- One of the spouses must have been a resident of Nebraska for at least 1 year (or)
- the marriage was performed in Nebraska and 1 of the spouses has lived in Nebraska for the entire marriage
The dissolution of marriage may be filed for in a county where either spouse resides. There is a 60-day waiting period after service of the petition for dissolution of marriage on the respondent before the case can be decided in court.
- No Fault Divorce: Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
[Revised Statutes of Nebraska; Chapter 42, Section 361].
- General Divorce: Spouse lacked mental capacity to consent (including temporary incapacity resulting from drug or alcohol use).
Legal Separation in Nebraska
Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage is the only grounds for a legal separation in Nebraska. There are no residency requirements specified in the statute. If the residency requirements for dissolution of marriage are met after the petition for legal separation has been filed, the spouse filing may change the proceeding to a proceeding for dissolution of marriage.
Simplified/Special Divorce Procedures
Joint petitions for dissolution of marriage may be filed by both spouses. In such cases, the spouses should be referred to as “Co-Petitioners” on the court documents. In addition, marital settlement agreements are specifically authorized by law.
Divorce Mediation or Counseling Requirements
A dissolution of marriage will not be granted until every reasonable effort for a reconciliation has been made. If it appears to the court that there is some reasonable possibility of reconciliation, dissolution of marriage actions may be transferred to a conciliation court or the spouses may be referred to a qualified marriage counselor, family service agency, or other agency which provides conciliation services. Official conciliation counselors are available in counties of over 250,000 persons.
Divorce Property Distribution
Nebraska is an “equitable distribution” jurisdiction. The spouses retain their separate property acquired prior to the marriage. All of the spouse’s marital property, including any gifts and inheritances acquired during the marriage, may be divided, based on a consideration of the following factors:
- The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition of the marital property, including the contribution of each spouse as homemaker
- The economic circumstances of each spouse at the time the division of property is to become effective
- The length of the marriage
- Any custodial provisions for the children
Alimony and Spousal Support
Either spouse may be ordered to pay reasonable spousal support, without regard to marital fault, based on a consideration of the following factors:
- The circumstances of both spouses
- The duration of the marriage
- The contribution of each spouse to the marriage, including services rendered in homemaking, childcare, education, and career-building of the other spouse
- Any interruption of personal careers or education
- The ability of the supported spouse to engage in gainful employment without interfering with the interests of any minor children in his or her custody
Reasonable security for the payments may be required.
Joint or sole custody of children is determined according to the best interests of the child and based on a consideration of the following factors:
- The general health, welfare, and social behavior of the child
- The preference of the child, if the child is of sufficient age and capacity
- The child’s relationship with each parent prior to the filing for dissolution of marriage
- Any credible evidence of child or spousal abuse
No preference is to be given because of parent’s sex. Joint custody may be awarded if both parents agree.
Child Support After Divorce
The amount of child support is determined based on a consideration of the earning capacity of each parent. There are official Supreme Court child support guidelines which should be available from the clerk of the court.