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Nebraska Marital Property Laws

Nebraska, like most states, is an equitable distribution state. In these states, all property a couple acquires during a marriage is marital property. During a divorce or legal separation, all marital property gets divided fairly between the parties. The division of assets depends on the financial circumstances of the parties, so it may not be equal.

A few states, such as California and Texas, are community property states. In these states, courts divide marital property 50/50 between the spouses. Each state has its own definition of community and separate property. Equitable division gives judges more discretion in dividing property.

Couples can decide how to divide marital and separate property during the divorce process with a prenuptial agreement or other written property settlement agreement. Nebraska judges review these agreements and make them part of the divorce decree if the judge finds them fair and equitable (Nebraska Revised Statute §42-366).

Note: State laws are subject to change through the passage of new legislation, court rulings (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. FindLaw strives to provide the most current information available. You should always consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) before making any legal decisions.

Marital Property vs. Separate Property

In Nebraska (NRS § 42-617), marital property is all property acquired during the marriage by either or both spouses. It’s also:

  • Property acquired by exchanging marital property (such as trading in a car)

  • Increase in value (like appreciation on real estate)

  • Profits from property (such as from a business)

  • Income from property (like rents)

Separate property is property a spouse acquired before the marriage, inherited or gifted property, and property acquired after a spouse files for divorce. When dividing property, spouses keep their separate property unless there’s evidence of use as marital property.

Under Nebraska law, appreciation on nonmarital property may be separate or part of the marital estate.

  • If the increase is due to a contribution by either spouse, the increase is marital property

  • If the increase is due to market forces, it remains separate property

For instance, if one spouse has a business worth $5 million at the start of the marriage and $10 million at the time of the divorce, the $5 million is a marital asset if either spouse ran the business during the marriage. If the spouse owned the business and the increase was due to a rise in property values, it remains separate property.

The portion of retirement plans, pensions, and other accounts that accrue during a marriage are part of the marital estate.

Visit FindLaw's Divorce and Property section for additional resources.

Nebraska Marital Property Laws

If a spouse wants to claim some marital property as separate property, they must prove the property was commingled, that is, combined with the marital assets. A process known as "tracing" tracks a separate asset through the marital assets. The spouse making the claim must show that the separate asset should be removed from the marital assets.

Division of property doesn’t have to be 50/50. Judges can consider a number of factors when dividing marital assets, including:

  • The duration of the marriage

  • Each party's current and future earning potential

  • Marital and nonmarital assets owned by each party

  • Each party's education, employability, and job experience

  • Child custody and child support obligations

  • Each party's contribution to the marriage

Judges must make a division of property without interfering in the interests of any minor children in the parent's custody. For instance, if one spouse owns the family home but the other spouse has primary custody, Nebraska divorce law allows the custodial parent to receive the home.

Research the Law

Nebraska Marital Property Laws: Related Resources

Get Legal Advice From a Nebraska Divorce Lawyer

Divorce proceedings are complicated. Handling a divorce yourself is difficult. Contact a Nebraska divorce attorney in your area for legal assistance with a marital property or divorce matter.

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