Getting a divorce is not an easy decision to make, even when you have determined that it will be more beneficial for you, your spouse, and the rest of your family. You want to be sure to know the different types of divorce so that you understand when divorce mediation or divorce litigation is the right option. A qualified Lincoln divorce attorney can also help you make an informed decision about your divorce.

Divorces are either contested or uncontested, and contested divorces typically go through the court. Uncontested divorces are usually managed through alternative dispute resolution, which includes divorce mediation, arbitration, and collaborative divorce. No matter which way a couple handles divorce, there must be a separation agreement or divorce decree determining important decisions. Every family and their separation has unique needs, and each may require a different path to divorce.

Information in a Separation Agreement

Whether your divorce happens in or out of court, several important decisions are going to be reached in the separation agreement, also called the divorce decree or divorce court order. Additionally, because an out-of-court agreement must still be submitted to the court for approval, terms that are unconscionable to one spouse will not be accepted. The most common aspects of a divorce decree include:

  • Division of Property: All property that is considered marital property must be divided between spouses when they divorce. Spouses can divide these assets between the two of them, either according to their wishes or an existing prenuptial agreement. When the court has control over the outcome of property division, assets are divided according to equitable distribution laws.
  • Spousal Support: Spousal support is determined based on the needs of a spouse, the division of marital property, and the ability of the other spouse to pay support.
  • Child Custody: If spouses have children, arrangements for visitation, legal custody, and physical custody must be determined. The court makes these decisions or approves a decree based on the interests of the child.
  • Child Support: Children have a right to financial support from both parents. Support is determined based on the needs of the child, the amount of parenting time that each parent has with the child, and the income of each parent.

If a couple creates an agreement that has incredibly unfair terms to one spouse, giving them a severe financial burden or preventing them from having visitation with their child, the court will likely strike down the agreement. Unfortunately, there are some situations where an unfair agreement is still accepted, and a spouse must then abide by the unfair terms.

Contested vs. Uncontested Divorces

The main difference between contested and uncontested divorces is whether the parties agree on the aspects of a divorce decree.

Contested Divorce

A contested divorce happens if spouses do not agree on the aspects of their divorce decree. In some cases, spouses can handle a contested divorce through collaborative divorce rather than litigation. Contested divorces also occur if one spouse doesn’t want to get a divorce, although this won’t prevent the divorce from occurring.

If attempts at a collaborative divorce don’t work, or spouses can only agree on portions of the separation agreement, the rest of the divorce decree will be determined by a family law judge. In litigation, each spouse will present their wishes for a divorce decree and argue their reasoning. This is often more successful with an experienced divorce litigation attorney. However, the final decision is left to the judge.

Uncontested Divorce

When spouses agree on the main parts of a divorce decree, or they are willing to negotiate the finer details through mediation or collaborative divorce, it will be an uncontested divorce. The final agreement is then presented to the judge for approval and, if it is approved, this is the only time that you will have to appear before the judge.

Uncontested divorces are frequently quicker, less expensive, less stressful, and more straightforward than contested divorces. However, it relies on spouses being able and willing to cooperate.


Q: How Long Does It Take to Get an Uncontested Divorce in Nebraska?

A: An uncontested divorce can be finalized in a minimum of 90 days. Once you have filed divorce papers and served your spouse those papers, they have 30 days to file a counterclaim, which then creates a contested divorce. If you and your spouse are agreeing on the divorce and its aspects, you can file your divorce decree 60 days after you have served the papers. If there are no legal complications or disagreements between spouses, the decree will be signed and entered, and it will go into effect 30 days afterward.

Q: Can You Date While Going Through a Divorce in Nebraska?

A: Although you are allowed to date during your divorce, it can increase complications in proceedings. In contentious cases, your spouse may try to use this information against you. Even if you and your spouse are mostly amicable, dating during the divorce can cause emotional difficulties for both you and your spouse. In some cases, this may make your spouse less willing to negotiate the terms of a settlement out of court. It is your decision, but you may want to discuss the potential consequences of that decision with your attorney.

Q: What Is the Waiting Period for Divorce in Nebraska?

A: From the day the papers have been served to a spouse, there is a 60-day waiting period until the decree can be signed. During this time, spouses may negotiate the terms outside of court. This negotiation may take longer than these 60 days. If spouses are getting a divorce through the court, the proceedings could take months to more than a year. The 60-day waiting period and the 30-day finalization period are the absolute minimum.

Q: How Long After Divorce Can You Remarry in Nebraska?

A: After the divorce decree has been finalized, it goes fully into effect, including provisions like property division and support. However, for remarriage purposes, parties cannot remarry another party for 6 months after this finalization. If the two parties remarry, this does not have the same waiting requirement. These requirements also apply to annulments in Nebraska.

Contact Stange Law Firm in Lincoln, NE

An attorney at Stange Law Firm can help you determine how to protect your rights and interests during a divorce. Mediation and similar tactics are frequently right for couples trying for a less expensive and less draining process, but there are some situations where out-of-court options can leave you more vulnerable. Contact Stange Law Firm to see how we can help.