When pressing legal matters to affect Nebraska families, it is difficult to know where or who to turn to for guidance. Our experience from answering the Omaha divorce and family law questions of our clients has shown us that there are certain commonly recurring questions we hear more frequently than others. This FAQ is designed to answer those common questions. However, we also recognize every divorce and family law case is unique. If you need any additional information, talk to an Omaha divorce and family law attorney who will help you resolve your family law case and concerns.
What Are the Legal Grounds for Divorce in Nebraska?
Nebraska is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that specific acts of wrongdoing are not needed for a divorce to be granted. A spouse in need of a divorce must instead show that the marriage has irreconcilable differences and that these differences led to the breakdown of the marriage.
Technically, there are two legal grounds for divorce in Nebraska:
- Mentally ill and lacks the ability to consent to a dissolution of marriage;
- Drug and alcohol abuse.
Because of the availability of no-fault grounds however, these other legal bases are almost never used.
However, fault may still be used to determine how child custody, spousal support and similar matters are decided.
How Do I Begin a Nebraska Divorce Proceeding?
The best way to begin a divorce proceeding in Nebraska is to file a divorce petition in the same county where you and/or your spouse reside. However, it is in your best interests to talk with an Omaha divorce and family law lawyer before filing. Receiving the legal counsel of an attorney will help ensure that you fulfill all legal residency requirements. And, a divorce and family law attorney in Omaha will make sure that the district court you file in has jurisdiction over the Nebraska divorce proceeding.
Will I Receive Alimony or Spousal Support?
Alimony or spousal support is dependent on the unique circumstances of Nebraska spouses. A Nebraska court will consider the circumstances of all parties involved, including factors such as the length of the marriage and the contributions of each spouse to the marriage. These contributions include caring for and educating children, postponing personal careers, and similar marital sacrifices.
A court will look at all factors affecting the current and future earnings of a spouse, and after weighing these factors, you may be entitled to alimony.
How Is Property Divided in a Nebraska Divorce?
Nebraska is an equitable property division state, meaning that the goal of a property division is that each party receives a fair and reasonable amount of property. Additionally, spouses are entitled to manage any property that is exclusively in their name. However, the name on a given property will not be the only deciding factor in how property is divided. Rather, a Nebraska judge divides property in a manner that is equitable and fair, which does not necessarily mean the distribution will be equal.
Some of the factors a court will consider when making a property award include:
- The contribution each spouse made toward the marital estate;
- The current and future economic status of the spouses;
- The duration of the marriage; and
- The child custody arrangement of minor children.
How Is Nebraska Child Custody Determined?
Nebraska family law courts begin a child custody determination with the presumption that it is in a child’s best interests to maintain regular and ongoing contact with both parents. As such, joint custody is frequently encouraged.
But, the exact nature of a time-sharing agreement depends on using a number of factors to determine what is truly in the best interest of the child. Negative or harmful parental behaviors can be used to show that the parent’s child custody privileges should be reduced or diminished.