Search Free Nebraska Divorce Records on Anyone

Free Nebraska Divorce Record Search
Find out if someone in Nebraska is divorced, free of charge.

Find free Nebraska divorce records efficiently, as these documents are made available for public view and scrutiny due to the state’s Public Record Statutes, a reflection of the broader Federal of Information Act (FOIA).

Citizens will often need access to these records to verify if someone is married or when they need certified copies for official purposes such as immigration and remarrying.

Records of divorce are available to patrons, who can view them through state or county apparatuses at little to no cost. Interested parties can often obtain these records via a quick online search.

Who Can View Divorce Records in Nebraska?

Court dockets are part of public records as per Nebraska’s Public Record Statutes.1 However, while divorce records are part of this data, they are confidential and therefore fall under the public documents that are exempt from being requested by the public barring certain exemptions.

Only certain individuals can order certified copies of divorces including those whose names are on the certificate, parents and children of the parties on the certificate and authorized legal counsel. It is possible to request records that are 50 years or older for genealogical use or family history as per Chapter 3 para 3-004.06.

Nevertheless, it is viable to view divorce records when searching for court records, which will be delved into the sections that follow. Only certified copies are available; information copies or verification letters are not issued by state or county agencies.

Additionally, interested persons may contact third-party vendors who will – for a fee – search through government databases, which will ascertain whether the separation took place. This can be helpful, despite the records not ordinarily being available through the state.

These companies, if not endorsed by the state, will provide copies that cannot be used for official business but simply verify that the separation occurred.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provides divorce rates for each of the 50 states—Nebraska has a fairly low divorce rate in the nation with 2.6 divorces occurring among 1000 persons in 2021 —this compares to the national average rate of 3.2.2 These statistics do not, however, make a distinction between conventional or same sex marriages.

A screenshot of a visualization information map showing divorce rates based on provisional counts per 1,000 total population residing area filtering from 2019-2021 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention2

How To Find Nebraska Divorce Records

Interested persons who are looking to acquire divorce records at little to no cost can turn to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) – Vital Records for records created in 1909 to the present. Patrons may locate records created before 1909 at the District Court of the county where the divorce was granted.

These Nebraska divorce records requests must meet a proper purpose as personal use, legal use like obtaining a passport or for genealogical use.

As mentioned earlier, only eligible persons can request these copies—they can do so by calling 402-471-2871. Certified copies are requested online or by mail.

The quickest and easiest way to request these certificates is by applying online and paying for the certificate via credit card (Mastercard or Visa).3 Each copy costs $16.00. Upload a copy of a valid acceptable identification document into the portal.

A screenshot showing options that direct to an application form to request a certified copy of vital records such as birth certificate, birth resulting in a stillbirth certificate, death, marriage and dissolution certificate from the Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services website.
Source: Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services3

The Vital Records office issues certificates within 3-4 weeks—it does not offer expedited shipping.

To request a certificate of divorce by mail, complete the dissolution certificate application form and provide the information requested such as relation to the owner of the record, reason for the request and county where the decree took place. Enclose a copy of an acceptable ID from identified in the prior link and a self-addressed envelope.

The fee is $16.00 for each copy; make sure to include the exact amount in the application. Payment is through cash, check and money order payable to “Vital Records.”

Mail the request to the DHHS.

Nebraska Vital Records
Post Office Box 95065
Lincoln, NE 68509

Call 402-471-2871 or email dhhs.vitalrecords@nebraska.gov for any questions.

Obtaining Divorce Records Through Counties & Cities in Nebraska

Searching for divorce records though county channels give the requester a wide search scope since records from before 1909 are found in this way.4

Nevertheless, when citizens are looking for records at the state level, they may obtain a record even though they may not know the county of record—counties only have custody of records where the nuptials took place.

Still, when retrieving divorce records from the County Clerk’s Office, interested persons have access to smaller offices with attentive staff and tend to receive their records much more quickly than via state agencies.

Many county clerks allow the public to even view these records online at no cost. The most populous counties in Nebraska will showcase how to view and request divorce records below. These counties are Douglas, Lancaster and Sarpy.

Search for Certificates of Divorce in Douglas County: Decrees of divorce filed in Douglas County occur at the Clerk of the Court District Court and not the recording office.5

Patrons who require to obtain a copy of their decree may call the office at 402-444-7018 or visit the Hall of Justice in Omaha Monday to Friday 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM at the address below. The cost for procuring these records is on this fee schedule.

Douglas County District Court
Hall of Justice
Room 300
1701 Farnam Street
Omaha, Nebraska 68183

It is also possible to search for divorce records online using the Justice Search tool to find court records in the state’s 93 county and district courts including Douglas County.6 This service is not free—the fee is $15.00 per search.

Find Divorce Records in Lancaster County: The Lancaster County Clerk does not have custody of copies of divorce records; instead requestors will need to contact the Clerk of the District Court to obtain these copies. Patrons may request divorce records online which they can receive either by mail or email.

Certification costs $1.00 and paper copies carry a charge of $0.25 per page. Interested parties may also use the Justice Search tool as outlined earlier to view divorce records for a fee.

Call 402-441-7328 or visit the Hall of Justice in Lincoln.

Lancaster County Court Clerk
Hall of Justice
575 S 10th St
Lincoln, NE 68508

Acquire Divorce Records from Sarpy County: Citizens who need to find divorce records may do so through the Sarpy County Clerk Register of Deeds by requesting them conveniently online.7 Make sure to select “Divorce Decree” as the record that is being searched for.

A screenshot of a public records request form requires filling out information such as first name, last name, address, city, state, zip code, email address, and phone and selecting the record type requested from the Sarpy County Courthouse website.
Source: Sarpy County Courthouse7

The County Clerk bills records requests in terms of clerical time to obtain them which is at $15.00 per hour charged at half hour intervals. Cost for copies $0.25 per page. Searcher’s may also use the Justice Search tool to view divorce records from all counties.

Call 402-593-2100 or email the Register of Deeds at recorder@sarpy.gov for more information. The address for the Register of Deeds appears below:

Sarpy County Courthouse Campus
1210 Golden Gate Drive
Papillion, Nebraska 68046

To find divorce records from other counties, interested parties may execute a Google search using the keywords: “[county name] County divorce record search” to find the appropriate agency that issues them.

The search for these vital records can expand to cities in Nebraska who may sometimes allow patrons to request them. Again, the most populous cities in Nebraska will serve as examples; they are Omaha, Lincoln and Bellevue.

Locate Divorce Records in the City of Omaha: The City Clerk of Omaha only maintains public records that pertain to the city. Patrons will need to search for divorce records at the Douglas County Clerk of the District Court, whose process for doing so was described earlier.

Find Divorce Certificates in Lincoln: As with Omaha, divorce records are found at the county and not the city level—contact the Lancaster District Court Clerk to obtain these.8

Retrieve Decrees of Divorce in Bellevue: The search for divorce records in Bellevue is at the Sarpy County Clerk Register of Deeds.

Use the search syntax “[city name] City divorce records search” to find records in other cities. In any case, requestors can always default to the county or state if the city does not provide an access to search for divorce records.

Older divorced records that have been archived can be sought to perform genealogy and ancestry lineage research and the process for accomplishing this appears in the sections that follow.

Conduct Genealogy & Lineage Research via Free Historical Divorce Records in Nebraska

Divorce records that are older provide a valuable resource for genealogy research as they help individuals pinpoint their lineage and get some insight into their ancestors. In Nebraska, searching for these records occurs at state and county divorce indexes and archives.

As Nebraska does not have its own state archives, interested parties can search for these records at the National Archives at Kansas City Missouri.9 The research room is available only by appointment Monday to Friday 9 AM to 4 PM.

Email kansascity.archives@nara.gov to schedule an appointment for a visit or call 816-268-8000 for any questions. The address can be found below:

National Archives
400 West Pershing Road
Kansas City, Missouri 64108

NebraskAccess provides some resources that patrons may use to run a free public divorce records search to find old dissolution records including the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) – Vital Records, which has separation records from 1909.10

However, the counties provide the best resource to find even older records than this—dissolution records that occurred before 1909 are acquired at the Clerk of the District Courts for events that took place in their jurisdiction. Interested parties must provide a reason and documentation showing they have a relation with the party of the record.

Nevertheless, as stated earlier, records that are 50 years or older may be requested for genealogical use as per Chapter 3 paragraph 3-004.06 of the Rules and Regulations.

Additionally, some cities do provide public divorce records as in the case of Omaha, which has a historical society for older dissolution records. Interested parties can use the Greater Omaha Genealogical Society Database to Divorces which displays separation records from newspaper announcements at no cost.

Some libraries such as the Lincoln – Lancaster County Genealogical Society search through newspapers for divorce information.11 The service is free to use. There are other libraries in Nebraska that patrons can contact to find information on archived divorce records.

A screenshot displaying a search tool can be used to find contents, records, or documents by required last name, first name, and event year from the Lincoln-Lancaster County Genealogical Society website.
Source: Lincoln-Lancaster County Genealogical Society11

How To Look Up Nebraska Dissolutions of Marriage & Common Law Divorces

Marriage dissolution records are generated by the courts when a judge grants a divorce to a couple—in Nebraska, citizens may acquire these records by contacting the Clerks of the District Courts.

The state has a unified court system known as the State of Nebraska Judicial Branch that provides a search tool known as the Justice Case Search tool. This instrument allows users to search court records in all 93 District Courts—the custodian of Nebraska divorce records.

There is a $15.00 charge that applies for using the system but this single search can return up to thirty records. It is also possible to create a subscriber account for individuals or agencies that is billed at $100.00 annually which gives ten usernames and permits free general searches for lists of cases.

A common law marriage is a type of union where a husband and wife do not solemnize or obtain a license but where the couple are recognized as being legally married by the state.

Common law marriages are prohibited by law as of 1923 in the state of Nebraska—however, the state does recognize this type of union if the couple lived in a state where this form of partnership was acknowledged.12 In scenarios like these, proceedings that are akin to a divorce take place to divide the assets.

Contact the Clerk of the District Courts of the county to check if any common law divorce has taken place for these types of marriages.

How To Initiate a Dissolution in Nebraska & Steps To Take When Served Divorce Papers

There are generally two types of uncontested divorce that take place in Nebraska; simple divorces with no children or disputed property and simple divorces that have children and with no custody, visitation or property disputes.

However, as is often the case, the couple may disagree on issues of child support, property and custody—in these cases, lawyers can help resolve the issues, but this is costly and therefore many couples can opt for mediation (arbitration). If this fails, then the disputes will mandate the divorce to go to trial where the judge will make the decision to resolve them.

Nevertheless, if the couple has reached an agreement on all issues before trial, there will only be a brief hearing where the judge will review and approve the Settle Agreement before granting the divorce.

To be able to file for divorce in Nebraska, a residency requirement must be fulfilled; one of the spouses must have lived in the state for a year with the exception where the marriage took part in the state and the couple lived in the state for the entirety of the marriage, even if it was for less than a year.13

Please note that Nebraska is not an at-fault divorce state as neither spouse needs to prove the other one was on the ‘wrong’ to file for a divorce as in cases of infidelity or abuse as was the case before 1972 in the state. This may sometimes have resulted in mensa et thoro being granted if one spouse was cruel or deserted the other.

It is recommended that petitioners obtain legal counsel to navigate through the divorce process in Nebraska or at least hire a lawyer to do only part of the divorce—known as Limited Scope Representation. This helps curb the legal costs.

Filing for Divorce With No Children and Disputed Property: The rules vary by district court, and petitioners for divorce will need to consult with the clerk, as failure to follow the local rules may lead to an incomplete case. Gather all personal information to complete the divorce forms using this worksheet (Spanish).

Complete this list of forms with accompanying instructions. These forms are only for divorces where there are no children, or where the spouse is not pregnant or no alimony is requested among other requirements which can be viewed from the page linked.

File these forms with the Clerk of the District Court; the charges incurred for the whole process are available in this fee schedule.

If the spouse is unable to bear the costs of filing the divorce, they may still file without paying the fees by requesting the judge to waive the fees.14

A screenshot displaying a search tool can be used to find the master forms list by the title, form number, form set, and selecting a filter type and category, including the language from the State of Nebraska Judicial Branch website.
Source: State of Nebraska Judicial Branch14

This divorce process flowchart should give the petitioner a sense and overview of the whole process.15

Once the forms have been filed, the clerk will create a divorce file and the petitioner will need to inform the spouse by serving them divorce papers or file a request for summons known as a Praecipe served by the Sheriff. This needs to occur within six months of filing the complaint, failure to which the case will be dismissed.

The defendant (ex-wife or husband) has 30 days to respond and can file an Answer and Counterclaim for Dissolution of Marriage using these instructions.16

Petitioner will request a hearing date and will need to inform the defendant of the scheduled date by mailing the Notice of Hearing (DC 6:4.5).

The judge will sign the decree during the hearing after approval—the divorce only becomes final after 30 days and the individuals cannot remarry anywhere in the world until 6 months and one day has elapsed.

Filing for Divorce With Children and No Disputes: These disputes include custody, property & visitation differences. These are no-fault divorces hence disputes revolving around adultery or cruelty are not considered. The process is similar to the divorce above but having different requirements and forms that are to be filed. Consider these forms, process flow and costs for this type of divorce:

Parties to a divorce with children are mandated to attend a parenting education course before the hearing from an online list of court approved providers or they may acquire them from the Clerk of the District Court.17

A screenshot showing information regarding the programs and services offered, specifically parenting education classes, and additional information regarding parent education, mediating a parenting plan, finding a mediator, mediator portal from the State of Nebraska Judicial Branch website.
Source: State of Nebraska Judicial Branch17

Upon completion of the course, prepare the Certificate of Completion of Parenting Education Course using these instructions.

Once the spouse has been served and a hearing date scheduled, prepare for the hearing and bring the filed forms such as the decree of marriage dissolution. The same conditions apply as when filing a divorce with no children.

Nebraska divorce records are confidential but can still be viewed with the right guidance and channels at little to no cost—additionally, this resource provides helpful information to help couples initiate a divorce process.


References

1Nebraska Government. (2023, February). Outline of Nebraska Public Records Statutes. Retrieved November 09, 2023, from <https://ago.nebraska.gov/public-records>

2Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2023, February 10). Divorce Rates by State: 2019-2021. Retrieved November 09, 2023, from <https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/sosmap/divorce_states/divorce_rates.htm>

3Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services. (n.d). Vital Records. Retrieved November 09, 2023, from <https://nevitalrecords-dhhs.ne.gov/CustomerInformation?certificateRequestId=295198https://nevitalrecords-dhhs.ne.gov/CustomerInformation?certificateRequestId=295198>

4Library of Congress. (n.d). Vital Records. Retrieved November 09, 2023, from <https://guides.loc.gov/nebraska-local-history-genealogy/vital-records>

5Douglas County Colorado. (n.d). Copies of Recorded Documents. Retrieved November 09, 2023, from <https://www.douglas.co.us/recording/copy-request-information/>

6Nebraska Judicial Branch. (n.d). Justice Search. Retrieved November 09, 2023, from <https://www.nebraska.gov/justicecc/ccname.cgi>

7Sarpy County Courthouse. (n.d). Public Records Request Form. Retrieved November 09, 2023, from <https://www.sarpy.gov/FormCenter/ClerkRegister-of-Deeds-6/Public-Records-Request-Form-49>

8Lancaster County District Court. (n.d). District Court Clerk Records Request. Retrieved November 09, 2023, from <https://www.lancaster.ne.gov/FormCenter/District-Court-17/District-Court-Clerk-Records-Request-111>

9National Archives. (n.d). National Archives at Kansas City, Missouri. Retrieved November 09, 2023, from <https://www.archives.gov/kansas-city>

10NebraskAcess. (n.d). Websites Selected by Librarians. Retrieved November 09, 2023, from <https://nebraskaccess.nebraska.gov/websites/birthdeathdivorceandmarriagecertificates.asp>

11Lincoln-Lancaster County Genealogical Society. (n.d). LLCGS Documents Search. Retrieved November 09, 2023, from <https://llcgs.net/getName.php?message=>

12Nebraska Legislature. (n.d). Nebraska Revised Statute 42-104. Retrieved November 09, 2023, from <https://nebraskalegislature.gov/laws/statutes.php?statute=42-104>

13University of Nebraska-Lincoln. (n.d). Are There Requirements For Getting A Divorce In Nebraska? Retrieved November 09, 2023, from <https://asun.unl.edu/student-legal-services/are-there-requirements-getting-divorce-nebraska>

14State of Nebraska Judicial Branch. (n.d). Master Forms List. Retrieved November 09, 2023, from <https://supremecourt.nebraska.gov/forms?title&field_form_number_value&field_form_type_tid=All&field_form_category_tid%5B0%5D=227&field_language_tid=288>

15State of Nebraska Judicial Branch. (2021, August). Divorce without Children – Process and Estimated Timeline. Retrieved November 09, 2023, from <https://supremecourt.nebraska.gov/sites/default/files/AD-2-34.pdf>

16State of Nebraska Judicial Branch. (2022, November). Instructions for Completing the Answer and Counterclaim for Dissolution of Marriage (No Children). Retrieved November 09, 2023, from <https://supremecourt.nebraska.gov/sites/default/files/DC-9-1a.pdf>

17State of Nebraska Judicial Branch. (n.d). Parenting Education Classes. Retrieved November 09, 2023, from <https://supremecourt.nebraska.gov/programs-services/odr/parenting-education-classes>