How Is Alimony Determined in Nebraska?

May 14, 2016

If you’re going through a divorce in Nebraska, you may find yourself wondering, “Is Nebraska an alimony state?” Unfortunately, if you’re looking for alimony in Nebraska you’ll have better luck finding a hen’s teeth, or a flying pig … or any other idiom you choose.

How Is Alimony Calculated in Nebraska?

Although there are no hard and fast rules, in most cases, Nebraska courts don’t award alimony — also known as spousal support. If they do, it’s usually only for a short time, to help the spouse receiving support get into a better position of self-sufficiency.

Any award of spousal support is up to the court’s discretion. When the court considers a request for spousal support, Nebraska law says the court is to base its decision on various factors:

  • The duration of the marriage.
  • Contributions of each party, like care and education of the children, interruption of personal careers or educational opportunities.
  • The ability of the spouse receiving spousal support to engage in gainful employment without interfering in the interests of any children in their custody.

Other Considerations

The court also looks at the relative economic circumstances of both parties and other criteria in its decision.

In cases where there is both alimony and child support, the child support will be determined first. The amount of alimony will then be considered based on each party’s income and expenses after child support is paid.

Nebraska alimony laws specifically state that the purpose of alimony is to provide for the continued maintenance or support of one party by the other when the relative economic circumstances and other criteria make it appropriate.

Heard It Through the Grapevine

Nebraska case law has fleshed out that the most important consideration for the courts when determining alimony is fairness and reasonableness to be determined by the facts of each case. That means that you shouldn’t expect to win your request for alimony based upon the outcome of your friend’s case or another case you heard about through the grapevine.

A court’s decision can change dramatically based upon a very small change in facts, and there is no way for you to know whether the facts of your friend’s case or that other case you heard about truly match up with yours.

How Long Does Alimony Last?

Spousal support is becoming increasingly rare in Nebraska. If a Nebraska judge does award alimony in a divorce case, it is likely to last only for a short time — long enough for the spouse receiving support to get training or education or find a job sufficient to support themselves. Permanent (lifetime) alimony is almost unheard of — except in the rarest of cases.

Those cases usually involve factors such as:

  • Great disparity in income.
  • Long-term marriages with parties who are advanced in age.
  • A party who has a physical or mental disability or health issues that prevent them from working or from working full time.

This article should not be construed as legal advice. Situations are different and it’s impossible to provide legal advice for every situation without knowing the individual facts. 

If you need help with a Nebraska or Iowa Divorce case, contact Hightower Reff Law today and come visit with one of the attorneys at the Omaha office.

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