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What Role Does Marital Misconduct Play in Divorce Proceedings

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What Is Marital Misconduct?

Marital misconduct refers to any actions that erode or undermine the marital relationship. Many things might be considered marital misconduct. Some examples are:

  • Extramarital affairs
  • Abandonment
  • Misappropriation of the marital estate
  • Concealment of Assets
  • Drug or Alcohol Abuse
  • Financial Abuse/Control

Nebraska uses a ‘no-fault’ divorce model, which means that generally bad behavior by one or both spouses has no effect on court’s determination of property and debt division or child custody, unless the misconduct/bad behavior can be proven to have direct negative effect on the financial marital estate or the minor children. This is a very high standard.

What is a No-Fault Divorce?

There are many reasons couples may choose to part ways. It is not for anyone to judge except those in the relationship. Nebraska follows a “no-fault” model in its divorce laws. The only requirement individuals need to meet to seek a divorce is to demonstrate that the marriage is irretrievably broken. Even if one spouse does NOT want to divorce, if the other spouse is requesting a divorce, the law will consider the marriage irretrievable.

What is Alimony?

Alimony, otherwise known as spousal support, is money that one spouse is ordered to pay to another to assist in maintaining an appropriate standard of living. Alimony is never used to equalize the income of the parties, and it is not enough for one spouse to earn significantly more than the other spouse. Alimony is never used to punish bad behavior by one spouse or the other and marital misconduct is not considered for alimony unless it is related to wasting the finances in the marriage (which is a high standard to prove).

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