Divorce is hard. Parting with a significant portion of your marital property makes it even harder. It is rare for the divorce to end with one spouse deciding to let the other take everything. This is why it is important to understand the marital property laws that govern divorce in Nebraska. In order to ensure that you walk away with a fair settlement, it is important to understand how the court makes decisions regarding property division.
In general, the court considers everything you acquired during your marriage to be marital property. This means that your home in Omaha, the furniture you bought, your cars and even credit card debt accumulated during your marriage is all subject to the state’s marital property division laws. Read further to find out more about the marital property laws in Nebraska.
Nebraska, like many other states, follows the principles of equitable distribution. This means that the court will divide your marital property in a way it deems to be fair. Keep in mind that fair does not necessarily mean equal. A few states still use community property laws, which means the court usually divides marital property in half. With equitable distribution, the court will examine certain factors to determine how much each spouse should get. For example, the judge will consider what each of you contributed to the marriage, your respective earning capabilities and even your age and physical condition.
Fortunately, there is some property that is not subject to equitable distribution. For instance, anything you owned before the marriage will automatically revert back to you. Other property that is separate in the eyes of the court includes gifts you received and inheritances. Typically, you will not have divide these items with your soon-to-be ex-husband.
It is important to remember that separate property can lose its status. For example, if you received an inheritance from a grandparent and did not keep it in a separate bank account or made transfers into a joint account and a separate account holding the inheritance, it could lose its separate status. It is extremely important to avoid commingling property that you received as a gift or inheritance with property that is jointly owned or held by you and your spouse.
If you are considering divorce, take the time to understand the marital property laws and how they might affect your divorce settlement. Your attorney will be able to help you through the divorce process so that you get a fair settlement.