Divorce 101

Frequently asked questions regarding divorce in Nebraska.

Do you have questions regarding divorce in Nebraska? Here, you can find answers to some of the most common questions asked to a divorce lawyer in an initial consultation. This is Divorce 101 - The Basics. Learn some basics regarding initial filings, custody, domestic violence, and more.

Divorce 101 - The Basics

One of the first things you need to determine before you file a Nebraska divorce is whether you have met the State’s residency requirement. You may file for divorce if you have lived in the State of Nebraska for more than one year. If you have not, you may file for a legal separation, and convert this into a divorce later.

After your Nebraska divorce is filed (usually in a few weeks), you may obtain a date for a temporary hearing where your judge may decide (temporarily, and not as a final order) issues relating to custody, support, attorney’s fees, exclusion from the marital residence, physical and financial restraining orders, and other matters.

Under Nebraska law, no divorce will be granted until a waiting period of at least 60 days has passed since the date of legal notice to your spouse.

Domestic violence can be a very serious issue in any divorce case. In Nebraska, protection order actions are completely separate from your divorce. However, the judge who hears an action for a protection order will also be assigned to the divorce action. If you believe you need a protection order, or if you have been served with notice that a protection order has been entered against you, contact your attorney immediately. A protection order can exclude a party from a residence or a victim’s workplace. In addition, the court also has the authority to award custody in a protection order proceeding. So it is important that a party in a protection order action proceed carefully and with competent legal advice.

If there are children involved, you will be required to attend a seminar designed to educate you on helping your children through the process. The telephone number for Douglas County Conciliation and Mediation Services is 444-7168. You must attend one session only, and you do not have to attend with your spouse. At the time of the seminar, you will be asked about mediation to create a parenting plan. Your attorneys can negotiate and prepare a parenting plan on your behalf, or a mediator (neutral party) can meet with you and your spouse to help you both prepare one together. If domestic violence is an issue, you may not be required to meet with a mediator and your spouse.

Many people like to know how much the divorce process will cost. You may have a lot of anxiety about the cost of a divorce, partly because you are already faced with financial uncertainty. The cost of a divorce can depend upon many factors, and it is difficult for many lawyers to estimate the total fees.

Kinney Mason is truly distinctive in this regard — you will know how much your divorce will cost from the outset of your case. This is because Kinney Mason uses a staged flat fee system. At each stage of your case, a different flat fee is due. If you settle your case prior to entering a new stage, you do not have to pay the next flat fee. Cases that involve a custody dispute, a wide variety of assets (or a closely held business), or a difficult alimony issue can be expensive. We believe that Kinney Mason provides excellent service at a reasonable cost.

Another major concern is the amount of time your divorce may take. Following the 60-day waiting period, your divorce could be resolved in anywhere from four to 12 months. Typically, a temporary order is entered at the outset of your case. This governs temporary custody, support, and other issues that must be resolved while you go through your divorce. Once the temporary order is signed by the judge, most people engage in the “discovery” process, whereby their lawyer requires the opposing party to answer questions about their assets, their custody or parenting time demands, and other matters. This process can take several months. Most cases do not go to trial, but the process of settlement should be handled with care and, therefore, can take considerable time.

Looking for more specific divorce information?

If you're looking for more specific information regarding your divorce case, you can schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today.  We will set up a time to meet with you, get to know your case, inform you of your rights and options, and try to answer as many of your legal questions as we can during your appointment.