When a couple decides to divorce, they often ask our team questions like, “How are assets divided in Nebraska?” In Nebraska, courts follow equitable distribution guidelines. While these guidelines are meant to help the property division process go as smoothly as possible, dividing assets tends to be one of the most complex and contentious aspects of a divorce. Our experienced Omaha divorce attorneys can guide you through this process and protect your interests.

What Are Marital Assets in Nebraska?

When two people file for a divorce in Nebraska, they are tasked with dividing all of the assets they’ve collected throughout their marriage. Unlike other states, Nebraska law does not automatically divide assets equally between two spouses. Instead, Nebraska gives judges the discretion to divide assets as fairly as possible. Marital assets can include, but are not limited to:

  • Real estate properties, such as the family home or other vacation properties
  • Cars and other vehicles
  • Art
  • Furniture
  • Stocks
  • Investments
  • Businesses
  • Retirement plans

Gifts and inheritances received during the marriage are exempt from the property division process, as they are classified as separate property.

How are assets divided in a divorce in Nebraska?

Understanding Equitable Distribution in Illinois

Nebraska 42-366 states that when two parties cannot agree on property division matters independently, the court will be put in charge of making the settlement. They will take into consideration all marital property, which can include any assets, real estate, pensions, retirement plans, stocks, and other shared belongings, as well as consider the financial situations of each party.

Because equitable distribution allows for a “fair but not always equal” division of assets, this means the court may divide property in a way they see as fair, and others do not. They will consider factors like both parties’ incomes and earning capacities, the length of the marriage, and the individual needs of each party. Economic misconduct may even be considered if the spouse used or spent marital assets on someone else.

Marital Property vs. Separate Property

Marital property refers to assets accumulated during the duration of the marriage. Nonmarital property, also known as separate property, refers to assets that a spouse had prior to a marriage or certain gifts they received during their marriage. Gifts or inheritances given to one spouse during a marriage are still considered nonmarital property.

How Assets Are Valued in a Nebraska Divorce

In a Nebraska divorce, assets are valued on a case-by-case basis, usually depending on the asset. Property, or even jewelry, for example, would need to be appraised to determine the value. The spouses (or courts) may consider factors such as market value for other assets that could be sold. The cost to replace or fix an asset plays a role in its value as well. Other assets like investments, stocks, or businesses that produce income are much harder to value but can be done.

Splitting the Family Home After Your Divorce

In an uncontested divorce, spouses have the opportunity to decide which party can keep the home. In a contested divorce, the courts normally get involved to help determine how the property is split. Nebraska law considers a few different factors when determining which spouse maintains the home in a divorce, including:

  • Whose name is on the mortgage
  • If the mortgage is paid off
  • How long the spouses lived in the house
  • Whether children live in the house

Once the financial value of the home is determined, the courts will decide what percentage of the value belongs to which spouse.

Asset Protection & Strategies in Nebraska

Asset protection is the process of defending one’s assets against future possible financial threats. Creating an estate plan is a very important step to take well before a divorce is at hand. Business owners and high-earning individuals are two types of people who benefit greatly from proactively implementing these strategies.

A prenuptial agreement, a legally binding contract signed by couples before marriage, is another proactive strategy a couple can take before the marriage begins to protect their assets in the event of a divorce. If assets are not protected prior to the marriage, the division is subject to Nebraska laws during the divorce.


Q: How Are Assets Split in a Divorce in Nebraska?

A: Nebraska law requires that assets are split fairly and according to equitable distribution laws. To do so, spouses must first separate marital assets from nonmarital assets. They should then have all of their marital assets valued by a professional. Gifts or inheritances given to one spouse during the course of the marriage do not count as marital property and will not have to be divided.

Q: Is Nebraska a 50/50 Divorce State?

A: No. Nebraska is not a 50/50 divorce state. This means that when dividing assets in a divorce, Nebraska law does not support an equal distribution of money, property, real estate, debt, vehicles, or investments. Instead, the law follows an equitable distribution split, which considers various factors to ensure each party receives a fair split of the assets accumulated during the marriage based on their personal contributions.

Q: What Is the Settlement Process for Divorce in Nebraska?

A: The settlement process for divorce in Nebraska is considered uncontested if both spouses agree to each term, such as property division, child custody, child support, and more. This process is generally much faster and less expensive than a contested divorce. In a contested divorce, spouses either work with a mediator to make compromises, or they must go through litigation where a judge settles decisions for them.

Q: Who Gets the Family House in a Divorce in Nebraska?

A: Once the financial value of the home is determined, the courts will decide what percentage of the value belongs to which spouse. They will either decide to award the physical home to one spouse and compensate the other based on their equity share or sell the home and divide the profits. Courts may sometimes force a sale based on what is deemed the better financial interest of the spouses.

Contact an Omaha Divorce Attorney

Navigating any divorce or separation is a very complex process. Our experienced attorneys at Stange Law Firm can guide you through the complexities of your situation and offer a helping hand through every legal proceeding you face. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.