When a couple divorces, they often have to decide the fate of years of shared property, assets and debts. State laws dictate guidelines to ensure fair property division for those in this situation.
Review Nebraska’s rules about dividing property in a divorce when negotiating your own agreement with an estranged spouse.
Understanding equitable division
Nebraska abides by equitable division, which means that couples must fairly divide all common assets and debts. The state distinguishes between marital and nonmarital property. Marital property — property acquired during the marriage — is subject to equitable division. Nonmarital property is that which one party owned before the marriage. Nonmarital property is not itself subject to equitable division, however, appreciation on that property during the course of the marriage would be. In other words, if you have real estate that you have owned since before you were married, your spouse may claim a share of the amount its value increased while you were together.
Marital property includes anything either of you earned or accrued during the marriage. This category includes assets and debts as well as pension funds, retirement accounts and other investments.
Reviewing the property division process
When you decide to divorce, you and your spouse can attempt to reach an agreement on property division outside the legal system. In this case, you would submit the agreement to the judge handling your case, and he or she would ensure it meets the equitable division standards in Nebraska. If you cannot agree, you can ask the court to decide based on required financial disclosure.
Some couples have a premarital agreement that establishes property division in the event of divorce. As with your property division agreement, you must submit it to the court for final approval.