Nebraska Divorce Laws

Divorce is a complicated legal process, and it is only made harder by the variety of divorce laws in Nebraska that you need to know to get started. Grasping residency and eligibility requirements, understanding the steps to divorce in Nebraska, and preparing dissolution of marriage forms is only the beginning. Navigating property division, spousal support, and child custody matters is where couples often stumble. To ease the task for you, we have prepared an overview of the most important Nebraska divorce laws and requirements and will explain them in this article.

Nebraska Divorce Requirements

There are specific Nebraska divorce requirements for people considering dissolution of marriage in the state.

  • Residency requirements. According to divorce laws in Nebraska, one of the spouses must have lived in the state for one or more years continuously with the intention to stay permanently. You are also eligible to file in Nebraska if the marriage was contracted there and one of you has lived here since then (NE ST § 42-349).
  • Jurisdiction. The filing spouse should bring the dissolution of marriage forms to the district court of the county where either they or their ex lives.
  • Information collection. The very minimum of information you need to start your dissolution of marriage in Nebraska includes the marriage date and place, names and birthdates of spouses and children from the relationship, information related to shared property, income, tax returns, etc.
  • Divorce type. You need to decide if you want to file for a contested or uncontested dissolution of marriage. This detail will determine which dissolution of marriage forms you will need to obtain and complete and whether you will need a lawyer.
  • Waiting period. The state mandates a 60-day waiting period between the time you served divorce papers to the respondent and when the case can be heard in court (NE ST § 42-363). You need to plan for this period as per Nebraska divorce laws when considering the timeline.
  • Disputed issues. You may be eligible for an uncontested dissolution of marriage if you and your spouse agree on all matters. An amicable split is beneficial for all parties involved, and you may be encouraged by the court to reach a mutual agreement. Divorce laws in Nebraska related to division of property, spousal support, and child custody matters will have to guide your decisions, as what you consider fair may not be so based on local laws.

What Are the Divorce Laws in Nebraska?

The main Nebraska divorce laws are outlined in Chapter 42 of Nebraska Revisited Statutes. If you would like an overview of what are the divorce laws in Nebraska, we have gathered the main issues you must know.

Grounds for Divorce

The only ground Nebraska currently allows for divorce is a no-fault one, meaning you cannot file on the basis of cheating, abuse, or other faults of your spouse. According to Nebraska divorce laws, the judge can issue a decree when both spouses state and the court finds that the marriage is irretrievably broken. If one of the spouses denies the fact of marriage breakdown, the court will consider the circumstances that caused filing, chances for reconciliation, and other relevant factors to find if it’s really so (NE ST § 42-361).

Property Division

Nebraska is an equitable distribution state for property division in divorce. All marital property is divided fairly and equitably (not necessarily equally) per divorce laws in Nebraska by evaluating factors like each spouse’s contribution to the marriage, economic circumstances, income potential of each party, etc. (NE ST §§ 42-365; 42-366).

Alimony/Spousal Support

The court may order spousal support to either party on considering factors like:

  • Length of the marriage;
  • Spouses’ respective incomes and circumstances;
  • Share of marital property;
  • Earning capacity;
  • Contribution to the marriage;
  • Employment opportunities with respect to their custodial duties.

There is no specific formula for calculating alimony. It may be modified later “for good cause” and terminates in case of either party’s death or remarriage of the recipient (NE ST § 42-365).

Child Custody

Courts determine child custody based on what would be best for the children. Joint or sole custody is granted based on factors like the relationship of the child with each parent, ability to provide care, moral fitness, etc. All the provisions concerning custody, visitation, parenting time, and other issues must be outlined in a parenting plan drafted according to the Parenting Act (NE ST § 42-364). You can make this plan yourself if you have an uncontested dissolution of marriage and agree on all the matters.

Child Support

In Nebraska, both parents are obligated to financially support their minor children under NE ST § 42-364. The court determines amounts based on both parents’ income, custody arrangements, and other factors concerning the child’s needs using the Nebraska Child Support Guidelines.


Nebraska divorce laws allow divorce on no-fault grounds like irretrievable marriage breakdown. They outline processes related to property division, spousal support, and child custody that aim to be equitable.

No, Nebraska does not grant divorces based on marital fault, like adultery or cruelty. The only grounds for dissolution of marriage is when the court finds it to be “irretrievably broken” based on evidence that serious marital issues have adversely impacted one or both spouses’ attitudes towards the marriage itself.

Divorce laws in Nebraska follow equitable distribution for property division based on each spouse’s contribution, needs, earning potential, and other factors. The court divides marital property fairly, which may not necessarily be equal.

There is no mandatory separation period before dissolutionment of marriage in Nebraska. However, you need to wait at least 60 days after filing the complaint before the court can review your case.

Yes, you can get an annulment in Nebraska on grounds like fraud, mental incapacity, being underage at marriage, bigamy, and more, as per the statutes. The court will declare the marriage invalid from the start as grounds are proved.