Omaha Property Division Lawyer
Property division is not always the most emotionally intense part of a divorce, as that usually belongs to something like child custody. However, property division is no less complex. The laws on property division in Nebraska set up a situation where both sides are not likely to agree on the distribution of property. What you will need to ensure that you get a fair chance at the distribution you’re seeking is someone who understands what the courts expect to see and is able to advocate for your position. That’s exactly what the lawyers at Stange Law Firm do for their clients.
Nebraska is an equitable distribution state. This does not mean that property will be split equally or in a 50/50 dynamic. What it means is that the property must be divided in a way that is fair. A fair distribution is determined based on a number of different factors that are meant to present a whole picture of the marriage. It’s also supposed to capture the contributions of both parties to the marriage.
The property division is something that can be negotiated between the two parties, although it will need to be approved by the court. The court is likely to accept something that is agreed upon by both parties. However, they will involve themselves if there is something egregious about the agreement (this agreement can also be used to negotiate things like child custody, child support, and alimony). Of course, there is probably going to be some level of disagreement about what is equitable and who contributed what to the marriage. One of the things that working with a divorce lawyer can do is help keep the negotiations from getting too contentious while setting reasonable expectations for all parties.
There are a number of different factors that may be considered when attempting to determine an equitable distribution of property. Some of these include:
- Income and Earning Capacity – The court will consider each spouse’s current income along with factors that affect future income, such as age, health, and education. The spouse with lower income possibilities may receive more of the property.
- Custody of Children – Depending on how custody is arranged, the spouse with more custodial involvement may receive a larger portion of the property to provide for the children and maintain some continuity for them.
- Educational Contributions – If one spouse contributed to another’s education, that spouse may receive a greater percentage of the property.
- Non-Monetary Contributions – The judge may consider the contributions of the stay-at-home spouse for things like taking care of children, household chores, cooking, homemaking, and supporting the professional endeavors of the other spouse.
- Misconduct – If one spouse mistreated or harmed the other, including something like domestic violence, that may also be considered in how the property is divided.
An important part of the property division process is determining what property belongs to whom. Marital property is what will be divided equitably among the two parties. Roughly, marital property is limited to the property that was obtained during the marriage. Property that was owned before the marriage will generally be considered non-marital property. Things like an inheritance or a gift could also count as non-marital property. Profit earned from non-marital property or increases in the value of non-marital property will also not be divided, so long as it has been kept in only one party’s name. Debts will also be handled in a similar fashion.
If you have a prenuptial agreement, that is considered a binding legal contract. For property division, what is in the prenuptial agreement will likely take precedence over Nebraska’s property division law. The agreement may also cover things like how the finances will be handled after a divorce. It’s very rare for a prenuptial agreement to be overridden.
Once the court issues an order on the property division, even if it is simply approving the agreement that you already made, then it is a binding legal obligation. Both parties are required to abide by what has been ordered. Anyone not following the orders can be found to be in contempt of court. If this is happening, a lawyer can help you consider your options.
How a Lawyer Can Help
The property division process can seem simple, but it can rather quickly become a complex process. Emotions can start to get involved, and that takes an already messy process and makes it messier. Lawyers can help mitigate much of the tension, stress, and confusion around property division. Much of the conflict can come from determining what is and isn’t marital property, and lawyers can help identify what property belongs in which categories. Additionally, when it comes time to negotiate, the buffer of a lawyer can help mitigate the conflict. A lawyer can also help you understand where you may have to make concessions and where you can be more assertive about what you want from the agreement. If necessary, a lawyer can also be ready to represent your interests in court.
Get Help With Property Division and Your Divorce
Property division in Omaha and all of Nebraska can be a difficult issue to manage. Being a state that doesn’t have a 50/50 division of property, but rather equitable distribution, creates a lot of concerns. For instance, what’s equitable in the eyes of one person may not be in the eyes of another. This means that you must be able to make a strong argument for what you see as equitable. You’ll also need to understand what are the most important elements of property division for you and what elements are of lesser concern.
At Stange Law Firm, we can help you understand these dynamics. We can ask the questions that can help us learn what you’re seeking in a property division agreement. We can help put that issue in context with the whole divorce agreement. Most importantly, we can help negotiate for what you’re seeking or even make the case in court if it comes to that. If you need help with property division and divorce, contact us today.
Douglas County (Omaha), Nebraska Office (402-509-1801): 9202 W. Dodge Rd., Suite 302, Omaha, Nebraska 68114