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Nebraska Divorce Laws

If you live in Nebraska and are thinking about getting divorced, you should understand Nebraska divorce law. Every state is unique when it comes to the dissolution of marriage. Some states have strict residency requirements, while others are more lenient. The same is true when it comes to mandatory waiting periods.

You, or your spouse, must live in Nebraska for at least one year before filing for divorce. This is longer than most other states.

If the parties were married in Nebraska and either party has continuously resided in Nebraska between then and the filing of the complaint, a divorce may be brought in that situation as well. In that case, one or both of the parties may not have lived in Nebraska for less than a year.

Nebraska is a no-fault state. This means that the Nebraska courts don’t recognize the traditional grounds for divorce. The only basis for a no-fault divorce is that the marriage is irretrievably broken, and there is no chance for reconciliation.

Here, we will give a general overview of divorce laws in the state of Nebraska. We'll also provide a chart that breaks down the divorce process and court rules. If you need assistance, consult an experienced divorce attorney in Nebraska.

Divorce Laws in Nebraska

The Nebraska Supreme Court provides self-help resources for individuals considering divorce. However, many people in Nebraska retain a family law attorney to handle their divorce case. If you file a simple divorce case, you may be able to handle it on your own. A simple divorce is only available in specific circumstances.

To file for an uncontested divorce in Nebraska, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You have no minor children under age 19 with your spouse
  • Neither party is pregnant
  • The parties have resolved all issues regarding the division of property and debts
  • Neither party seeks alimony/spousal support
  • Neither party has a pension or retirement account

The divorce process may be pretty straightforward if you meet these criteria. If you and your spouse disagree on property division or have children, it becomes more complex.

Basic Divorce Process

The legal process for an uncontested or simple divorce is uncomplicated. One party files a Complaint for Dissolution with the clerk’s office. The petitioner must pay the requisite filing fee and submit several forms along with the complaint.

You must file your complaint for dissolution of marriage in the District Court in your county. For example, if you live in Omaha, you’ll file your papers in Douglas County.

The forms the district court requires for an uncontested divorce include:

  • Vital Statistics Certificate
  • Social Security Information form
  • Confidential Employment and Health Insurance Information form
  • Voluntary Appearance form or Praecipe for Summons (Notice of the Divorce)
  • Decree of Dissolution

Nebraska courts require that you prepare and submit a Decree of Dissolution. After your hearing, the judge will sign this divorce decree. The courts also require that you submit a Praecipe for Summons if you plan on using the sheriff to serve a copy of your divorce papers on your spouse.

It’s much easier to convince your spouse to sign a Voluntary Appearance form. This means they consent to service, allowing the 30-day response period to start at once. Your other option is to ask the court to allow service by publication if you are unable to locate your spouse.

The court clerk will return your divorce papers if you don’t submit the correct forms. You’ll have to refile them using the proper forms. You will not have to pay the filing fee twice.

Once the court files your papers, the divorce proceedings will commence. The court will schedule your court hearing and assign a case number.

Contested Divorce

You'll file a contested divorce if you and your spouse disagree on the divorce terms or have children with no agreement on custody and visitation. You’ll follow the same process outlined above, but you may have to undergo a trial.

The major divorce issues that may force a trial include:

Your Nebraska divorce attorney will ideally negotiate a settlement with your spouse’s lawyer. Trials are time-consuming and expensive. It’s better for everyone if you can settle your case without needing a trial.

Finalizing Your Divorce

Regardless of the type of divorce you file, the judge can only issue a divorce decree once the waiting period expires. In Nebraska, there is a 60-day cooling-off period. This gives the parties a final chance to change their minds about the divorce. It also allows you the opportunity to modify the divorce settlement agreement.

After the final hearing, the judge will issue your court order. By law, you cannot remarry for at least six months. This “six-month and a day” rule against remarriage applies to both contested and uncontested divorce cases.

Nebraska Divorce Laws Overview

The main provisions of Nebraska divorce laws are listed in the chart below. See FindLaw's Divorce section for a variety of helpful articles and resources.

Nebraska Divorce Code Section

§ 42-341 et seq. of the Nebraska Revised Statutes

Residency Requirements

Party must reside in the state for at least one year prior to filing for divorce. If the parties married in Nebraska and lived together in Nebraska during their marriage, they may have been residents of Nebraska for less than a year

Waiting Period

The waiting period in Nebraska is 60 days

Grounds for Divorce

Allows for no-fault divorce

Defenses to a Divorce Filing

The respondent spouse may not agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken

Note: State laws are always subject to change at any time, usually through new legislation or newly decided case law from higher courts. You should contact a Nebraska divorce attorney or conduct research to verify your state’s laws.

Get Professional Help From a Nebraska Divorce Attorney

Maybe you're thinking about getting a divorce. You may have already filed your divorce complaint. Wherever you are in the divorce process, you'll want to know you're getting everything you deserve. The best way to do this is to talk to a Nebraska divorce lawyer today.

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Nebraska Divorce Laws: Related Resources

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