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Nebraska Divorce Laws

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Nebraska Divorce Laws

RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS AND WHERE TO FILE:

To file for a dissolution of marriage in the state of Nebraska, at least one party must be a resident of the state for at least one year prior to filing. All proceedings shall be brought in the district court of the county in which one of the parties resides. [Based on Nebraska Statutes - Chapter 42 - Sections: 342, 349]

LEGAL GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE:

Nebraska bases dissolution on the basis of the marriage being irretrievably broken. If there is not dispute that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court, after hearing, shall make a finding whether the marriage is irretrievably broken. If one of the parties disputes that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court shall consider all relevant factors, including the circumstances that gave rise to the filing of the complaint and the prospect of reconciliation, and shall make a finding whether the marriage is irretrievably broken. [Based on Nebraska Statutes - Chapter 42 - Section: 361]

LEGAL SEPARATION:

If a complaint for legal separation is filed before residence requirements for dissolution of marriage have been complied with, either party, upon complying with such requirements, may amend his or her pleadings to request a dissolution of marriage. When a legal separation is granted, the court may issue an order of support, taking into consideration the circumstances of the parties 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. [Based on Nebraska Statutes - Chapter 42 - Section: 350, 368]

SPECIAL DIVORCE PROCEDURES:

A divorce suit shall not be heard or tried until sixty days after service of process, at which time the suit may be heard or tried and a decree may be entered. In any divorce action involving minor children or an action involving child custody or visitation, the parties may be required to complete a parenting education course prior to the entry by the court of a final judgment. [Based on Nebraska Statutes - Chapter 42 - Sections: 349.01 and 363]

MEDIATION OR COUNSELING REQUIREMENTS:

Whenever any action for divorce, annulment, or separation is filed and it appears to the court that there is any minor child of the spouses or of either of them whose welfare may be adversely affected by the dissolution or annulment of the marriage or the disruption of the household and that there appears to be some reasonable possibility of a reconciliation being effected, the case may be transferred to the conciliation court for proceedings for reconciliation of the spouses or amicable settlement of issues in controversy, in accordance with the Conciliation Court Law. It is only when there exists a reasonable possibility of reconciliation that the statutes require efforts be made to effect it. [Based on Nebraska Statutes - Chapter 42 - Sections: 360 and 822]

PROPERTY DISTRIBUTION:

Nebraska is an equitable distribution state, and tries to distribute the marital assets equitably between the parties. The court will take into consideration 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.

Equitable property division under this section is a three-step process. The first step is to classify the parties' property as marital or non-marital. The second step is to value the marital assets and marital liabilities of the parties. The third step is to calculate and divide the net marital estate between the parties in accordance with the principles contained in this section. [Based on Nebraska Statutes - Chapter 42 - Section: 365]

ALIMONY/MAINTENANCE/SPOUSAL SUPPORT:

The purpose of alimony is to provide for the continued maintenance or support of one party by the other when the relative economic circumstances and the other criteria enumerated in this section make it appropriate. Except as otherwise agreed by the parties in writing or by order of the court, alimony orders shall terminate upon the death of either party or the remarriage of the recipient. [Based on Nebraska Statutes - Chapter 42 - Section: 365]

SPOUSE'S NAME:

Either the plaintiff or the defendant may include a request to restore his or her former name when a pleading is filed for dissolution or annulment. [Based on Nebraska Statutes - Chapter 42 - Section: 380]

CHILD CUSTODY:

In determining custody arrangements and the time to be spent with each parent, 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. In determining custody arrangements, the court shall consider the best interests of the minor child which shall include, but are not be limited to:

  • The relationship of the minor child to each parent prior to the commencement of the action or any subsequent hearing.
  • 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.
  • The general health, welfare, and social behavior of the minor child.
  • Credible evidence of abuse inflicted on any family or household member.

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.

[Based on Nebraska Statutes - Chapter 42 - Section: 364]

CHILD SUPPORT:

Either parent may be ordered to pay child support. 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 Nebraska child support guidelines provided by the Supreme Court. Child support orders may include income withholding orders if the paying parent is employed for someone else.

An obligor's duty to pay child support for a child terminates when:

  • The child reaches nineteen years of age.
  • The child marries.
  • The child dies.
  • The child is emancipated by a court of competent jurisdiction, unless the court order for child support specifically extends child support after such circumstances.

[Based on Nebraska Statutes - Chapter 42 - Sections: 364, 364.01, 371.01]

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