Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Cook v. Cook

Court of Appeals of Nebraska

July 31, 2018

Deena M. Cook, appellee,
v.
Joshua J. Cook, appellant.

         1. Divorce: Child Custody: Child Support: Property Division: Alimony: Attorney Fees: Appeal and Error. In a marital dissolution action, an appellate court reviews the case de novo on the record to determine whether there has been an abuse of discretion by the trial judge. This standard of review applies to the trial court's determinations regarding custody, child support, division of property, alimony, and attorney fees.

         2. Evidence: Appeal and Error. In a review de novo on the record, an appellate court reappraises the evidence as presented by the record and reaches its own independent conclusions with respect to the matters at issue.

         3. Judges: Words and Phrases. A judicial abuse of discretion exists if the reasons or rulings of a trial judge are clearly untenable, unfairly depriving a litigant of a substantial right and denying just results in matters submitted for disposition.

         4. Child Custody: Visitation: Courts. A trial court has an independent responsibility to determine questions of custody and visitation of minor children according to their best interests, which responsibility cannot be controlled by an agreement or stipulation of the parties.

         5. Divorce: Child Custody: Evidence. If the court disapproves of a custody stipulation, it must give the parties an opportunity to present evidence relevant to a complete reexamination of the question of custody.

         6. Divorce: Child Custody. Personal observations by the court are not sufficient to support an award of custody in a dissolution proceeding in the absence of evidence establishing the best interests of the child.

         7. ___: ___.A court is required to review a parenting plan and determine if it meets the requirements of the Parenting Act and if it is in the best interests of the minor child or children.

          [26 Neb.App. 138] 8. ___: ___. If a parenting plan lacks any of the elements required by the Parenting Act or is not in the child's best interests, the court shall modify and approve the parenting plan as modified, reject the parenting plan and order the parties to develop a new parenting plan, or reject the parenting plan and create a parenting plan that meets all the required elements and is in the best interests of the child.

         9. ___: ___. If a court rejects a stipulated parenting plan, it must provide written findings as to why the parenting plan is not in the best interests of the child.

         10. Divorce: Property Division. Equitable division of property is a three-step process: (1) classify the parties' property as marital or nonmarital, setting aside the nonmarital property to the party who brought that property to the marriage; (2) value the marital assets and marital liabilities of the parties; and (3) calculate and divide the net marital estate between the parties in accordance with the principles contained in Neb. Rev. Stat. § 42-365 (Reissue 2016).

         11. ___: ___. All property accumulated and acquired by either spouse during the marriage is part of the marital estate, unless it falls within an exception to this general rule.

         12. Antenuptial Agreements: Property Division. A premarital agreement allows prospective spouses to avoid the application of the general rule that all property accumulated and acquired by either spouse during marriage is part of the marital estate.

         13. Antenuptial Agreements: Proof. The party opposing enforcement of a premarital agreement has the burden of proving that the agreement is not enforceable.

         14. Antenuptial Agreements. Nebraska's Uniform Premarital Agreement Act broadly allows prospective spouses to protect their interests during a marriage and in contemplation of a divorce through a premarital agreement.

         15. Antenuptial Agreements: Property Division. Nebraska's Uniform Premarital Agreement Act specifically allows prospective spouses to create premarital agreements providing that property acquired by each of the parties during the marriage, which by definition includes income separately earned, is to be his or her separate property.

         16. Property Division. A marital debt is one incurred during the marriage and before the date of separation by either spouse or both spouses for the joint benefit of the parties.

          Appeal from the District Court for Custer County: Karin L. Noakes, Judge. Affirmed in part as modified, and in part reversed and remanded for further proceedings.

          [26 Neb.App. 139] Nathan T. Bruner, of Bruner Frank, L.L.C., for appellant.

          Michael S. Borders, of Borders Law Office, for appellee.

          Moore, Chief Judge, and Arterburn and Welch, Judges.

          Moore, Chief Judge.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         The marriage of Deena M. Cook and Joshua J. Cook was dissolved by a decree of the district court for Custer County. Before the marriage, Joshua and Deena signed a premarital agreement that provided for separate ownership of their present or future property. They also submitted a stipulated parenting plan that provided the parties would share joint final say in certain parenting decisions regarding their children. The district court found certain agricultural assets and a joint operating debt to be part of the marital estate. The court also altered the stipulated parenting plan, giving Deena final decisionmaking authority over the children. On appeal, Joshua ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.