or a just result in matters submitted for
disposition through a judicial system.
Visitation: Parental Rights: Proof. A court
can order grandparent visitation only if the petitioning
grandparent proves by clear and convincing evidence that (1)
there is, or has been, a significant beneficial relationship
between the grandparent and the child; (2) it is in the best
interests of the child that such relationship continue; and
(3) such visitation will not adversely interfere with the
Evidence: Words and Phrases. Clear and
convincing evidence means that amount of evidence which
produces in the trier of fact a firm belief or conviction
about the existence of a fact to be proved.
Trial: Evidence: Appeal and Error. An
appellate court will consider the fact that the trial court
saw and heard the witnesses and observed their demeanor while
testifying, and will give great weight to the trial
court's judgment as to credibility.
Visitation: Parental Rights. Although the
Nebraska grandparent visitation statutes recognize the
interests of the child in the continuation of the grandparent
relationship, under Nebraska's grandparent visitation
statutes as a whole, the best interests of the child
consideration does [25 Neb.App. 898] not deprive the parent
of sufficient protection because visitation will not be
awarded where such visitation would adversely interfere with
the parent-child relationship.
from the District Court for Douglas County: Marlon A. Polk,
Benjamin M. Belmont and Wm. Oliver Jenkins, of Brodkey,
Cuddigan, Peebles, Belmont & Line, L.L.P, for appellant.
Michael B. Lustgarten and Britt H. Dudzinski, of Lustgarten
& Roberts, PC, L.L.O., for appellees.
Chief Judge, and Pirtle and Arterburn, Judges.
L. Knihal appeals from an order of the district court for
Douglas County granting Carolyn Gatzemeyer and Robert
Gatzemeyer grandparent visitation with Knihal's two
children. Based on the reasons that follow, we affirm.
22, 2016, the Gatzemeyers filed a complaint for grandparent
visitation seeking court-ordered visitation rights with their
grandchildren, Michael Gatzemeyer and Maya Gatzemeyer. Knihal
filed an answer opposing the complaint. During the pendency
of the proceedings, the trial court awarded the Gatzemeyers
temporary visitation with Michael and Maya, which visitation
consisted of one overnight visit every other weekend.
children's parents are Knihal and Kevin Gatzemeyer, the
Gatzemeyers' son, who is now deceased. Knihal and Kevin
were married in November 2004. Michael was born in 2004, and
Maya was born in 2006. Knihal and Kevin separated in November
2008 and divorced in July 2010. Based on the parenting plan,
Knihal and Kevin had joint physical custody [25 ...