Are you considering a marriage dissolution in Nebraska? When filing for divorce, couples should first decide whether to hire a lawyer or opt for a do-it-yourself divorce.
This article will look at the benefits and requirements for a DIY divorce. We will also consider situations when you can not dissolve the marriage without an attorney.
DIY divorce means that the spouses complete the divorce papers, file them, and represent themselves in court independently. However, for spouses to have the right to control their legal proceedings, they must have an uncontested divorce.
The spouses should agree on all the divorce terms before facing the court to obtain an uncontested divorce. Moreover, couples should not leave a single issue without attention so that later in the court, no misunderstandings arise between them.
The main issues spouses should negotiate include child custody, property division, spousal support (if needed), etc. If the parties involved can not resolve disputes independently but seek to obtain an uncontested divorce, they may hire a mediator or arbitrator.
A mediator or arbitrator is an independent, neutral third party who assists in negotiations between divorcing spouses. Often they are former judges or lawyers.
However, it is worth noting that a mediator’s decision is not compulsory. For example, if the spouses disagree with the mediator’s compromise solution, they can hand the case to the judge. But then, their case will become contested, and they will need lawyers to defend their interests in the courtroom.
If the spouses agree to the divorce terms, they can sign a Settlement Agreement. After that, they can submit a package of documents to the court for further consideration.
The average cost of an uncontested divorce is $4,100. However, with a DIY divorce, the spouses can cut the divorce price by preparing the divorce papers online.
The petitioner and the respondent control the divorce process. They are responsible for everything from selecting documents to representing their interests in court.
In addition to preparing for divorce, spouses also regulate their expenses. Thus, knowing alternative and affordable ways to fill out the paperwork can reduce the cost of a divorce.
In an uncontested divorce, the spouses may obtain a divorce without a hearing unless the court requires attendance. According to Nebraska law, after the paperwork is filed and the mandatory 60-day waiting period expires, the court can make a final decree and grant the spouses’ request for divorce. However, the duration of the divorce depends on the case specifics and the court workload.
Usually, couples in Nebraska hire family lawyers for contested cases. As a result, experienced attorneys help file divorce papers and represent their clients in court.
However, an attorney is not just a mandatory attribute of a contested divorce. In uncontested cases, spouses can also seek legal advice.
In Nebraska, the average cost of a contested divorce is about $15,600. And about $13,000 of that amount is attorney’s fees.
Lawyers charge by the hour. The cost of their services depends on the lawyer’s experience and the county where they work. To save money, spouses may hire paralegals for minor tasks.
The lawyer monitors the case progress and informs the client what details need to be provided. They can also advise spouses on how to behave and answer in court.
A contested divorce can last from six to twelve months. The couple will have to go through several hearings on each disputed issue. If one spouse provides evidence that could influence the judge’s decision, the court needs time to review it.
In an uncontested divorce with a lawyer’s help, the length of divorce will be the same as in a do-it-yourself divorce. Only the cost will change.
If spouses desire to apply for divorce in Nebraska, they must meet residency requirements. Both spouses, or only one, must have lived in the state for at least one year before the filing date. An exception is if the spouses were married in Nebraska, have been married for less than one year, and have resided in the state since the wedding.
Nebraska is a no-fault divorce state. Therefore, the petitioner can file for divorce even if the other spouse disagrees. They only need to prove that their marriage is irrevocably broken, and reconciliation is impossible.
To prepare divorce papers, spouses can use the services of online divorce companies. Online divorce is a quick and inexpensive tool to help spouses generate court-required forms in just a few days.
To use online divorce services, spouses need to have an uncontested case and sign up on the website of the chosen platform. After that, the partners (or only the petitioner) undergo an online interview or questionnaire to provide the necessary information about the marriage and breakup terms. After confirming the data and generating documents, the spouses can file the completed forms with the court within two business days.
When spouses file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, they should pay a $158 filing fee. However, the amount may vary from county to county. If the petitioner has a low income, they can file for a payment waiver.
No one can force spouses to hire lawyers or refuse their services. The parties involved need to consider the case circumstances and personal preferences when choosing.