In Nebraska, the law takes the abandonment of a spouse or child very seriously. This article explains what counts as abandonment under Nebraska law and the consequences that can follow. It also looks at how someone can defend themselves against these charges and the important role criminal defense lawyers play in these cases.

Lawyers for Abandonment of a Spouse or Child in Nebraska

Abandonment is a very serious charge that can result in loss of custody, heavy fines or imprisonment without adequate defense. The criminal defense team at Liberty Law Group is ready to provide full-service representation for our clients.

If you or a loved one have been charged with abandonment, call our firm at (402) 865-0501 to request a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case.

Abandonment of a Spouse or Child in Nebraska

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What is Abandonment of a Spouse or Child in Nebraska?

According to Nebraska Revised Statute 28-705, abandonment involves a person failing to support or take care of their spouse, child, or dependent stepchild. This law applies regardless of whether the child is born within or outside of marriage. The term “child” here refers to anyone under sixteen years of age.

The law considers a person to have abandoned their spouse, child, or dependent stepchild if they have not provided for them for three consecutive months or more. This period of neglect is seen as evidence of the individual’s intention to abandon. It’s important to note that this law does not just apply to physical absence but also includes the failure to provide necessary financial or material support.

Additionally, the law indicates that failing to provide medical support may not constitute abandonment. Specifically, if an individual has set aside assets or income for purposes of becoming eligible for medical assistance, such as government benefits, this may be considered a valid reason for not using those assets or income for the medical support of a spouse.

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What are the Penalties for Abandonment of a Spouse or Child in Nebraska?

In Nebraska, the offense of abandoning a spouse, child, or dependent stepchild is classified as a Class I Misdemeanor. Under Nebraska Revised Statute 28-106, the penalties for a Class I Misdemeanor include up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

In Nebraska, an individual that commits the offense of abandonment may be eligible for probation as a way to avoid a jail sentence. This legal alternative allows the individual to remain in the community under certain conditions instead of serving time in jail. Probation is generally granted based on the court’s judgment. The conditions of probation can include avoiding unlawful behavior, fulfilling family responsibilities, maintaining employment or education, community service and other requirements tailored to the individual’s case.

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What are Some Defenses to a Charge of Abandonment of a Spouse or Child

A primary defense is the genuine inability to provide financial support. If the accused can demonstrate that they lacked the financial resources to support their spouse or child, this can be a valid defense. This involves showing that the failure to provide was not intentional but due to unavoidable financial hardship.

Another defense is proving that support was actually being provided. The accused might demonstrate that, contrary to the charges, they were regularly providing financial assistance or were involved in the care of the child or spouse, which counters the claim of abandonment.

Additionally, the defendant might argue that they were not aware of their responsibility. This could apply in situations where a parent was unaware of a child’s existence or if there was confusion over legal obligations towards a stepchild or spouse.

If the accused was prevented from fulfilling their support obligations due to actions by another party, such as being denied access to the child, this can also serve as a defense. This scenario includes situations where one parent has unlawfully kept the child away from the other parent.

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What Does a Criminal Defense Lawyer Do for Someone Facing Charges of Abandonment of a Spouse or Child

A criminal defense lawyer is responsible for representing and guiding clients charged with domestic violence offenses, including the crime of abandoning a spouse or child. Initially, the attorney assesses the case, considering the specific circumstances and evidence presented against the client. This assessment includes a thorough review of the charges and potential defenses based on Nebraska Revised Statute 28-705.

Also, the defense attorney navigates the legal proceedings, ensuring that the client’s rights are protected throughout the process. This includes representing the client in court, negotiating with prosecutors, and presenting evidence and arguments in defense of the client. The lawyer may also handle procedural requirements, such as filing motions to dismiss the case.

Another major function of the defense attorney is advising the client on the legal implications of their actions and the potential outcomes of the case. This includes discussing the possibility of probation as an alternative to jail time.

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Additional Resources

Nebraska Medicine Policy on Reporting Neglect of a Vulnerable Adult – The Nebraska Medical Center has established a written policy and guidelines for reporting suspected abuse or neglect of vulnerable or dependent adults. This policy is a tool for healthcare professionals and others in identifying and addressing abuse. Additionally, the policy includes a list of community resources, providing support and information for those who may encounter cases of abuse or neglect.

Warning Signs Of Elder Abuse – The American Psychological Association has created an online guide detailing the warning signs of elder abuse and the mistreatment of vulnerable adults. This guide is an invaluable resource for recognizing the often-subtle signs of abuse. It also provides links to local agencies that offer caregiving and in-home assistance for dependent adults, ensuring that those in need have access to the necessary support and services.

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Find an abandonment Lawyer in Omaha, Nebraska | Liberty Law Group

Our attorneys at Liberty Law Group are ready to defend you against abandonment charges.

Our firm proudly serves Omaha in Douglas County, including Lincoln in Lancaster County, Papillion in Sarpy County, Fremont in Dodge County and Council Bluffs in Pottawattamie County, Iowa and the surrounding areas. If you or a loved one has been charged or is under investigation for abandonment, don’t wait, call our firm immediately at (402) 865-0501 to request a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case.

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