How to File Divorce in Nebraska

How to File Divorce in Nebraska

People love to say that divorce rates are increasing, but the statistics in Nebraska do not bear that out.  

Divorce peaked in Nebraska in the 1970s after it was normalized, but then it has declined steadily ever since. It probably helps that the number of teenagers getting married has decreased rapidly as well since they have a higher rate of divorce.  

If your marriage is headed towards divorce then you should study up on the following laws.  

Not for outsiders

To file for divorce in Nebraska, you or your spouse need to have been a resident of Nebraska for 12 months first.

You can prove this by showing you had a home in the state for at least that long.  If you are moving to Nebraska you probably want to get your divorce done before you move or you will be waiting for a while.  

No fault needed

Until the 1970s, getting divorced in America was only allowed if your spouse did something wrong, like committing adultery or abuse. That was widely seen as a bad system that trapped people in unhappy relationships.  

Many couples would even work together to fake an affair to get a divorce.  

As a result, states adopted no-fault divorce grounds that allowed a couple to simply split up if they wanted to.  Some states still allow fault divorces, but Nebraska does not.

The only ground for divorce in Nebraska is that “the marriage is irretrievably broken.”  If one spouse denies that the relationship is over, the judge can look for evidence that the marriage is indeed irretrievably broken. As a practical matter, though, if a spouse wants out of their marriage the judge is going to allow it.  

Waiting period for filing divorce in Nebraska

Nebraska law says that a judge cannot enter a divorce called a decree of dissolution of marriage until 60 days after one spouse has delivered the divorce petition to the other one.  As a practical matter, this means that every divorce is going to take at least two months to be finalized.

Forms to make filing divorce in Nebraska  an easy process

Nebraska has adopted forms to help make “simple” divorces easier.  

They are even automated, so they work just like tax-preparation software that asks you some questions and then fills out your forms for you.  

There is a version of the form for couples with children and one for couples with no children.  If you have no children and no disputed property, you just have to provide some basic biographical information and ask the judge to split your property.  

A written parenting plan

The form for couples with children also requires a written parenting plan that addresses legal custody, physical custody, parenting time, and child support.  

Child support is calculated using a calculator provided by the state that looks at how much time each parent has the child and what their incomes are, among other factors.  

Complicated divorces are those that involve things like custody disputes, visitation disputes, and property disputes.  

If you are needing to divide up a family business at divorce, for example, you probably cannot count on doing it with a simple form.  In a complicated case, a lawyer is probably necessary.

Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?

If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.

Take Course