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43-109.


43-109.
   
   A. In awarding the custody of a minor unmarried child or in appointing
   a general guardian for said child, the court shall consider what
   appears to be in the best interests of the physical and mental and
   moral welfare of the child.
   
   B. The court, pursuant to the provisions of subsection A of this
   section, may grant the care, custody, and control of a child to either
   parent or to the parents jointly.
   
   For the purposes of this section, the terms joint custody and joint
   care, custody, and control mean the sharing by parents in all or some
   of the aspects of physical and legal care, custody, and control of
   their children.
   
   C. If either or both parents have requested joint custody, said
   parents shall file with the court their plans for the exercise of
   joint care, custody, and control of their child. The parents of the
   child may submit a plan jointly, or either parent or both parents may
   submit separate plans. Any plan shall include but is not limited to
   provisions detailing the physical living arrangements for the child,
   child support obligations, medical and dental care for the child,
   school placement, and visitation rights. A plan shall be accompanied
   by an affidavit signed by each parent stating that said parent agrees
   to the plan and will abide by its terms. The plan and affidavit shall
   be filed with the petition for a divorce or legal separation or after
   said petition is filed.
   
   D. The court shall issue a final plan for the exercise of joint care,
   custody, and control of the child or children, based upon the plan
   submitted by the parents, separate or jointly, with appropriate
   changes deemed by the court to be in the best interests of the child.
   The court also may reject a request for joint custody and proceed as
   if the request for joint custody had not been made.
   
   E. The parents having joint custody of the child may modify the terms
   of the plan for joint care, custody, and control. The modification to
   the plan shall be filed with the court and included with the plan. If
   the court determines the modifications are in the best interests of
   the child, the court shall approve the modifications.
   
   F. The court also may modify the terms of the plan for joint care,
   custody, and control upon the request of one parent. The court shall
   not modify the plan unless the modifications are in the best interests
   of the child.
   
   G. 1. The court may terminate a joint custody decree upon the request
   of one or both of the parents or whenever the court determines said
   decree is not in the best interests of the child.
   
   2. Upon termination of a joint custody decree, the court shall proceed
   and issue a modified decree for the care, custody, and control of the
   child as if no such joint custody decree had been made.
   
   H. In the event of a dispute between the parents having joint custody
   of a child as to the interpretation of a provision of said plan, the
   court may appoint an arbitrator to resolve said dispute. The
   arbitrator shall be a disinterested person knowledgeable in domestic
   relations law and family counseling. The determination of the
   arbitrator shall be final and binding on the parties to the
   proceedings until further order of the court.
   
   If a parent refuses to consent to arbitration, the court may terminate
   the joint custody decree.
   

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