Nebraska Divorce Laws
The state of Nebraska has unique divorce laws for people who wish to terminate their marriage.
We are providing this online divorce information to you as an easy divorce reference guide to help you while you are doing your own divorce. This information (and much more) is available inside your personal 3StepDivorce account area in order to help you understand how Nebraska addresses the most important issues in the divorce process and certain elements throughout your divorce forms.
The following overview of Nebraska divorce laws will help you understand the filing procedure and other primary issues concerning your divorce. Please keep in mind that our Nebraska online divorce service and support staff will make the process easy for you from start to finish. We take the difficulty out of doing your own divorce.
Residency Requirements: In order to file for a Dissolution of Marriage in Nebraska, you or your spouse must meet the strict residency requirements. These requirements permit the court to have jurisdiction of your case, resulting in allowing you to use their judicial system. These requirements are only a concern for spouses who have recently relocated or plan to relocate in the near future. They are as follows:
No action for dissolution of marriage may be brought unless at least one of the parties has had actual residence in this state with a bona fide intention of making this state his or her permanent home for at least one year prior to the filing of the complaint, or unless the marriage was solemnized in this state and either party has resided in this state from the time of marriage to filing the complaint.
Persons serving in the armed forces of the United States who have been continuously stationed at any military base or installation in this state for one year or, if the marriage was solemnized in this state, have resided in this state from the time of marriage to the filing of the complaint.
The dissolution of marriage may be filed in either county in which the spouse resides and there is a 60 day waiting period after the dissolution is filed until the court will grant the dissolution.
The Dissolution of Marriage is typically filed with in county in which the filing spouse lives. (Nebraska Statutes - Chapter 42 - Sections: 342, 349)
No-Fault Grounds: Most uncontested Dissolution of Marriage cases are filed according to a "no-fault" ground. We are using the term "no-fault" in a generic fashion by labeling all grounds that do not actually declare a "fault" as "no-fault". In the state of Nebraska the "no-fault" grounds are as follows:
Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. (Nebraska Statutes - Chapter 42 - Sections: 361, 362)
Filing Party Name: The Petitioner or Co-Petitioner. This is the spouse who is recognized as the initiator of the Dissolution of Marriage and is the one who actually files the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the county court.
Non-Filing Party Name: The Respondent or Co-Petitioner. This spouse plays a lesser role in an uncontested Dissolution of Marriage versus a contested Dissolution of Marriage. He or she will be required to sign and/or respond in a timely fashion to the documents filed by his or her spouse.
Family Law or Domestic Relations Court: In the District Court for __________ County, Nebraska. All Dissolution of Marriage cases in the state of Nebraska are facilitated through this court for that particular county.
Clerk's Name: All correspondence with a Nebraska clerk of the court should formally address him or her as follows: District Clerk's Office.
Property and Debt Division: Nebraska is considered an "equitable distribution" state. If you and your spouse are unable to come to an agreement on how the marital property will be divided, the court shall use a three step process. First, it will determine what property is marital. Second, it will put a value on the marital property. Third, it will divide the marital property in an equitable fashion, which is not necessarily equal, but rather what is considered to be fair.
The court will consider the following factors when making a property award: the contribution each spouse had to acquiring the marital property; the current and future economic status of the spouses; the amount of time the spouses have been married; and the child custody arrangements if the spouses have minor children. (Nebraska Statutes - Chapter 42 - Sections: 365)
Changing Name: Either spouse is permitted to request to have his or her name restored in the petition for dissolution of marriage.
Spousal Support, Maintenance, or Alimony: Determining the amount of spousal support, if any, is not as objective as determining child support. Spousal support, whether permanent or temporary, is typically decided on a case-by-case basis, because it is very likely that unique circumstances and factors regarding the marriage and the property award will play a significant role in allowing the court to arrive at the appropriate amount.
The court will consider the following when making a support award: the circumstances of the parties, duration of the marriage, a history of the contributions to the marriage by each party, including contributions to the care and education of the children, and interruption of personal careers or educational opportunities, and the ability of the supported party to engage in gainful employment without interfering with the interests of any minor children in the custody of such party. Reasonable security for payment may be required by the court. (Nebraska Statutes - Chapter 42 - Sections: 365)
Custody and Visitation: Shared or joint child custody has become more and more popular with the Nebraska courts. If you and your spouse request to have joint or shared "legal" custody, it will almost always be granted. As for joint or shared "physical" custody, the court will examine this a bit more closely to determine if it is a realistic choice that would result in an arrangement that is best for the children.
The court shall consider the best interests of the minor child which shall include, but not be limited to: (1) The relationship of the minor child to each parent prior to the commencement of the action or any subsequent hearing; (2) The desires and wishes of the minor child if of an age of comprehension regardless of chronological age, when such desires and wishes are based on sound reasoning; (3) The general health, welfare, and social behavior of the minor child; and (4) Credible evidence of abuse inflicted on any family or household member;
The court shall not give preference to either parent based on the sex of the parent and no presumption shall exist that either parent is more fit or suitable than the other.
The court may place a minor child in joint custody after conducting a hearing in open court and specifically finding that joint custody is in the best interests of the minor child regardless of any parental agreement or consent. (Nebraska Statutes - Chapter 42 - Sections: 364)
Determining Child Support: The basis for determining a monthly support amount is best achieved by referring to the Nebraska child support worksheet. The worksheet utilizes the child support guidelines that are defined by state law. The court will use this same worksheet as a building block for determining the support obligation, that is if you and your spouse are unable to come to an agreement on this issue.
In determining the amount of child support to be paid by a parent, the court shall consider the earning capacity of each parent and the guidelines provided by the Supreme Court for the establishment of child support obligations.
Upon application, hearing, and presentation of evidence of an abusive disregard of the use of child support money paid by one party to the other, the court may require the party receiving such payment to file a verified report with the court, as often as the court requires, stating the manner in which such money is used. Child support paid to the party having custody of the minor child shall be the property of such party. (Nebraska Statutes - Chapter 42 - Sections: 364)
Copyright Notice: These Nebraska divorce laws above are copyrighted by Divorce Source, Inc. This abbreviated and revised version of the state laws has been compiled from applicable state laws and unauthorized reproduction in any fashion is prohibited. Violation of this copyright notice may result in immediate legal action.
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