Frequently Asked Questions

There are a number of important questions that are at the heart of issues involving family law. This Q and A offers a few we often hear when we speak with new or potential clients. It is, however, also important to remember that laws are living and breathing documents that can change with time. The most up-to-date information comes from speaking with an attorney about your legal matter.

What is the basis for filing fault-based divorce here?

There are two grounds for filing this type of divorce. Temporary incapacity due to drug or alcohol addiction or abuse is one reason. Mental illness or the inability to make an informed decision regarding divorce is the other.

What is the difference between contested and uncontested divorce?

Uncontested divorce happens when both parties agree to file for divorce. Contested means that there are serious disputes between the couple that need to be resolved either in court or during a process of negotiation. Regardless, an attorney can make the process go more smoothly by providing knowledgeable and accurate legal guidance that protects your legal and parental rights.

What is the difference between legal separation and divorce?

The obvious difference is that legal separation means that the couple is still married. They have all the legal obligations (including paying taxes) that a married couple would have. Sometimes it is considered the first step to divorce or can be a trial period where couples take time apart to work through personal or financial issues and decide if they want to remain married. The proceedings for legal separation can happen in court, just as a divorce would. Separation also allows couples to keep health insurance or other benefits that would end after divorce.

What are the residency requirements for filing for divorce in Nebraska?

At least one member of the couple must reside here for at least one year with the intent of maintaining a residence here. It can be done in either county if both spouses live in the state, but in different counties.

Can same sex couples adopt here in Nebraska?

Sex same marriage has been legal since the Supreme Court's landmark ruling in 2015. However, there are still challenges that LBGT families face in Nebraska. There have been various rulings and appeals since then and it is best to speak with a family law lawyer at Kathleen M. Schmidt Attorney at Law to find out the most up-to-date information regarding this evolving issue.

How do we divide our possessions during a divorce?

Assets determined as marital property are what are divided during the divorce process. Generally speaking, marital property is all property (or debt) accrued during the marriage. The division of the assets is equitable and reasonable and accounts for one-third to one-half of assets. This includes retirement accounts, insurance policies, bank accounts, property, businesses and other objects of value.

How is child custody determined?

Child custody is one of the most important and contentious disputes that couples getting divorced can face. There are a number of factors that go into determining custody of children. These include the following: the children's relationship to each parent, the children's wishes, and what is healthiest for the child. These may be up for debate, but courts generally favor joint custody even if the children have primary residence with one parent.

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