Separating couples are often frustrated by the time it takes to complete a divorce in Nebraska.
While marriages can happen very quickly, divorces cannot. All divorcing couples are bound by certain state requirements and waiting periods before they obtain the piece of paper in their hands confirming the divorce.
It helps to know the duration of some basic processes if you are trying to get an idea of how long your divorce will take.
The standard timeline for a divorce in Nebraska
If you hire a lawyer in your divorce, one of the first questions you will probably ask is “How long is this going to take?”
Once the decision is made to separate, most couples want it over and done with as soon as possible.
However, the stakes are high in most divorces: the futures of the children, your financial security, and the division of property/debts are all uncertain and must be resolved.
Besides that, Nebraska imposes certain restrictions and waiting periods to ensure that everything is in order before a divorce is granted. In short, no divorce in Nebraska can be rushed.
In Nebraska, there is a 60-day waiting period after the dissolution is filed until the court will grant the dissolution. If there are children involved or if there is any dispute over property, the divorce will most likely take longer. The mandatory 60-day period is considered a “cooling off” period. The system provides time for a reconciliation of the marriage, which is rare but does happen.
Due to the many “unknowns” in your divorce, there is no standard timeframe for a divorce – but bear in mind that it can take anywhere from a few months to over a year.
Some of these unknowns include:
- Whether you meet the basic regulations for filing for divorce in Nebraska
- Whether there are children involved: this always slows the process down
- Whether you and your spouse can agree on the “big ticket” items: child custody/support, property division, spousal support, etc.
- How committed you and your ex are to an uncontested divorce
- Whether you are prepared to go to mediation or arbitration rather than a trial (for contested divorces)
Firstly, check that you meet the residency requirement in Nebraska: either you or your spouse must have been resident in the state for at least 12 months.
Once you confirm that, you at least know that you are eligible to file for divorce.
The main steps in a divorce
Assuming the residency hurdle is navigated, the next question is whether you and your spouse can sit around the dining room table and come to an agreement on the essential matters.
If so, you can file the Complaint for Dissolution of Marriage with the local courthouse and complete the divorce in as little as 60 days from that date. If the divorce is uncontested (you and your spouse agree to divorce AND on all the main issues AND are prepared to sign the paperwork to this effect), you can be granted a divorce around two months later.
However, if the courts are busy, your hearing may be delayed, which will further delay the finalization of the divorce. If children are involved, the parents may need to attend a parenting education seminar and a parenting plan will need to be agreed upon (including physical custody and visitation rights).
These steps in the process can add months to the timeline, depending on how far apart you and your spouse are in agreeing terms.
If outstanding issues cannot be resolved and the case goes to trial, not only can it become stressful and adversarial but it can add many months (or even years in the most serious cases) to the divorce timeframe.
Looking to avoid delays in your divorce?
The level of cooperation between you and your spouse in exchanging information and the level of commitment to a fair settlement are probably the two most important factors in determining how long your divorce will take.
Regardless of how quickly you resolve outstanding issues, your divorce is not finalized until the judge signs the Decree of Dissolution of Marriage.
The divorce attorneys at Nebraska Legal Group will work in your interests to ensure that delays are kept to a minimum.
Contact an experienced divorce attorney for a free case evaluation.