Nebraska Marital Property Law – How it Works (Infographic)

Nebraska-marital-propertyIn our divorce practice at Hightower Reff Law, we find that new clients’ most common misconceptions are often in the area of Nebraska marital property law and how it works.

A common marital property misapprehension

When they first meet with us, a number of new divorce clients mistakenly think that because they kept their money in a separate account or titled an asset in their name only, their spouse won’t be able to touch the account or the asset in the divorce. However, that isn’t how Nebraska marital property law works.


Hightower Reff Law is a team of confident, clear, committed attorneys representing clients in the Omaha metro and surrounding areas in family law and criminal defense/dui.


Pre-nup or no dice

Unless you have a well drafted prenuptial agreement that complies with Nebraska law, the property and debt accrued during your marriage is part of the marital estate, no matter whether the account or title is in your name only. That means it’s marital property subject to equitable division between you and your spouse – with very few exceptions.

 

This infographic isn’t meant to be a complete rundown of Nebraska marital property law in divorce. The law can change often depending on new case law and/or changes to Nebraska statutes. Also, there may be other exceptions or special circumstances, depending on the facts of your divorce case.

Get help

That’s why, when it comes to Nebraska marital property law and how it works – or any other legal issue – it’s best to get the advice and assistance of an attorney experienced in that specific area of law. However, arming yourself with some basic knowledge, like what you’ve learned by reading this article, can help you have a more informed conversation with your attorney. It can also give you clarity and peace of mind.

 

This article should not be construed as legal advice. Situations are different and it’s impossible to provide legal advice for every situation without knowing the individual facts. 


For details about the author, Hightower Reff  Partner Attorney Tracy Hightower, visit her profile page

Our additional resource on marital property division is available  here

If you need help with a Nebraska divorcecontact Hightower Reff Law today and come visit one of the attorneys at the Omaha office. 

Collaborative Divorce – A Truly Amicable Alternative (Infographic)

 

collaborative-divorce-hightower-reff-2At Hightower Reff Law, not only do we practice in traditional divorce, we also offer collaborative divorce – a truly amicable alternative.  Attorney Scott Hahn and I are among the relatively small number of Nebraska lawyers certified in collaborative divorce.

Why collaborative divorce is a truly amicable alternative

The traditional divorce process happens our adversarial court system. Despite the Nebraska court process mixing in alternative dispute resolution efforts like mediation – in the end, divorcing spouses often end up duking it out in court. Collaborative divorce offers something different.

Collaborative divorce can result in a better outcome for the family in the short and long term. This is especially true when children are involved, because the adults must continue co-parenting after the divorce. Bruised emotions and hard feelings from a bloody court battle can cause additional problems between the parents for years. That’s not good for the children.


Hightower Reff Law is a team of confident, clear, committed attorneys representing clients in the Omaha metro and surrounding areas in family law and criminal defense/dui.


How it works

In simplified terms, the collaborative divorce process involves you and your spouse working with a team of professionals to come up with an agreement for submission to the court to become a final order. You’ll need to have some court involvement to get everything finalized, but it will be brief and uncontested because you’ll have everything agreed upon ahead of time instead of “duking it out.”

Here’s an infographic with the nuts and bolts:

 

The collaborative process puts you in control

In traditional, litigation-centered divorce, unless you and your spouse reach agreement via mediation or negotiation, a judge has the decision making power. In collaborative divorce, you and your spouse control the process from the beginning and you have the power throughout the process.

I’ve been practicing divorce and family law for quite a few years. Through my experience I’ve learned that both spouses in a divorce are most satisfied with the outcome of their case when they’ve had input, instead of having the final order forced on them by a court.

When both sides are generally satisfied with the outcome of a case, both sides are more likely to comply with the final court order. That means it’ll be less likely they’ll have to keep dragging one another back to court to enforce that order.

These are some of the reasons I decided to become certified in collaborative divorce to better serve my clients – and why I believe so strongly in the process for the right cases.

 

This article should not be construed as legal advice. Situations are different and it’s impossible to provide legal advice for every situation without knowing the individual facts. 


For details about the author, Hightower Reff  Partner Attorney Tracy Hightower, visit her profile page.

More information about Hightower Reff’s collaborative divorce practice is available here.

If you need help with a Nebraska divorce, contact Hightower Reff Law today and come visit with one of the attorneys at the Omaha office. 

Divorce Temporary Hearings – You Should Know This (Infographic)

divorce-temporary-hearingDivorce temporary hearings can be intimidating. Let’s face it – the entire divorce process can be intimidating. Arming yourself with information and having good support can make it a lot less so.


Hightower Reff Law is a team of confident, clear, committed attorneys representing clients in the Omaha metro and surrounding areas in family law and criminal defense/dui.


Our Divorce Temporary Hearings infographic fills you in on some basics about divorce temporary hearings.  If you’re going through a divorce or thinking about filing for divorce, this may help make the process more clear – and maybe less daunting.

 

You may have heard the saying “good fences make good neighbors.” At Hightower Reff Law, our team of divorce attorneys has many years of experience in all kinds of marital dissolution cases. From complicated, high asset divorces with children and family owned businesses, to cases involving domestic violence, as well as simple divorces with no children – we’ve done it. Our diverse experience has taught us that, no matter the case, a temporary court order detailing the rights and responsibilities of both parties during the divorce is an important “fence” to put in place.

 

This article should not be construed as legal advice. Situations are different and it’s impossible to provide legal advice for every situation without knowing the individual facts. 


For details about the author, Hightower Reff Attorney Scott Hahn, visit his profile page.

More information about Hightower Reff’s divorce practice is available here.

If you need help with a Nebraska divorce, contact Hightower Reff Law today and visit one of the attorneys at the Omaha office. 

How the Nebraska Divorce Process Works (Infographic)

divorce

If you’re going through a divorce, knowing how the Nebraska divorce process works can bring you clarity. You may also feel greater peace of mind when you know better what to expect from the process.


Hightower Reff Law is a team of confident, clear, committed attorneys representing clients in the Omaha metro and surrounding areas in family law and criminal defense/dui.


This infographic gives you an easy to follow nutshell:

 

Divorce is never easy. Our team of divorce attorneys and staff at Hightower Reff has worked with divorce clients for years. Having an experienced attorney on your side to answer questions and explain how the Nebraska divorce process works every step of the way can be key to your emotional well being during what can be a trying time. Additionally, a skilled divorce lawyer can impact your results.

From filing the Complaint for Dissolution of Marriage through discovery and settlement or trial, legal support is important. Make sure you have clear, committed legal counsel on your side, and that you are confident in their ability to represent you.

This article should not be construed as legal advice. Situations are different and it’s impossible to provide legal advice for every situation without knowing the individual facts. 


For details about the author, Hightower Reff  Partner Attorney Tracy Hightower, visit her profile page.

More information about Hightower Reff’s divorce practice is available here.

If you need help with a Nebraska divorce, contact Hightower Reff Law today and come visit with one of the attorneys at the Omaha office. 

Nebraska Domestic Violence Charges – What You Need To Know (Infographic)

As a criminal law attorney who defends clients against Nebraska domestic violence charges and represents clients on both sides of domestic violence protection orders, I’ve helped both survivors and those accused of domestic violence for years.

Whether you’re a domestic violence survivor needing a domestic abuse protection order or someone facing Nebraska domestic violence charges, it can be a frightening time. At Hightower Reff, we believe making the legal part of the case more clear helps make it less scary.


Hightower Reff Law is a team of confident, clear, committed attorneys representing clients in the Omaha metro and surrounding areas in family law and criminal defense/dui.


No matter which side of the case you’re on, there are some basics about the law and Nebraska domestic violence charges that you should know:

 

When you’re facing Nebraska domestic violence charges, a protection order will be filed against you separately. You can use the same lawyer for both.

Get a lawyer on board as soon as you know about the intimate partner abuse allegations. You’ll want to be sure that lawyer knows Nebraska domestic violence law and has experience.

If you’re a survivor, have a lawyer on your side who can support you in getting, and enforcing, a protection order.

Choosing the right lawyer for your domestic violence charges – “Confident. Clear. Committed” can be your guide

At Hightower Reff, “Confident. Clear. Committed” isn’t just a tagline. It’s a guidepost for everything we do. It can also be a guidepost to help you evaluate a lawyer you’re thinking of hiring.

After you meet with the lawyer, and before you make the hiring decision, ask yourself:

  1. Did the lawyer give me information to help make the legal process in my case more CLEAR?
  2. Do I believe the lawyer is COMMITTED to helping me with my case?
  3. Am I CONFIDENT that the lawyer has the experience and skill it takes to make the process in my case as smooth as possible?

A final word of warning – Miranda style 

Of course, it’s almost always a bad idea to talk to police without a lawyer. Remember, anything you say can be used against you… and it’s a good bet that it will be.

 

This article should not be construed as legal advice. Situations are different and it’s impossible to provide legal advice for every situation without knowing the individual facts. 


For details about the author, Hightower Reff  Partner Attorney Susan Reff, visit her profile page.

More information about Hightower Reff’s practice for domestic violence criminal charges is available here.

If you need information about our practice for domestic abuse protection orders, you can find it here.

If you need help with a domestic violence related case – whether it’s in criminal court or a family law related case, contact us today and schedule a time to meet with Susan by phone, or at our Omaha office.

 

How to Calculate Nebraska Child Support (Infographic)

This infographic on how to calculate Nebraska child support is a basic tool to help you feel more knowledgeable about your child support case. It may help you get an idea of what your child support award or payment could look like.


Hightower Reff Law is a team of confident, clear, committed attorneys representing clients in the Omaha metro and surrounding areas in family law and criminal defense/dui.


It’s always best to work with an experienced child support attorney like the ones at Hightower Reff Law in Omaha, so they can review your case and run a child support calculation using specially designed Nebraska child support calculation software. This tool will give you the knowledge you need to prepare for your meeting.

 

Nebraska Child Support Calculator

 

In Nebraska joint custody cases, (where each parent’s time exceeds 142 days per year) the court will use the joint custody calculation worksheet.

Nebraska child support law can be tricky

Nebraska child support law isn’t always as straightforward as it may seem. For example, in some cases, Nebraska courts may let you deviate from Nebraska Child Support Guidelines, or assign more or less income than you or the other parent actually makes.

When a client comes to see us  for child support case consultation at Hightower Reff, we run a child support calculation for them with specially designed Nebraska child support calculation software, and apply our knowledge of Nebraska child support law to the facts of their case.

Why a lawyer can make a difference in your Nebraska child support case

We often find facts that make a difference in child support as we work through a case with a client. For instance, income may not always be as it seems, or as the opposing party claims. Two examples are: when a party is self-employed and what they really earn is different than what’s reflected in their tax documents, or when a party is capable of earning more than his or her current job pays – but chooses not to.

The best thing to do if you’re curious about child support is to consult with an attorney who knows Nebraska child support law.

This article should not be construed as legal advice. Situations are different and it’s impossible to provide legal advice for every situation without knowing the individual facts. 


For details about the author, Hightower Reff Partner Attorney Tracy Hightower, visit her profile page.

Learn more about Hightower Reff’s child support and custody practice here.

If you need help with a child support case, contact Hightower Reff Law today and come meet with an attorney experienced in that area of law at the Omaha office.

Nebraska DUI Penalties Clickable Infographic – Your Freedom and Your License On the Line

If you’re facing a DUI and want to know what you may be in for, look no further. I know the legal penalties of a Nebraska DUI are one of the first concerns when someone gets a pulled over for DUI, because it’s most often the first thing clients ask when they come to see me for an initial consultation on their DUI case. Their freedom and their driver’s license are on the line. Below is a handy Nebraska DUI Penalties Clickable Infographic.


Hightower Reff Law is a team of confident, clear, committed attorneys representing clients in the Omaha metro and surrounding areas in family law and criminal defense/dui.


Each infographic frame is clickable, with links to resources like the the Nebraska statute that lays out the DUI penalties, Nebraska DMV ignition interlock info., Hightower Reff’s DUI defense practice, and more information about me.

Nebraska-DUI-Penalties-Clickable-Infographic-hightower-reff-law_block_1nebraska-dui-penalty-infographic-hightower-reff-law_block_2nebraska-dui-penalty-infographic-hightower-reff-law_block_3nebraska-dui-penalty-infographic-hightower-reff-law_block_4

 

I’ve been a criminal defense/DUI attorney for more than 15  years. I know good people make mistakes. I get it.

If you’re one of them, don’t compound the mistake of getting a DUI by going into the Nebraska DUI court process or the Nebraska DUI DMV process without knowing the score. Educate yourself and enlist the help of an experienced Omaha DUI lawyer as soon as possible.

If you’d like a PDF of the Nebraska DUI Penalties Clickable Infographic to print or download, click here.

 

This article should not be construed as legal advice. Situations are different and it’s impossible to provide legal advice for every situation without knowing the individual facts. 


For details about the author, Hightower Reff Partner Attorney Susan Reff, visit her profile page at our main website.

You can learn more about Hightower Reff’s DUI defense practice at our main website.

If you need help with a DUI case, contact Hightower Reff Law today and arrange a time to visit with Susan by phone or at the Omaha office.

Pet Custody in Divorce – Who Gets the Family Beagle?

Pet Custody in DivorceMany families include members with four paws instead of hands and feet. Pet custody or pet possession issues are seeing more litigation in divorce courtrooms in recent years.

In a recent survey from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, more than 25 percent of attorneys report they noticed an increase in the number of couples who have fought over pet custody during the past five years.

Some courts across the United States are changing their approach to the pet custody issue.

You get the Crockpot. I get the Cat.

Like most states, Nebraska considers pets to be personal property, so they are technically subject to the same rules of equitable division in a divorce case as would be a crockpot or a living room furniture set.

Also, like any other personal property, because a dog can’t be split in half, if divorcing couples can’t agree on who gets custody of a pet after the divorce, some courts will force the pet to be sold and the proceeds of the sale divided between the parties.

But You’ve Never Loved a Casserole Dish Like This 

As attitudes toward pets change and they are seen as more part of the family, the legal analysis is showing signs of changing, too. Some courts are recognizing that pets aren’t quite the same as a casserole dish or a car.

There are feelings attached to pets and many believe those feelings run both ways – not just from the human to the pet, but from the pet to the human as well.

Best Interests Arguments – for Children and Chihuahuas

Courts in some states are starting to treat pets – usually dogs – almost in the same way as children when it comes to pet custody and considering the best interests of the animal in the pet custody decision. Some judges have even awarded visitation rights or joint custody. Because pets are still considered property, however, courts will usually term it something else, like “alternating possession.”

In some cases where child custody is also at issue, there may be an argument that that what’s in the best interest of the child may include custody of the pet.

How Scooping Poop Could Win Your Pet Custody Case

Many courts just don’t have the time to monitor ongoing disputes that could arise over time when there are pet visitation or joint pet custody arrangements for a pet in a divorce case. Also, the court’s packed calendar may make it necessary to deal with the pet possession issue as expediently as possible at trial. As a result, some courts will look at equitable principals to determine who has the better claim to ownership.

Most often the court will look at factors like who was the animal’s primary caregiver – who walked the dog, scooped the poop, took the dog or cat to the vet and the groomer, bought the food, etc. Saying that scooping poop could win your case may be a bit of an overstatement, but it could be a factor in proving that you are the primary caregiver – which, for many courts, could be the deciding factor that firms up the finding for Fido.

Take Control of Fido’s Fate 

The alternatives a court might come up with if an agreement can’t be reached by you and your soon-to-be ex may not always be good ones. Selling a beloved family pet isn’t something most people we’ve worked with at Hightower Reff Law want to do. A good way to avoid the possibility is to take control yourself through mediation.

In mediation, both parties sit down with a neutral third party who is a trained mediator and work out a solution to the pet custody problem – much like they would work out a solution to child custody issues.

When an issue has such emotional significance, it’s far too important to leave the decision in the hands of someone else. In our many years of practice, the attorneys at Hightower Reff Law have found that our clients are almost always more satisfied with – and more likely to follow – an agreement they reached themselves in mediation rather than an order handed down by a court.

What to Look for in a Lawyer

If your divorce involves a family pet that’s important to you, bring up the issue in your initial consultation with an attorney. Make sure he or she is familiar with pet custody or possession issues, understands that your pet is important and will take seriously your concerns and goals regarding your pet.

This article should not be construed as legal advice. Situations are different and it’s impossible to provide legal advice for every situation without knowing the individual facts. 


Tracy and Maya
Tracy and Maya

About the Author

Pictured are author Tracy Hightower-Henne, and her 7-year-old Great Dane, Maya.

Tracy says that, true to form, Maya does not realize her size, and fancies her self a true lap dog. Maya’s favorite things are: lap-based snuggles, long walks, playing tug with any kind of toy, getting lots of pets, and lap-based snuggles (she likes lap-based snuggles so much, they must be mentioned twice).

Tracy has had furry family members since her childhood. Right now, the furry family members outnumber the non-furry ones in her house. “We got Maya right before my husband and I got married. We also have 2 cats. Our pets are truly part of our family and we treat them like part of the family. They are definitely spoiled at our house. When a client tells me that keeping their pet in their divorce case is important to them, I get it. I know what it’s like to love your pets and to treat them like family.”


For more details about the author, Hightower Reff attorney Tracy Hightower, visit her profile page at our main website.

To learn about Hightower Reff’s family law practice, visit our main website.