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Nebraska Family Law

Nebraska Family Law


Family law is the branch of law that deals with domestic relations and family matters. This area of law governs legal disputes related to marriage, divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, adoption, and other family-related issues. In Nebraska, family law is regulated by the Nebraska Revised Statutes (NRS) and the Nebraska Supreme Court. This article provides an overview of Nebraska family law, highlighting the latest updates and changes.

Marriage and Divorce

In Nebraska, marriage is only legal between one man and one woman. Same-sex marriages are not permitted under state law. However, Nebraska does recognize common-law marriages that were legally established in other states. Couples who wish to get married must obtain a marriage license from the county clerk’s office.

Divorce is also regulated by state law. Nebraska is a “no-fault” divorce state, which means that a couple may obtain a divorce without having to prove fault or wrongdoing by either party. However, one spouse must have been a resident of Nebraska for at least one year before filing for divorce. When filing for divorce, spouses must declare any assets and debts they own and propose a parenting plan if they have minor children.

Child Custody and Support

In Nebraska, child custody and support matters are determined by the best interests of the child. This means that the court will consider factors such as the child’s relationship with each parent, the child’s preference (if they are old enough to voice it), and each parent’s capacity to provide for the child’s physical and emotional needs. Parents may agree on a parenting plan outside of court, but the court must review and approve it.

Child support is calculated based on the Nebraska Child Support Guidelines. The guidelines take into account each parent’s income, the number of children, and the amount of time the child spends with each parent. Child support is typically paid to the parent with primary custody, but it can also be split between both parents if they share physical custody.

Spousal Support

Spousal support, also known as alimony, may be awarded to a spouse during and after a divorce. In Nebraska, spousal support is not automatic; it must be requested by one spouse and then granted by the court if certain conditions are met. Factors that the court may consider when awarding spousal support include the length of the marriage, each spouse’s earning capacity, and each spouse’s financial needs.


In Nebraska, adoption is governed by state law and can be a complicated process. There are several ways to adopt, including agency adoption, private adoption, stepparent adoption, and adult adoption. To adopt a child, the adoptive parents must complete a home study, receive a placement, and await finalization by the court. The state also offers adoption subsidies for children with special needs.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a serious problem in Nebraska, and the state has enacted laws to protect victims and punish abusers. A victim of domestic violence can file for a protection order, which can prohibit the abuser from contacting or coming near them. Violations of protection orders can result in criminal charges. In addition, Nebraska law requires mandatory arrest of an abuser if there is evidence of physical injury or the presence of a deadly weapon.


When a child is born to unmarried parents, paternity must be established before child custody and support can be determined. Paternity can be established by signing a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity or through a court order. Once paternity is established, the father may be required to pay child support and may be granted custody or visitation rights.


Nebraska family law governs a wide range of legal issues that pertain to domestic relations and family matters. These include marriage, divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, adoption, domestic violence, and paternity. The state’s laws are designed to protect children and promote the best interests of all family members. Anyone facing a legal issue related to family law should consult with an experienced attorney who can provide guidance and legal representation.

Quick Guide to NE Family Law 

Where can I find the majority of Nebraska Family Laws?

You’ll have to visit the revised statutes under the Nebraska State Legislature in order to view a complete list of all updated NE family law within the state.  Once you begin searching for Nebraska family law, you’ll want to reference several different chapters depending on your need.

In this article you’ll find general information about Nebraska family law about marriage requirements, divorce, adoption, child custody, and other commonly accessed areas of NE family law.  If you are referencing Nebraska family laws for legal help, you are highly advised to consult with a family law attorney before proceeding with any settlement process.

Specific Nebraska Family Laws

Some general information about sections of Nebraska family law within several different chapters is listed below.  For more information on NE family law, visit the link under the state’s legislature and proceed mainly to Chapters 42 and 43:

Chapter 42-102 to 42-103

This chapter of NE family law provides prerequisites for a valid marriage, as well as who cannot marry in the state of Nebraska.  This chapter also contains information on Nebraska family laws for licenses and other contracts, as well as who is legally allowed to solemnize a marriage.

Chapter 42-341 and on

These sections of Nebraska family law are some of the most frequently accessed sections under the state’s legislature.  These specific sections on NE family law cover general grounds for divorce (§42-361 through 361.01) and other sections cover property division, methods of payment for spousal support, and much more.  There are multiple other sections of Nebraska family law that may prove helpful in divorce proceedings.

Chapter 43

Many parts of this chapter on Nebraska family law provide general provisions for adoption such as who may adopt a child (§43-101), information about petitions, financial disclosures, investigative procedures from a child-placing agency, and much more.  If you are searching Nebraska family laws for legal advice on adoptions, talk to an attorney right away.  A NE family law attorney is often required in most adoptions anyway.

Sections of Nebraska Family Laws on Child Support and Custody

Multiple chapters of Nebraska family laws provide detailed information about conditions for child support and custody.  Nebraska family law for support obligations is located in §42-362 and onward, and there are many more sections that address conditions for child support and custody.  For more information about child custody, talk with your NE family law attorney.

How to Search Nebraska Family Law

Consider the following search techniques if you search Nebraska family laws at the website listed for searching the statutes:

1. Stemming- this technique includes adding suffixes onto your search, such as divorces, divorcing, divorced, or more

2. Wildcards- a wildcard while searching Nebraska family laws allows you to search multiple words using an asterisk, and adopt* will usually bring you to adopted, adoption, adopting, adoptive, adoptable, and more.

3. Missing variables- you can search for a missing variable with a question mark, and wom?n will bring results associated with woman, women, and more

4. Boolean Operators- you should always consider using and, or, and not to limit your searches as well