Boyer v. Boyer

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Boyer v. Boyer

Case Number
A-16-0150
Call Date
October 12, 2016
Case Time
9:30 AM
Case Summary

A-16-0150, Jason Boyer (Appellant) v. Lauren Boyer

Sarpy County, District Court Judge David Arterburn

Attorney for Appellant: Aimee S. Melton, A. Bree Robbins (Reagan, Melton & Delaney LLP)

Attorney for Appellee: Robin L. Binning (Binning & Plambeck)

Civil Action: Modification of Divorce Decree/Removal of Minor Child

Action Taken by Trial Court: The court granted Appellee's petition to remove the child from Nebraska to Alaska, set parenting time for Appellant, and ordered that from the date of the decree until December 31, 2017, Appellee shall have final decision-making authority on all major decision making. On January 1, 2018, the parties shall resume joint legal custody over the child.

Assignments of Error on Appeal: Did the district court err in finding a legitimate reason for removal? Did the district court err in finding it was in the child's best interests to be removed from Nebraska? Did the district court err in finding the parties shall share joint legal custody commencing January 1, 2018? Did the district court err in receiving Exhibit 39, a letter to appellee regarding a job offer in Alaska, into evidence?

Extended Case Summary (for Educational Purposes):
A-16-0150 Jason Boyer (Jason) v. Lauren Boyer (Lauren)

Original trial court: Sarpy County District Court, Judge David K. Arterburn

Background: The parties met in Montana in 2004 and married in 2006. Jason was a member of the U.S. Air Force when the parties married and when their son Micah was born in 2010. They moved frequently due to Jason's military service. When the parties separated, Jason was stationed in California. Lauren and Micah left California to move to Nebraska to be closer to Lauren's family. They were subsequently divorced in California. However, Lauren and Micah were allowed to remain in Nebraska and with Jason having visitation. After Jason was honorably discharged from the service in 2014, he moved to Nebraska to be closer to Micah. The parties did not formally modify the decree but they jointly agreed to an increase in Jason's parenting time now that he lived in Nebraska.

In the summer 2014, Lauren met her now-husband on a dating website. She learned early on that he lived in Alaska. The met in person for the first time in June 2015 and were married in August 2015. At the time of trial, she was also pregnant. Lauren sought to remove Micah to Alaska to be with her new family.

In Nebraska, 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.

In determining whether removal to another jurisdiction is in the child's best interests, the court considers (1) each parent's motives for seeking or opposing the move; (2) the potential the move holds for enhancing the quality of life for the child and the custodial parent; and (3) the impact such move will have on contact between the child and the noncustodial parent, when viewed in the light of reasonable visitation.

After a trial, the court granted Lauren's petition to remove the child from Nebraska, set parenting time, child support, and ordered that from the date of the decree until December 31, 2017, Lauren shall have final decision making authority on all major decisions involving Micah. On January 1, 2018, the parties shall resume joint legal custody over the child as outlined in the decree.

The Court of Appeals will look at the following issues raised by Jason on appeal:

The district court erred in finding that Lauren had a legitimate reason to remove Micah from Nebraska to Alaska.
The district court erred in finding that removal was in Micah's best interests.
The district court erred in receiving exhibit 39 (a purported job offer to Lauren) into evidence.
The district court erred in finding that the parties will have joint legal custody of Micah effective January 1, 2018.
Attorneys: Aimee S. Melton (Reagan, Melton & Delaney LLP) (Jason) --- Robin L. Binning (Binning & Plambeck) (Lauren)

Case Location
Doane University
Panel Text
Moore, Chief Judge, Pirtle, Judge, and McCormack, Justice, Retired