There is a simple answer to this question – avoid conflict with your ex!
Of course, that is easier said than done. Most divorces are emotional and stressful times for couples going their separate ways, especially if children are involved. This can lead to heated disputes and feuds developing.
If that can be avoided, there is a good chance that your divorce can go through in the minimum of time and with the minimum of expense – but regardless of the situation, it won’t happen in a matter of weeks.
Three methods for a quick(er) divorce
Generally speaking, the quickest divorces in Nebraska happen when there are no children and no disputed property.
Below we look at the three main ways to ensure that your divorce proceeds without the delays or unnecessary expense of it going through a long process in the Nebraska courts.
1. DIY divorce
A pro se divorce in Nebraska is sometimes thought of as a “DIY” divorce. This is because no attorney represents you. Instead, you and your spouse manage the entire process yourselves.
While it is most common in uncontested divorces, where couples are in agreement about the major issues, there is nothing in the law to say that you must have an attorney in a contested divorce. Most people decide that the experience of an attorney will protect their interests and ensure that the agreement is legally binding. Pro-se divorces are more common in cases without children.
With a DIY divorce, you obtain and complete the necessary documents from the Clerk of the Court in the courthouse in the county where you or your spouse resides (at least one of you must have been resident in Nebraska for a year). You fill out the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and other paperwork, file it with the court and essentially handle the divorce process from there.
Providing the agreement is acceptable for both parties, the paperwork is completed correctly, and the judge is satisfied that you are ready to go your separate ways, the final decree can be signed at a hearing 60 days after divorce papers have been served – and your divorce will be finalized 30 days after that.
While this may sound attractive because it saves attorney fees, beware of the common red flags associated with not hiring legal assistance: disputes developing over the payment of taxes and debts or alimony, complications over the division of retirement accounts, child custody issues, and incorrect paperwork being filed. We often see many people in our office because the pro-se forms were filled out incorrectly, or were missing vital information!
Divorces can become more complex than most people suspect at first. So, be aware that you may still need to speak to a divorce attorney even if you and your spouse part amicably.
2. Uncontested divorce
If you and your spouse can reach an agreement on all the major issues in the divorce by discussing them around the kitchen table, you should be able to proceed with an uncontested divorce.
This is most common in situations where there are no property or debt disputes and no children to consider. You agree on all the financial and custodial issues that need consideration during a divorce.
There are no special rules for uncontested divorces in Nebraska but they are generally the quickest. Unlike with a pro se divorce, in an uncontested divorce, the couple may still hire an attorney to assist in drawing up the paperwork and to negotiate any final issues.
An experienced attorney can also identify any issues that have been missed in the agreement. Once you sign the paperwork, it is too late to go back, so having an attorney check the separation agreement is a good idea for most couples.
Uncontested divorces keep the expense, time taken and stress levels to a minimum and allow spouses to move on with their lives as soon as possible. If any type of divorce can be described as “ideal”, this could be it.
If you and your spouse do not agree on all the major issues, you will need to file a petition for a contested divorce. This is usually more expensive and time-consuming than an uncontested divorce. It will take at least six months and considerably more if a trial is required.
3. Mediated divorce
A mediated divorce can also save time and expense if there are disputed or unresolved issues between spouses.
In a mediated divorce, a qualified divorce attorney or other independent mediator is hired by the couple to assist in settling their issues and, assuming the mediation is successful, preparing the appropriate paperwork.
The neutral third party does not make any decisions or provide legal advice. Decision-making power remains with you and your spouse. However, mediators use their experience to facilitate agreements on some or all of the outstanding issues.
If this manages to keep the spouses out of court, it can be seen as a type of victory as it will save a great deal of time, money, and stress – and it also ensures that the details of the agreement remain confidential rather than a matter of public record (as with a court trial).
Looking for a quick divorce?
Regardless of how quickly you resolve your issues with your spouse, your divorce must pass through the Nebraska court system and is not finalized until the judge signs the Decree of Dissolution of Marriage. In Douglas County, a parenting plan must also be submitted to and approved by the Conciliation Court.
This usually takes months – not weeks – but our divorce attorneys will work in your interests to ensure that delays are kept to a minimum.
Contact the experienced divorce attorneys at Nebraska Legal Group for a free case evaluation.