Nebraska Divorce Laws

If you find that you are facing a divorce in Nebraska, take some time to learn how the laws may affect you.

Who Can File for Divorce and On What Grounds

In the state of Nebraska, one of the parties must be a resident of the state and have a bona fide intention of making the state his or her home for one year prior to filing for divorce. The only exception is if the marriage was granted in the state and one of the parties has been a resident from the time of marriage to the time of filing, even if the period is less than a year. After filing, couples must wait 60 days before the divorce will be granted.

Nebraska allows for a no-fault divorce based on the claim that there is an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Fault divorce is granted if either spouse is mentally ill and cannot consent to divorce. This can also include situations in which the spouse is incapacitated because of drug or alcohol use.

Those who are in the military and are continuously stationed in Nebraska for one year or who were married in the state of Nebraska can file for divorce in the state. However, they must also follow all military family law regulations that apply to their situation. This is why they often choose to use an attorney who specializes in military family law.

Division of Property

Nebraska follows the equitable distribution model for dividing property after a divorce. This model divides property based on what is fair, not necessarily what is equal, in cases where the individuals cannot come to an agreement on their own.

When the courts must step in, the process begins with determining what property is marital or non-marital. Once this has been determined, the courts will value the marital assets and liabilities assigned to each party. The final step is calculating and dividing the net marital estate between the parties in an equitable fashion.

Any property acquired prior to the marriage will be retained by its original owner. The courts will then consider the following factors when dividing property:

  • Contributions the spouses made tin acquiring the property
  • Amount of time they have been married
  • Current and potential economic statuses
  • Child custody arrangements

Child Custody

In cases that involve children, the interests of the children will be considered at all times when determining custody arrangements. The factors the courts consider when making this determination may include:

  • The child’s relationship to each parent prior to the divorce
  • The child’s wishes if he or she is old enough to reason and make these decisions
  • Health, welfare, and social behavior of the child
  • Any credible evidence of abuse from a family or household member

In most instances, each parent will retain the right to have full and equal access to the educational and medical records of the children, unless the court orders some other arrangement. The parents will retain the right to make emergency decisions about the child when they have physical custody of the child, including during visitation times, even if they do not have legal custody.


In some cases, the courts will award spousal support to one of the parties. In these cases, the factors considered will include:

  • Duration of the marriage
  • Contributions to the marriage by each party, including the care and education of children
  • Any interruption in careers or educational opportunities due to the marriage
  • Ability of the supported party to be employed without hurting the interests of the children they have custody of

Child support is based on the Income Shares Model. This divides the support needs between the parents based on their respective incomes. The earning capacity of the parents will be considered when making this decision.