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Divorce or Legal Separation?

Divorce or Legal Separation?

If you and your spouse have been going through marital issues for an extended period of time, you may be considering divorce. However, if you aren’t sure you’re ready to officially end your marriage, a legal separation may be the better option for you. Let’s go over the differences between divorce and legal separation so that you and your spouse can make the right decision for your future.

Divorce

Divorce legally ends your marriage. Once your divorce is finalized, you are single in the eyes of the law. Each state handles divorce a bit differently.

In Nebraska, you can file for a no-fault divorce. This means that you must prove your marriage is irretrievably broken. Once you have filed for divorce, you will begin negotiations.

During this period, you will make arrangements for:

  • Asset division
  • Child custody
  • Child support
  • Spousal support

If you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement on these terms, the courts will decide.

Additionally, Nebraska requires a 60-day waiting period for divorce. This means that your divorce cannot be finalized before 60 days have passed, even if you have gotten all logistics arranged.

One of the most important things to remember when considering divorce is that a divorce is final. If you and your spouse do reconcile, you will not be able to reverse your divorce - you will have to go through the process of getting legally re-married. For this reason, if you are not ready for a permanent separation, you may consider a more temporary option.

Legal Separation

If you and your spouse are not ready to call it quits permanently, legal separation is an option that provides space but leaves the door open for reconciliation.

To obtain a legal separation, you need to file a petition with the court. You do not need to prove any fault, and only one spouse needs to agree to the separation for it to be valid.

Similar to divorce, you will have a separation order that covers all issues during the period of separation, such as your children’s needs, custody, and property division. If you and your spouse choose to get a divorce eventually, the judge may rule for the same arrangements to continue.

If after some time apart you and your spouse are ready to re-enter your marriage, it is easy to reverse a legal separation. All that is required is filing a motion to dismiss the original separation order. Then, your marriage can carry on as before.

Nebraska Divorce Lawyers

Still unsure about which options are right for you and your spouse? At Reagan, Melton & Delaney, L.L.P., we can provide you with additional guidance to help you make your decision. Call today at (402) 226-1899 and set up a confidential consultation with one of our Sarpy County divorce attorneys.

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