With the recent widespread enactment of grandparent visitation statutes, grandparents’ legal access to their grandchildren changed dramatically. This Note begins by examining the history of grandparent visitation rights within the United States, and more specifically, within Nebraska (Part II). An examination of the facts and holding of the Eberspacher v. Hulme opinion follows (Part III). Part IV analyzes the standard of review set forth by the Nebraska Supreme Court in the first grandparent visitation rights decision and the standard as it was properly applied by the Nebraska Court of Appeals in Eberspacher. This Note then criticizes the supreme court’s failure to follow its own precedent, which results in a superfluous review at the appellate level as well as an uncertain approach for analyzing the “best interests of the child.” The Note concludes that while the Nebraska legislature did not define the phrase “best interests of the child,” the legislature did not intend the judiciary to decide grandparent visitation cases based on vague, illusory factors centered on whatever criteria a judge feels is important.
Christopher M. Bikus,
One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: The Nebraska Supreme Court Perpetuates the Uncertainty Surrounding the Grandparent Visitation Statute in Eberspacher v. Hulme, 248 Neb. 202, 533 N.W.2d 103 (1995),
75 Neb. L. Rev.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol75/iss2/5