Time To Say Goodbye: How To File for Divorce in Nebraska

January 18, 2021

Wondering how to file for divorce in Nebraska? If so, you’re likely looking for some help during a difficult time. We’ll walk you through the process, from your initial divorce consultation to the final divorce decree.


After you have had a consultation with an experienced Nebraska divorce lawyer in order to have your divorce case started, a “Complaint for Dissolution of Marriage” must be filed with the court. This document is filed in the district court in the county where either you or your spouse reside. Once the complaint is filed, a case number and a judge is assigned to your file. The complaint is a legal pleading that is your request to the court to have your marriage be dissolved and how you want to divide any marital property including assets and debts that were earned or created during the marriage, and if applicable how you want the court to decide parenting time and child support.


After your attorney has filed the complaint, in order for your case to moved forward, you have to show proof to the court that your spouse received notice of the filing. This is done either by your spouse being served by the sheriff with the information or your spouse will sign an acknowledgment called a Voluntary Appearance. In Nebraska, a divorce cannot be finalized until 60 days have passed after your spouse has signed the Voluntary Appearance and it has been filed with the court (or your spouse is served by the sheriff). This is sometimes called the “waiting period” or the “cooling off period.”


After your case is opened in the court, depending on the unique circumstances of your case, you and your attorney might discuss asking the court to have a temporary hearing to determine things such as financial and living arrangements while the divorce is pending. For more information about temporary hearings, check out our blog here. Near the beginning of the case, another route your attorney might discuss with you is the discovery process. During the discovery phase, the attorneys representing you and your spouse will exchange information including things like bank statements and you and your spouse will answer questions related to parenting time and debts and assets. Click here for more information about the discovery process. If both you and your spouse are in agreement on how to divide marital assets, debts, parenting time and custody (if relevant), then your lawyers can use the information that comes out during the discovery process to help come to a settlement agreement. Your attorney will formalize this agreement in a final decree. For more information about settling your divorce case, check out our blog here. If you and your spouse cannot come to a full agreement on all of the issues, your case will go to trial, where the judge will make a decision on the issues that were not settled. At trial, both you and your spouse will present testimony and evidence. For more information about trial, check out our blog.

Your case is as unique as anyone else’s and it’s important to have a consultation with an experienced Nebraska lawyer who understands how to file for divorce in Nebraska and who can review the facts and circumstances of your case. Not every requires a trial or any sort of hearing at all. Having a consultation with a lawyer can help you decide what is important in your case.

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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