Divorce is often full of emotions and confusion for both the couple and their children. An experienced legal separation attorney can make the journey less of a bumpy ride. Even if you are heading toward the dissolution amicably with your spouse, you should still discuss your situation with a lawyer who has been through the legal process numerous times.
What is the Difference Between Divorce and Legal Separation?
In Nebraska, the law recognizes two different methods of terminating a marriage: divorce and legal separation. The method that a couple chooses for dissolution of their marriage will depend on their particular situation. Factors such as the religious values of the couple, financial issues, residency requirements and the long-term plans of each of the married individuals will determine which method is best.
A legal separation in Nebraska is essentially the same as a legal divorce, except the marriage is not yet formally and completely dissolved. A court ordered separation decree addresses many matters, including:
- Division of property (both assets and debts)
- Child custody
- Child support
- Alimony or “spousal support”
Legal separation might be the intended conclusion or a temporary step in the divorce process, depending on the couple. For a divorce, at least one of the parties must reside in Nebraska for one year or either party must have resided in Nebraska from the date the marriage took place to the filing of the divorce. Once legal requirements are met, the legal separation can be modified to a request that the court dissolve the marriage.
Can I Get a Legal Separation Decree Without a Court Hearing?
The Nebraska legislature updated the divorce statutes in 2012 with the revised statute Neb. Rev. Stat. § 42-361.01. The revision allows a Nebraska trial court to decree a legal separation without a lengthy hearing when both of the following are true:
- Both of the parties waive the hearing and the court believes that it has jurisdiction over the dissolution action, as well as personal jurisdiction over both of the parties involved; and
- Both of the parties provide a written certification to the court that the marriage is irretrievably broken, including certifying that they have tried to reconcile, and all pertinent and required documents have been filed.
If both parties agree about the separation and the related issues, they can plead to the court in writing. The court will then enter both parties into a written agreement, resolving all of their issues. Consult with a knowledgeable Omaha family law attorney before making any important decisions about legal separation or divorce.
Ensuring Fair Agreements in a Nebraska Legal Separation
When a couple decides to enter into a legal separation, there are numerous important yet difficult decisions to make. Matters related to any children that are involved and the couple’s finances, assets, and debts will need to be assessed and agreed upon. A reputable attorney will ensure all agreements within the legal separation decree are fair and protect your rights.
Advising Clients – The Best Choice for You
Every marriage and every situation is different. That’s why it is vital to seek the counsel of a divorce lawyer who has successfully walked other couples through the process. The attorneys at Johnson & Pekny, LLC have helped numerous couples reach fair and reasonable divorce and separation agreements over the years. We will evaluate your situation and guide you through the process with as few speed bumps as possible.
Contact the law offices of Johnson & Pekny LLC in Omaha, Plattsmouth and Blair at (402) 298-8288 today for a free consultation. We aim to help you reach an agreement that is fair and reasonable, so that you can move on with your life.