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Nebraska Counselors Advise on Separation Versus Divorce

Sometimes there are reasons a married couple may wish to separate without legally and fully dissolving their marriage. These parties may not meet the residency requirement to file for divorce, or they may have concerns for insurance coverage, immigration consequences, military benefits, or religious concerns that make legal separation the best option for them. Our lawyers have handled many legal separations and are able to discuss the advantages and advise parties to a Legal Separation in Nebraska, whether or not the separation is in preparation for divorce or the separation itself will be the final Decree between the parties.

If you are interested in pursuing a Legal Separation, call GordenLaw at 402-817-1450 or contact us online to move forward with an initial strategy session.


Although rare, Nebraska law allows some marriages to be annulled under very specific circumstances, such as bigamy or fraud. Attorneys at GordenLaw have successfully handled annulments in the past.

Do I Need A Lawyer For A Legal Separation?

Legal separation in Nebraska differs from divorce, although it’s a little more formal than “just taking a break” during a rough patch in your marriage. While legal separation does not legally end your marriage, it does establish a legal framework to make the divorce go more smoothly and addresses issues like property division, child custody, and support.

In Nebraska, legal separation is initiated by filing a petition with the district court in the county where either you or your spouse resides. This petition outlines the reasons for seeking legal separation and any requests for specific property, children, and financial support arrangements.

If you’re unfamiliar with Nebraska family law statutes or the court system in general, you may benefit from the help of a Lincoln legal separation lawyer. They can help you draft a petition that protects your interests and future while still being equitable to your spouse. If you decide to make the separation permanent and file for divorce, a legal separation agreement may be the basis of your divorce decree, especially if it goes before a judge. We can help you—call today.

Legal Separation In Nebraska – Your Next Steps

Once the petition is filed, it must be served on your spouse, along with a summons notifying them of the legal proceedings. Your spouse then has the opportunity to respond to the petition, either agreeing to the terms or contesting them. They may hire their own attorney to review the petition and determine if it represents their interests.

If you and your spouse are able to reach an agreement on the terms of the legal separation, you can submit a written agreement to the court for approval. This agreement, often referred to as a separation agreement, addresses issues such as division of property and debts, child custody and visitation, and spousal support or alimony. Once the court approves, the separation agreement becomes legally binding on both parties.

What Happens If My Spouse Doesn’t Agree To The Legal Separation Agreement?

Dissolving a marriage is essentially dissolving a legal contract, in addition to ending a relationship. If both parties cannot reach an agreement on all the issues, the court may schedule a hearing to resolve any disputed matters. Each spouse may be represented by their own lawyer, who can present evidence and arguments to support their positions. The judge will then make a decision on the unresolved issues based on the evidence presented and applicable Nebraska law.

Filing a legal separation doesn’t necessarily mean you’re heading for divorce. If you and your spouse decide to permanently end the marriage, then you must submit a divorce petition and follow the state’s laws for dissolving the marriage. However, many of the terms of the separation agreement, such as property division and child custody arrangements, may carry over into the divorce proceedings.

What Are The Benefits Of Legal Separation?

Legal separation can provide a valuable alternative to divorce for couples who may be uncertain about ending their marriage but wish to live apart and address important issues in the meantime. Living apart means that there are several practical considerations to address, though, such as property division, child custody, and support; legal separation can help minimize conflicts and provide clarity and stability during a difficult time.

If you’re considering legal separation, we can help. Contact GordenLaw, LLC, today for a private consultation.

Contact a Nebraska family lawyer for advice on legal separation or annulment

If you wish to pursue a legal separation or annulment in Nebraska, GordenLaw, LLC can provide the guidance you need. Call our Lincoln office at (402) 403-6600 or contact us online to schedule a strategy session.