Nebraska Divorce Law

Divorce – State Law Summary – Nebraska

Notes:  This summary is not intended to be an all-inclusive summary of the laws of divorce in the State of Nebraska, but does contain basic and other procedures.

Grounds for divorce
Irreconcilable differences is the only grounds upon which a divorce may be granted in the State of Nebraska.  42-361

Residency requirements
At least one of the parties to the action for dissolution of marriage must be a bona fide resident of Nebraska for at least one year, or the marriage must have been solemnized in Nebraska and at least one of the parties lived in Nebraska for the entire marriage.  42-349

Name of court and title of action/parties
An action for divorce is filed in the District Court.  The title of the action initiating the divorce is a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.  The title of the action granting the divorce is referred to as the Decree of Dissolution of Marriage.  The party filing the action is the Petitioner, while the other party is referred to as the Respondent.  If the petition is filed jointly, both parties are referred to as Co-Petitioners42-352

Legal separation
Nebraska law permits judgments of legal separation to be granted upon the same grounds as judgments of dissolution of marriage.  42-350

Mediation
No decree of dissolution of marriage will be entered unless the court finds that every reasonable effort for a reconciliation has been made.  If the court determines that there is a reasonable possibility of reconciliation, the court may transfer the matter to conciliation court or counseling.  42-360

Alimony
Either party may be ordered to pay alimony to the other party as the court deems reasonable, after consideration of the following factors:
1. The circumstances of the parties;
2. The duration of the marriage;
3. The history of contributions to the marriage;
4. The ability of the supported party to engage in gainful employment without interfering with the interests of any minor children in the party’s custody.

Unless the parties agree otherwise, the duty to pay alimony terminates upon the death of either party of the remarriage of the recipient. 42-365

Distribution of property
The court will distribute the marital property of the parties as it deems equitable and just, after consideration of the following factors:
1. The circumstances of the parties;
2. The duration of the marriage;
3. The history of contributions to the marriage;
4. The ability of the supported party to engage in gainful employment without interfering with the interests of any minor children in the party’s custody.  42-365

Child Custody
In determining custodial arrangements, the court will consider the best interests of the child.  Factors the court will consider in determining the child’s best interests include:
1. The relationship of the child to each parent;
2. The desires and wishes of the child;
3. The general health, welfare and social behavior of the child;
4. Any credible evidence of abuse inflicted upon any household member.

Preference will not be given to either parent based upon the sex of the parent and no presumption exists that one parent would be more fit or suitable than the other.

Regardless of custodial arrangements, each parent shall have full and equal access to the education and medical records of the child and may make emergency decisions affecting the health or safety of the child while in that parent’s physical custody, unless otherwise ordered by the court.  42-364

Child support
Nebraska has established child support guidelines which establish a rebuttable presumption that the amount of support contained in the guidelines is the correct amount of support due.  The courts may deviate from the guidelines upon a showing that the application of the guidelines would result in an unjust or inappropriate result.  42-364.16

Parenting education class
Any party to a divorce action involving minor children of the marriage may be ordered to complete a parenting education course prior to the entry of a final judgement of dissolution of marriage.  42-349.01


Inside Nebraska Divorce Law