A Full-Service Law Firm for Nebraska Locals & Businesses Serving Western Nebraska Since 1977

Scottsbluff, NE Family Law & Divorce Attorneys

Help With Filing for Divorce and Other Complex Family Matterswoman getting a divorce

Are you and your spouse considering divorce?

Are you facing another family-related matter that needs legal guidance?

At Douglas, Kelly, Ostdiek, Snyder, Ossian and Vogl, P.C., we are dedicated to helping our clients through all types of complex needs involving family law. Trying to approach these matters on your own can be both confusing and frustrating.

Family law matters can affect your life. Our Nebraska divorce lawyers have years of experience, have a thorough understanding of family law, and are committed to maintaining the highest standards and providing you with the necessary tools and information to make informed decisions.

Contact our Scottsbluff divorce attorneys online. Or reach out to a family law attorney near you at (308) 365-1994. Your consultation is free!

Requirements & Waiting Period for Divorce in Nebraska

The state of Nebraska has several requirements before a divorce can be finalized:

  • The couple seeking divorce must have resided in Nebraska for at least one year before filing.
  • You must file a Complaint for Dissolution within the county you live in and pay the appropriate filing fee. If you find out that your spouse has changed address after filing the complaint, notify the district court immediately.
  • Once the divorce paperwork has been filed, it takes at least 60 days for the divorce to be finalized.

The 60 day waiting period may be increased by the court if complications such as child custody or property and asset division arise.

Is a Lawyer Required for Divorce?

There is no current law that specifies the need to hire a lawyer when filing for divorce. Although many couples have successfully filed solo, most legal experts would agree that consulting with an attorney is in your best interest.

This is because it is easy to overlook some of the more complex laws associated with divorce, such as child custody. Additional reasons you’ll want to retain legal representation for your divorce include:

  • They can take the burden of documents and excess paperwork off your shoulders

  • They can interpret the law and communicate these to you an easy way

  • You will need to hire an attorney if your spouse does as well

  • They can help you identify the issues that are worth pursuing, which can help save time and money

For more information on this topic, give us a call today. We will help set you up for both short and long term success.

Is Nebraska a Community Property State?

No, Nebraska is not considered a community property state. It is an equitable distribution state which allows the court to divide the property between spouses based on what is "fair and equitable". This does not mean that the property will be split 50/50, rather a judge will determine the value of all assets and disperse it in a way that keeps both parties financially, physically, and emotionally healthy.

Some factors that may be involved in determining asset distribution include:

  • Each spouses contributions to the marriage
  • Earning abilities of each spouse following the divorce
  • The positive and negative effects of giving an asset to one spouse over the other
  • The financial implications of dividing stocks, real estate, businesses
  • The age, health, and overall well-being of each spouse

If an agreement was made prior to the divorce, that outlined asset division, then the court will not need to intervene. Equitable distribution will only apply if the spouses cannot agree.

How Is Alimony Determined in Nebraska?

One of the main considerations when a judge is deciding whether or not to award alimony is the ability of each spouse to maintain the same standard of living they had throughout their marriage.

This involves looking at each spouses’ job, their earning potential, and their marketable skills, as well as the job market. The goal of alimony is not for one spouse to rely on it indefinitely, rather the goal is to help them be able to provide for themselves.

Is Nebraska a No-Fault Divorce State?

Yes, Nebraska is a no-fault divorce state, which means that you can file for divorce on the grounds of your marriage being irretrievably broken. You do not need to prove that your spouse did something to provoke the divorce. Even if your spouse disagrees with the divorce, you can still file.

To initiate the no-fault divorce process in Nebraska, you must first file for a complaint at your local court. This complaint is called a dissolution of marriage and will require certain details, including:

  • The retirement or pension accounts of each spouse
  • Whether alimony exists and which spouse is receiving it
  • Whether marital property and/or debt is being shared between the spouses
  • If children are involved; this would not apply if a previous agreement has been created by the couple

Secondly, you will need to show that the marriage is irretrievably broken and there is no chance at repair. This is generally easy to do, as most courts accept it as fact. Residency requirements must also be met, meaning at least one of the spouses has lived within state lines for a year. Lastly, you will need to wait 60 days, which is the mandatory waiting period in Nebraska. This gives the couple ample time to work out their differences.

It's important to have experienced representation on your side. Contact a family law lawyer near you online or call (308) 365-1994 for a free consultation with our Nebraska divorce lawyers.

Attorneys Experienced in Issues Involving Family Law & Divorce

We understand that all family law matters are sensitive. We treat all of our clients and cases with the discretion and compassion they deserve.

Whether you are starting a marriage, considering divorce, or going through another situation, we are here to assist and guide you through what may be an emotionally exhausting period in your life. If you have specific concerns you would like us to address, understand that you are not just a case file and we take the time to listen and address your needs.

We represent a wide range of family law matters, including:

Scottsbluff Custody and Visitation Lawyers

Child custody and visitation are some of the most important family law matters we handle at our firm. The future and happiness of your children is your priority, which is why we make it ours, as well.

In Nebraska, custody and visitation rights are either decided by the parents through mediation or collaborative law, or they are decided by a family law judge if the matter is contested.

The judge will make his or her decision based on a number of factors, including:

  • Each parent's schedule and ability to spend quality time with the child
  • Each parent's home environment
  • Each parent's income
  • Any history of drug or physical abuse
  • The child's preference, in qualifying cases

Our divorce attorneys in Scottsbluff are dedicated to keeping families together and protecting the rights of children. If you are separated from your children's other parent and need to seek custody or visitation rights, give us a call today to learn how we can fight for your rights.

At What Age Can a Child Choose Which Parent to Live With in Nebraska?

There is no magic age for a child to choose which parent to live in Nebraska. The court will consider a child's inclination as long as the child is of an age of understanding and the child's wishes and desires are based on sound reasoning. However, the child's wishes are merely considered and are not controlled.

The court will consider all relevant factors when deciding custody, including the child's age, maturity, wishes, and the parents' fitness. The court will also consider the child's relationship with each parent, the stability of each parent's home, and the child's educational and emotional needs.

If you are going through a divorce in Nebraska and you have a child of an age to express a preference, you should speak with an attorney to discuss your options and ensure that your child's best interests are protected.

Is Child Support Mandatory For Joint Custody?

Yes, financial support is often ordered by the court so that the parent with the higher earnings can continue to give the child a comfortable living.

Can a Child Decide Which Parent to Live With?

The state of Nebraska will always determine custody arrangements based on what is in the best interests of the child. While the wishes of the child are often considered, they are not controlling but merely acknowledged. This is true for even children with comprehension and sound reasoning,

What Rights Do Grandparents Have With Children?

Grandparents will not be awarded custody unless the parents of the child are shown to be unfit. The best interests of the child will always be considered, and to be determined in a court hearing for the child to be in the care of the grandparents over the parents. This is often through filing for guardianship where the the grandparent has full legal custody of the child.

The statutes of Nebraska permit court ordered grandparent visitation when the parents deny a grandparent any time with their grandchild but only when certain conditions are satisfied. The grandparents may file a petition for visitation during, after, or when the parents of the child are going through a divorce.

The court may grant reasonable visitation to the grandparents if there is evidence of a beneficial relationship between the child and grandparent. The significance of the relationship between the child and grandparent must not adversely interfere with the relationship between each parent and their child. The continuing of the relationship must also be in the best interests in the child.

Adoption Attorneys in Scottsbluff, NE

Adoption involves transferring parental rights between the child's biological parents to parents who wish to adopt them. Adoptive parents are responsible for the care, well-being, and upbringing of the child, in the same way that biological parents are expected.

The adoption process will be different for every child, depending on factors such as his or her age, the child's current situation or background, and how willing the biological parents are in giving up their rights. As Scottsbluff adoption lawyers, we have seen cases where the biological parents' rights have been revoked by the court. We can help you with this process, whatever your circumstances may be so that you can give your child the home he or she deserves.

How Much Does It Cost to Adopt a Child in Nebraska?

All expenses related to the adoption will range greatly depending on the type you choose. If you are looking to adopt internationally, domestically, or through an agency, all costs will vary.

Specific expenses that you may be responsible for include:

  • Agency fees
  • Attorney fees
  • Counseling or traveling expenses
  • Medical costs associated with the birth mother and child

When is Consent Not Necessary in Nebraska?

Consent to adopt may not be necessary if the parent is/has:

  • Not capable of providing consent
  • Has relinquished the child in writing
  • Having their parental rights terminated by the court
  • Abandoned the child at least 6 months before filing for adoption

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Family Lawyer Near You

At Douglas, Kelly, Ostdiek, Snyder, Ossian and Vogl, P.C., we know that seeking out a Scottsbluff divorce attorney can be a difficult step to take. However, our goal is to provide you with the assistance and advocacy you need. Having a skilled lawyer on your side can make all the difference, especially in complex or contested cases.

Call (308) 365-1994 now to speak with our team of skilled Scottsbluff family attorneys. Let us answer your questions regarding Nebraska divorce law.

Contact Us Today!

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