After the initial pleadings have been filed and personal service has been effectuated, it is time to move on to the agreements.
If the parties to the action have any minor children, they must first complete a basic level parenting education course. The Nebraska Supreme Court has been kind enough to offer a multitude of different options for this requirement to be completed. You have the option of attending a live class or using an online provider from the comfort of your own home. The cost of attending this course ranges from approximately $50, to as little as $25, and many classes provide certificates immediately upon completion. Regardless of your parenting skill level, all actions where the custody of a minor child may be affected require the parents to complete this course.
Once the completion certification for each parent has been filed, the parties must work on creating a parenting plan that they feel is in the best interest of the minor child or children. The parties can chose to have their attorneys help with this process, or they can request the assistance of a trained mediator to assist them in creating the plan. The main goal of the parenting plan is address the issues relating to custody, visitation, transportation, and several other rights and obligations for the parents to follow regarding the children. Once the parties have come to an agreement on the terms of the plan, the approved plan is provided to the court for filing. In Douglas County, the plan is submitted to the Conciliation Court for review and approval prior to it being filed with the clerk’s office.
Once the parenting plan has been completed by the parties, or in the absence of any minor children, the parties must next come to agreements on the terms of the Decree of Dissolution. This document is essentially the roadmap by which the parties will follow for the division of marital assets, debts, alimony, child support, and other issues inherent to the separation of the parties.
Lastly, if and once the parties have reached an agreement on all matters and the contents of all necessary documents, a certification or waiver can be signed by the parties that will waive their right to a final hearing allowing their attorneys to provide the final pleadings to the Judge for review and signature.
As I stated in Part I of this blog, the divorce process doesn’t have to be long and difficult if the parties have the same common goal. However, it is recommended that you consult and retain an attorney to help guide you through the process to avoid any pitfalls or mistakes. Contact Husker Law today to schedule your free consultation and we will be happy to help you through the process.