Lancaster County Divorce Lawyers Serving Residents in Lincoln, Nebraska and the Surrounding Areas
Making the official decision to get a divorce is never easy, especially when reflecting on the impact it will have on your family, personal life, and future. The process that goes into getting a divorce in Lincoln, Nebraska can also be very overwhelming and sometimes hinders two otherwise incompatible people from taking the necessary steps to dissolve their marriage. However, with the support of Lincoln, NE divorce lawyers, many couples have faced these challenges and have pursued the divorces they needed for the betterment of everyone involved – and so can you.
At Stange Law Firm, our Lincoln divorce attorneys have focused their entire careers on divorce and family law because they understand how delicate and difficult the process can be. We will provide you with the compassionate, results-driven family law representation you need to help resolve your divorce as efficiently and amicably as possible.
From our office in Omaha, Nebraska in Douglas County, we assists the residents in Lincoln, Nebraska and the surrounding areas with a wide range of family law matters, including:
Lincoln, Nebraska Child Support Lawyers: If you are interested in finding out more information about child support, our webpage has additional information.
Lincoln, NE Child Custody Lawyers: If you are in need of a child custody lawyer, we have attorneys that can help.
Lincoln, NE Paternity Lawyers: If you are an unmarried parent that is in need of a custody attorney, we have lawyers who can assist.
Lincoln, Nebraska Fathers’ Rights Attorneys: If you are a father in need of a divorce or family law representation, we have lawyers who can assist.
Lincoln, NE Family Law Attorneys: We can help with your family law needs in the Lincoln, NE area in Lancaster County.
The attorneys that you will find at Stange Law Firm, PC understand that your divorce and family law matter in Lincoln, NE may be one of the most difficult times in your life. That’s why our Lancaster County divorce attorneys are here to fight for you, whether your divorce is uncontested or contested. Additionally, our attorneys can assist if your case must be resolved at a trial.
You can also find out more information about Lincoln, Nebraska and our office in Omaha here:
Stange Law Firm in Omaha, Nebraska: Click this link for Google Map directions to our Omaha, NE office in Douglas County.
Government Website for Lincoln, NE: Interested in learning more about the government for Lincoln, Nebraska? Click this link to read more.
Local Rules: If you are interested in the local rules for Lancaster County, Nebraska, please click this link to read more.
Lancaster County Courthouse: Click here for the address and directions to the Lancaster County Courthouse.
What Is the Difference Between an Uncontested and Contested Divorce?
Nebraska family law consists of two different types of divorce proceedings: contested and uncontested divorces. When both spouses agree on all aspects of the divorce, including property division, spousal support, child custody, and child support, the divorce is uncontested. If the couple cannot agree on any divorce-related issue, then the divorce is considered contested.
A contested divorce will require more court intervention to determine how the couple’s assets will be divided, whether spousal support will be ordered, and what the child custody and visitation arrangements will be. It also can take significantly longer to finalize than an uncontested divorce and often accumulates more legal fees. However, the effort can be worthwhile if it means achieving a more favorable outcome for you and your children.
How to Avoid a Contested Divorce
The best way to avoid a contested divorce is by working together with your spouse to arrive at a mutual agreement. Most couples will need assistance from a skilled professional through one of the following options:
- Mediation: During mediation, a mediator helps the couple work together to come to an agreement on all aspects of their divorce. They will challenge each couple to consider their divorce from the other spouse’s perspective and to think about what would be fair for both parties. Once an agreement is made, the mediator will prepare a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which will be given to the couple’s respective attorneys. The attorneys will then use the MOU to draft the final divorce settlement agreement, which will be submitted to the court for approval.
- Collaborative law: Collaborative law is a process where both spouses have their own attorneys, but the focus is on reaching an amicable settlement outside of court. If the couple can come to an agreement, their attorneys will draft the settlement agreement. If an agreement cannot be reached, the attorneys are required to withdraw from the case, and the couple will have to start the divorce process over with new attorneys. This provides a significant incentive for both spouses and their attorneys to reach an agreement.
- Arbitration: During the arbitration, both spouses present their case to an arbitrator, who will then decide on how to resolve the couple’s disputed issues. Their decision is carefully made based on Nebraska law and what they believe is fair to both parties. Once the arbitrator decides, it is final, and the couple’s attorneys will draft the settlement agreement accordingly.
Any of these three methods can help a couple avoid a contested divorce. They provide an opportunity for the couple to work together and come to an agreement that is fair for both parties, rather than extending the divorce timeline and having a judge make the decisions for them.
COMMON DIVORCE QUESTIONS IN NEBRASKA
What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Nebraska?
In Nebraska, an irretrievably broken marriage is the only grounds for divorce. Provided a judge is satisfied that all attempts to repair and make amends have been exhausted, a divorce can be granted. This is most easily done by having both spouses affirm in writing that they believe the marriage to be irretrievably broken, though only one spouse’s affirmation will suffice so long as the other spouse does not deny it.
Some reasons why an individual may feel the marriage is broken beyond repair and file for divorce include:
- Financial stress
- Communication problems
- Emotional abuse
- Alcohol or drug addiction
- Physical abuse
These reasons and more can pile up, leading one spouse to feel they no longer want to remain in the marriage. While these reasons may lead to a broken marriage, it is not necessary or required to legally prove that either spouse was guilty of any of the above or was generally at fault for the breakup of the marriage. As Nebraska is a “no-fault” divorce state, fault or guilt is not attributed to either party in the divorce documentation.
Residency Requirements in Lincoln, Nebraska
If you are going to get divorced in the State of Nebraska, either you or your spouse must have been a resident of Nebraska for one (1) year prior to filing a divorce with the courts. The one exception to this is if you were married in Nebraska, have been married less than one (1) year, and also have resided in the state of Nebraska the entire time since your marriage.
This action should be filed in the county where the petitioner resides. Whoever is filing for divorce should generally do so in the county in which they live. In some cases, a motion for a change of venue is a possibility.
Name of the Court and Title of the Action/Parties in Lancaster County
Here are a few key names for you to have on your mind. First is the Circuit Court, where the petition for the divorce is filed. The first action is called a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. The final action is called the Decree or Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage. Depending on which party is filing the divorce, you are either called the Petitioner (the party filing for divorce) or the Respondent (the one who gets served).
Legal Separation in Lincoln, Nebraska
Like a divorce in Lincoln, Nebraska, legal separation can decide custody, support, property and debt division. For legal separation, parties do not need to meet that one (1) year minimum residency that is required for a divorce filing.
More information regarding divorce and legal separation in Lincoln, Nebraska can be found here.
Alimony/Spousal Support in Lancaster County
According to Nebraska divorce laws, the court may grant alimony to either party. Often, alimony is entered on a temporary period, while permanent alimony is rare. However, to grant alimony, the court must make a finding that the party that is seeking alimony is not able to support themselves and lacks sufficient property to provide for their own needs; or that the party that is seeking spousal maintenance is the guardian of a child whose condition is such that it would be inappropriate for that party to seek outside employment.
Here are some relevant factors courts may take in and consider during ruling the amount and duration of alimony:
- each spouse’s financial circumstances
- the length of the marriage
- both spouse’s contributions (monetary and non-monetary) to the marriage, including childcare and education
- whether either spouse interrupted personal careers or educational opportunities during the marriage, and
- the supported spouse’s ability to engage in gainful employment without interfering with the needs of the couple’s children.
Alimony orders can be modified at a later date. Couples can agree, in advance, to not modify alimony orders later on. In the event that there was no such agreement or the court does not prohibit a review from occurring, either spouse has the ability to petition the court to adjust the amount, duration, or any circumstances of the alimony order in the future.
Distribution of Property in Lincoln, Nebraska
Nebraska divorce laws call for an equitable distribution of assets. This means that the court will divide the marital property between the parties as it deems equitable and fair, after each party involved has set aside their separate property. Nebraska law defines marital property as assets that were acquired or were a direct result of the investments of the married parties. Although these assets will be divided equitable and fair, that does not necessarily mean it is divided equally. The court will look to divide marital property in a manner that results in a fair result for each party involved. Here are some factors the court will consider in dividing the property between the parties:
The total contribution that each party has made toward the martial estate
Both the current and the future economic status of the parties involved
The duration of the marriage
The custodial arrangements for any minor children
What Considerations Exist When Children Are Impacted in Divorce?
If the couple has children, their divorce becomes more complex. There are two potential outcomes for child custody: sole custody and joint custody.
- Sole Custody: This outcome is granted to one parent who is given primary physical custody of the child while the other parent is granted visitation rights. The noncustodial parent still has the right to be involved in their child’s life and make decisions about their upbringing, but they will not have as much day-to-day involvement.
- Joint Custody: Joint custody is granted to both partners. They are given equal rights and parenting responsibilities for their child. This includes both physical and legal custody, meaning the child will spend an equal amount of time living with each parent. This also means each parent will have an equal say in decisions about the child’s upbringing.
Which custody arrangement is best for the child will be determined by the court, who’ll take into consideration the child’s age, as well as each parent’s relationship with the child, their ability to provide for the child, and any other relevant factors. There will be no preference given to either party based upon the parent’s age, sex or financial status, nor because of the age or sex of the child, in determining custody.
Child custody arrangements can be modified in the future if circumstances change, such as one parent moving out of state or the child expressing a preference to live with one parent over the other. If you are considering making any modifications to your child custody arrangement, you should speak to a family law attorney to see if it is possible.
When custody of a child is at issue in a proceeding for dissolution of marriage the court may order the parents to attend educational classes regarding the effects of custody and dissolution of marriage upon the children. The court may also order the parents to attend an alternative dispute resolution program to resolve any disputes regarding issues of custody or visitation.
Child Support in Lincoln, Nebraska
In Nebraska, parents have equal responsibility to support their children financially. Nebraska uses the Income Shares Model to determine the amount of child support the noncustodial parent pays. This formula operates on the idea that children should enjoy the same level of financial support they would have had their parents remained married. In calculating support, Nebraska begins with the available income from both parents and comes up a percentage portion to each parent.
Pursuant to Section 4-204, Nebraska considers the net income of both parties for the calculation of child support which is the number that is left once certain allowable deductions are made. The deductions are set forth under Section 4-205 and include income taxes, Social Security deductions, support paid for children of a prior relationship or a percentage of income to be applied to children of a current relationship, union dues and retirement contributions if they are mandatory.
Once ordered, child support can be modified. If a party should experience a material change in their financial situation for at least three months, and expect this change for another six months, they can request the court to modify the child support order. Common reasons for requesting modification of child support orders can include the loss of a job, a reduction in pay, or a change to the custody agreement.
Name Change in Lancaster County
A party may request a name change back to their former or maiden name. This request may be granted by the court upon the completion of a divorce.
Schedule a Consultation For Your Family Law Matter in Lincoln, Nebraska Today
When you have a family law case and need representation in the Lancaster County area, our attorneys nearby in Omaha, Nebraska in Douglas County are ready to help. The attorneys of Stange Law Firm, PC know how important family is to you and are ready to lead you through your case. Contact us today.
Douglas County (Omaha), Nebraska Office (402-509-1801) | 4611 S. 96th St., Suite 111, Omaha, Nebraska 68127
Lancaster County (Lincoln), Nebraska Office (402-204-5002) | 233 S. 13th St., Suite 1109, Lincoln, Nebraska 68508 (*Opening 10/3/2022)