Divorce in Nebraska, Part 2

Excepting mental illness, dissolution of marriage is no-fault

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Please see “Divorce in Nebraska, Part 1” for important information about:

  • the benefits of counseling and
  • the need to immediately address domestic violence if that is part of your reason for separating or divorcing (includes useful links to resources that can help with domestic violence, including urgent situations)
  • which court to file in, and
  • residency requirements

Remember, a trained, experienced attorney can help not only with the divorce itself but with referrals for counseling and handling any domestic violence issues that might be present.

Annulment and legal separation

State law allows annulments under section 42-103. Legal separation is provided for, and may be necessary if the residency requirements can not be met; under section 42-350 once either party meets those requirements, divorce proceedings may resume.

Grounds for divorce (“dissolution of marriage”)

Nebraska is almost wholly a no-fault state, in that section 42-361 allows the court to rule when both parties agree the marriage is irretrievably broken, or when one party so asserts and the other does not deny, and even when one party does deny, “under oath or affirmation.

A mentally ill spouse

However, if either spouse is mentally ill–or “incapacitated” via substance abuse–such that the party is unable to properly give consent or agree that the marriage id irretrievably broken, the court can rule under section 42-362; the court also can “make such order for the support and maintenance of such mentally ill person as it may deem necessary and proper, having due regard to the property and income of the parties, and the court may require the party ordered to provide support and maintenance to file a bond or otherwise give security for such support.”

Divorce without children or disputed property

According to the Nebraska Online Legal Self-Help Center, the forms and instruction they provide are not guaranteed to be appropriate for every case and any questions should be directed to a lawyer. Furthermore, “these forms and instructions are intended only for divorce cases [in which]:

  • There are no children and none are expected;
  • There is no real property (real estate), nor an ongoing business being operated by one of the parties, and all other property has or can be divided without argument.  The parties are fully aware of all debts incurred during the marriage and have or will be able to agree on who will pay each debt.
  • Neither party has a pension or retirement plan with  his or her present employer, or from a past employer.
  • No alimony will be requested by either party.

NOTE: UNLESS YOU MEET ALL OF THESE REQUIREMENTS YOU SHOULD NOT ATTEMPT TO DO YOUR OWN DIVORCE USING THESE FORMS AND INSTRUCTIONS, AND YOU SHOULD NOT PROCEED WITHOUT THE HELP OF A LAWYER.”

Divorce forms for these actions, that is, divorce with no children and no property disputes can be found here. The rest of the page discusses when and how to file, the waiting period, giving proper notice, and so on, through the hearing and after the hearing.

Contested divorce

The court provides no self-help for more complex cases, such as those involving child custody disputes or those involving significant assets. In such cases, the assumption is both parties will retain legal counsel.

Free evaluation

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