What is “No Fault” Divorce?
Each state has its own laws related to divorce. Nebraska, like most states, is a “no fault” divorce state. This means that neither party is required to prove that the other is “at fault” in order to be granted the divorce.
Factors such as infidelity, cruelty, or abandonment are not necessary to receive a divorce. In most cases the testimony of one party that reconciliation efforts have failed and that the marriage is “irretrievably broken” is sufficient evidence for the granting of the dissolution of the marriage.
In short, it is neither necessary to have your spouse agree to the divorce nor prove a wrongdoing during the marriage in order to obtain a divorce.
Does Nebraska have a Residency Requirement for Divorce?
Yes. Either the husband or the wife must have been a resident of Nebraska for at least one year in order to meet the residency requirement for a divorce in Nebraska, unless the marriage is shorter than one year and the parties were married in Nebraska.
If neither party meets the residency requirement, you may still have many legal options available for your protection.
How is Legal Separation Different from Divorce?
Seeking a legal separation is different than a divorce. A legal separation is for persons who intend to remain married and live apart. In Nebraska, it is not necessary to pursue a legal separation prior to filing for divorce.
Often, unnecessary legal fees are incurred if you choose to file for a legal separation and subsequently file for a divorce. For this reason, legal separations are most often used in specific situations, such as:
- Residency in Nebraska for one year has not been established
- The parties are elderly and remarriage is not anticipated
- Religious convictions commit an individual to remain married
Is there a Waiting Period?
Yes. Under Nebraska law, a Decree of Dissolution (divorce decree) cannot be finalized until 60 days has passed since the responding party has official notice of the filing of the divorce.
Do I have to Wait Until a Final Hearing to Get Relief from the Court?
Temporary orders may be obtained after filing the initial complaint in order to provide guidelines and relief to the parties while the case is awaiting the final order.
Some of the relief which can be requested at a temporary hearing are:
- Restraining orders regarding the transfer of accounts or assets
- Temporary possession of the marital residence
- Custody and Visitation
- Child support
- Health insurance
- Temporary attorney fees
Protection Orders can also be sought at any time. For more information see Domestic Violence and Protection Orders.
How Long will My Divorce Take?
In most cases the time required to complete a divorce ranges from 4 months to over a year.
Many factors can impact the length of time required to complete a divorce. Among these are:
- The nature of the issues contested. For example, a long term marriage with contested custody is likely to take much longer than a short-term marriage with no children.
- The availability of information. When the parties are cooperative in exchanging information, the divorce action can proceed more efficiently. If you are concerned that you spouse has hidden assets, more time may be needed to identify and locate them. However, if you both know what your assets are, where they are held, and how much they are worth, this dramatically reduces time spent.
- The judge assigned to your case. The number of cases pending on the docket of each judge can vary greatly. In some cases, a delay occurs while waiting for an available hearing date.
We have found that many clients are very anxious to have the legal process concluded while others feel that they need time for their emotions to catch up with the court proceedings. At Koenig|Dunne Divorce Law we are sensitive to your need to expedite the process or, in some cases, to slow it down. Regardless of the pace at which your case proceeds, you can be assured that the firm will keep you informed of the status of your case at all times.
Will I have to go to Court?
Some hearings on procedural matters are attended only by the attorneys. Other hearings, such as Temporary Hearings, are typically attended by both parties and their attorneys.
Occasionally, a “Final Hearing” may be held. This is only necessary in some instances and held if a complete and final settlement on all issues is reached. Consult with your attorney regarding whether a Final Hearing is necessary in your case.
If issues remain disputed, a trial will be held and your attendance is required.
Koenig | Dunne Divorce Law will keep you informed of any court hearings which require your attendance and will thoroughly prepare you for your participation.
Can I Predict What Will Happen in my Case?
Every case is different. Even if you are unsure whether a divorce is in your future, we encourage you to contact our office to schedule a consultation in order to get a clearer picture of how the law in Nebraska may apply to the facts in your case should you find yourself needing legal protection in the future.