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The Legal Basics of Divorce

What is Divorce Litigation?

Navigating divorce is complicated. From dividing assets, creating parenting plans, understanding retirement benefits, and more, there are many things to take into consideration. Some couples make an agreement and get divorced without lawyers, but you cannot get divorced in Nebraska without going to court.  Since the issues involved in a divorce are so critical (i.e. children and money), it is highly recommended that lawyers are used even for divorces that seem simple.   Divorce litigation involves bringing issues to a District Court in order to resolve them. In most cases, divorce cases do not require a trial, and are resolved through negotiation and agreement of the parties.  At Berkshire & Burmeister, our experienced divorce attorneys stand committed to educating you on your divorce litigation matter and are ready to help you seek the fairest and quickest path to an amicable separation.

When is a Divorce Trial Necessary?

At Berkshire & Burmeister, we do our best to minimize conflict and keep our clients from going to trial whenever possible. However, in some cases trial is necessary to obtain the results our client is looking for. Trial is frequently the only alternative in certain situations:

  1. When Parties are Having Trouble Cooperating: 

    Divorcing parties often have issues they disagree on when trying to reach a settlement. The scale of those disagreements is a determining factor in whether or not you will need to go to trial. If your spouse or your spouse’s lawyer has a hard time cooperating, you’ll likely end up in some form of contested divorce proceedings. This is particularly common when attorneys use a power-based negotiation style opposed to interest-based negotiation. Power-based negotiation is where lawyers are geared toward litigation and winning a fight, as opposed to interest-based negotiation which is centered around satisfying each party’s main goals.

  2. When One Side is Being Unreasonable:

    Most lawyers have a decent understanding of how a judge will likely rule when they take issues to court, often allowing them to avoid going to court altogether. However, this is not the case for all situations. Sometimes one party is insistent upon a resolution that is outside reasonable expectations. If this is your case, taking matters to court may be the best option.

  3. When There are Unusual Issues that the Parties See Differently: 

    Issues such as spousal support, division of property and assets, and child support and parenting plans are common in divorce. However, some parties have unique issues outside the scope of most divorces or they perceive these common elements of divorce in an unusual way. If this is your situation, proceeding to trial may be the best option. Unique divorce issues or perspectives make it difficult to predict how a court will rule, so taking cases to trial may be the best way to resolve these issues.

How do I Start a Divorce in Nebraska?

If you do decide to file for divorce in Nebraska there are several requirements that you should keep in mind. You or your spouse must be a resident of Nebraska for at least one (1) year before filing your divorce with the court, although there are some limited exceptions to this rule. The legal process is started by filing a Complaint for Dissolution with the Clerk of the District Court in the county where you or your spouse lives. There is a cost to file a Complaint for Dissolution, but that is typically the only court cost involved in the process. Once you file for divorce, you will be given a case number for your case. This number must be on all documents you file with the court in the future. If one or both individuals changed their name and wants to have their former name restored, they must individually ask the court to restore their former name using the Complaint for Dissolution (if plaintiff) or the Answer and Counterclaim (if defendant).

The legal process of divorce can be complicated and brings even more stress to an already stressful situation.  At Berkshire & Burmeister our experienced divorce attorneys are ready to help you navigate through the issues involved in divorce litigation and help you achieve your objectives.

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