To file for divorce in Nebraska, at least one spouse must be a Nebraska resident for a minimum of 1 year. To begin the process, one spouse must file a Complaint for Divorce and state the proper grounds for ending the marriage. Since Nebraska is a purely “no-fault” marriage state, there are 2 proper grounds for divorce:

  • Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
  • One spouse is mentally ill and lacks the ability to consent to the dissolution of marriage.

In addition to a required legal reason, the Complaint for Divorce should also address any other issues involved in the divorce such as dividing property, child custody, child support, and alimony.

What is the Difference Between Divorce and Separation in Nebraska?

A legal separation agreement tends to function a lot like a divorce but it does not end the marriage. Similar to a divorce, a separation agreement can be used to resolve issues such as dividing property, child custody, child support, and alimony. A couple may wish to seek a legal separation instead of a divorce if they do not wish to end the marriage for personal or religious reasons.  If accepted by the judge, a separation agreement is legally binding and can be enforced in court.  Generally, a judge will accept a separation agreement if it is agreed to in writing by both spouses and the agreement appears to be fair.

What Paperwork Do You Need to File for Divorce?

To start the process for a divorce, there are 4 key steps:

  • File Complaint for Dissolution of Marriage in a proper Nebraska local court;
  • File the Vital Statistics Certificate;
  • Give the Confidential Party Information and Social Security Information forms to the Clerk of the District Court;
  • Either pay the filing fee or have the filing fee waived by the judge

More information on the divorce process and all required forms can be found on the Nebraska Court website. 

Community Property vs. Separate Property

Nebraska is an “Equitable Distribution” state, which means that all marital property is divided fairly according to the court unless the spouses make their own agreement.  Marital property, also known as community property, consists of most of the assets and debts that a couple acquires during the marriage and is subject to division during the divorce. Separate property, is the property that a spouse owned before the marriage or received during the marriage as a gift or inheritance. This distinction is important because separate property is usually not subject to division in divorce. It is important to know that separate property can become community property through actions like placing your spouse on the title of the property.

What Should You Do if There are Children Involved?

As part of the divorce the judge will issue a child custody order and parenting plan that will detail the parental rights and obligations over the marital children. Child custody can be very complicated and stressful, so if you have concerns about child custody it is important to talk to a lawyer. 

Regardless of who retains custody after a divorce or separation, both parents are responsible for supporting the children of the marriage. At the very minimum, the court will order the non-custodial parent to make child support payments.

Do You Need to Pay Alimony?

When the judge orders a divorce, it is possible that he will order one of the spouses to make temporary alimony payments or spousal support. A judge may impose alimony if he finds that it is fair based on a number of factors including the length of the marriage, the income of the individual spouses, who has custody of the children, etc. Spousal maintenance payments will end if the spouse receiving payments remarries or moves in with another partner.

Where Can You Find the Right Divorce Lawyer?

Going through a divorce can be an emotionally charged experience and involves complicated legal issues related to property division, child custody, child support, spousal support, etc.  If you are looking for an attorney to aid you navigate this process, then contact a local Nebraska devorce lawyer today to get the help you need.