If you’re considering filing for divorce in Nebraska, it’s crucial to understand the process of notifying your spouse about it. This process, known as “giving notice,” is a legal requirement that ensures that your spouse is aware of the divorce proceedings and has an opportunity to respond.
In Nebraska, there are three official ways to let your spouse know that you’ve initiated the divorce. Each method carries different costs and implications, so it’s essential to fully understand each one as well as the outcomes associated with your chosen method of notice.
The first method of giving notice is called “voluntary appearance.” Your spouse signs the paper, acknowledging their awareness of the divorce proceedings and confirming receipt of your petition. They must sign this document before a notary after receiving the petition. Once signed, your lawyer submits this document to the court.
Service of process
The second method, “service of process,” requires the county sheriff to personally deliver a copy of your divorce petition and a summons to your spouse. The summons informs your spouse about the petition and the time limit they can file for an answer to it. If the sheriff doesn’t find your spouse on the first try, then you can request another attempt with a new summons. After multiple unsuccessful attempts, you must use another method to serve notice.
Notice by publication
The third main method is the “notice by publication.” You can use this only when you have exhausted all other options and cannot locate your spouse. In this case, you can place an ad in a newspaper, running once a week for three weeks. This method has limitations as it doesn’t allow the judge to order your spouse to pay child support or alimony. However, there are certain allowances. For instance, if your spouse still doesn’t appear after the ad’s third and last newspaper run, then you could be awarded child custody and retain possession of marital properties like your family home.
The implications of each notice
Each method has different timelines and costs that can significantly impact your divorce. For instance, enforcing court orders for spousal or child support could become more challenging if you choose a notice by publication. This factor becomes particularly crucial if your child relies heavily on that support for their well-being. So, when selecting your method of notice, it’s important to consider the potential implications of each.