The end of a marriage is always difficult, mentally, emotionally, and even physically. If you are facing the prospect of a divorce, you need an experienced, compassionate attorney to help you navigate this challenging time and advise you on the different legal issues you face.
In a divorce without children, there are only two issues that the Court will decide. The first is alimony, or spousal support. Alimony in Nebraska law is designed not as a means of equalizing income, but as a means to provide assistance to one spouse and recognize that spouse’s contributions to the marriage.
The second issue is how to divide what is called the “marital estate,” which simply refers to the property and debts that were acquired during the marriage. This includes real estate (like homes and other property), retirement accounts, bank accounts, securities, vehicles, business interests, and household debts. Once the total value of the marital estate is determined, the Court will make an “equitable” division — which usually, but not always, means an even split of the net value.
In divorces where there are children involved, there are three additional issues the Court will decide. The first is legal custody, meaning who has legal decision-making authority for the children. Legal custody can be joint, meaning each parent has equal authority and the parents must agree in advance on any decision requiring parental approval, or sole, meaning one parent has the final say on such decisions.
The second is physical custody, which is a description of where the children will spend time between the two parents. Physical custody can be very flexible, depending on the lives of the parents and the needs of the children. A parenting plan scheduling both day-to-day time and holidays will ultimately be developed.
The third issue is child support, which is based on the income of both parents. The income and applicable deductions are put into the Nebraska Child Support Guidelines, which produce a recommendation for a monthly amount of support.
We will help you analyze each of the issues you face in a divorce, reaching a fair and negotiated agreement where possible and taking to trial issues that cannot be resolved by negotiation. Call or e-mail our office if you have any questions about how we can help.