Alimony is financial support made to a spouse during and after a divorce. This is separate from any payments of child support that are required due to the current child custody situation. Under state law, spouses have a duty to financially support each other, and alimony acknowledges that this duty can continue even after a divorce or legal separation.
Alimony is awarded on a case-by-case basis in Nebraska, and there is not a set formula used to calculate awards. Instead, the courts evaluate a series of factors:
- Each spouse’s financial resources,
- The length of the marriage,
- Your contribution to the marriage (including household responsibilities and child care),
- Whether you gave up educational or job opportunities to support your spouse at home, and
- Your ability to obtain work without damaging your children’s interests.
Unlike some states, Nebraska alimony is not awarded to punish a spouse for his or her misconduct.
Nebraska does not have a limit or cap on alimony. Instead, the courts must weigh the factors discussed above and determine how much support is appropriate. Under certain circumstances, alimony awards can be millions of dollars (but are typically more modest).
Nebraska courts can award alimony on a temporary, short –term, or permanent basis. Historically, alimony was often awarded to stay-at-home spouses on a permanent basis. However, courts now view alimony as a rehabilitative measure, and many alimony awards are now temporary (giving a spouse time to obtain job training and employment).
Again, alimony can be awarded even before a divorce is finalized. If you plan to file a motion for alimony, seriously consider hiring a lawyer before you file for divorce. Nebraska does not have a standardized form for alimony requests, so each motion must be drafted from scratch. It also can be difficult for the average person to calculate and negotiate alimony awards.
Additionally, an increasing number of couples are negotiating alimony in their settlement agreement. If you and your spouse can agree to a fair alimony amount, you can resolve this issue without the court’s involvement. Again, a lawyer can help you with these negotiations.
Petitioning or modifying an alimony award can be contentious and complicated. A Nebraska family lawyer can help you file a request with the court, calculate a fair alimony award, and negotiate with your spouse.