Divorce in Nevada

The dissolution of marriage is accomplished by divorce, which requires court filings, either by yourself or with the help of a Nevada divorce attorney. Deciding if you want to get divorced can be frightening. To ensure your rights are protected in a divorce, it is advisable to consult with an attorney to determine your rights and discuss your options.

Consulting with a divorce attorney before you have made any decisions can save you time and money in the long run. Timing can be crucial in a divorce and the failure to seek the advice of counsel early in the process could drastically affect the outcome of your case.

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Jurisdiction

If you want to file for divorce in Nevada, you or your spouse must reside in Nevada for the six (6) weeks leading up until the filing of the Complaint for Divorce. The court may ask you or your spouse to prove your residency.

This six (6) week requirement is often times abused by individuals from other States with stricter divorce laws. It is not unusual for an individual to come to Nevada and set up a sham residence in an attempt to meet the residency requirements to obtain a divorce.

If such jurisdictional conflicts exist, it is crucial that you consult with an attorney immediately. Failure to raise jurisdictional objections prior to responding to a Complaint for Divorce, or appearing in Court, may result in you being subject to the jurisdiction of the Court regardless of such jurisdictional defenses depending upon the circumstances of your case.

Jones & LoBello will advise you in advance as to the potential pitfalls and perils that you face, and will utilize our years of experience in the field of Family Law to protect both your assets and interest.

Grounds for Divorce

Nevada is a no-fault divorce state, meaning the person asking for a divorce does not need to prove anything went wrong. The person asking for divorce only needs to claim that they no longer get a long.

There are other grounds for divorce, like insanity, that are not used very often. A judge is likely to grant a divorce if you simply claim that you can no longer live together as a married couple and that there is no chance of reconciliation.

For this reason, we encourage our clients to focus their energies on other areas, rather than focusing on establishing blame for the failed marriage. Once clients re-focus their energy, the legal matters can be readily addressed.

Filing for Divorce

If you decide to file for divorce, you must file the complaint for divorce with the district court. There are two ways to petition for a divorce, and both require a court filing.

If you and your spouse can agree on everything in your divorce, you can file for a divorce together by filing a joint petition for divorce. Joint petitions don't typically need to appear before a judge, are far less costly, and are approved rather quickly.

Should you and your spouse have any disagreement on any terms of the divorce, you, or your spouse can file a complaint for divorce. The first person to file is the "plaintiff", but if you are responding to a complaint that has been filed, you will be the "defendant." There are advantages and disadvantages to being the plaintiff. If you file a complaint, your spouse will have the opportunity to file an answer and counterclaim to anything you filed. Alternatively, if your spouse filed first, you will have the opportunity to respond.

If either of you fails to respond, the divorce will be considered uncontested. even if only one of you signed the divorce papers.

Related article: 9 Noteworthy Divorce Laws in Nevada

Alimony (Spousal Support)

There is no set formula for alimony in Nevada. The Court’s decision regarding alimony is so discretionary, it is impossible to provide an accurate summary due to the number of factors and the different tendencies of the Judges in the Eighth Judicial District Court.

Generally, a marriage of five years or more in which one party earns significantly more than the other does, results in an alimony award. The amount and the duration depend on the Judge as well as dozens of other factors. If you have questions regarding whether or not alimony would be awarded and the specific amount that could be anticipated, our attorneys can advise based upon their experiences with any individual Judge on similar facts.

  • Duration of the marriage and the lifestyle shared by the parties during the marriage.
  • Earning ability, age, education, and/or career factors.
  • The need for financial support and the ability to pay support.

Alimony, more so than any other area of family law, is an area that requires the vast experience of an attorney to give you appropriate, realistic and reasonable advice particular to your individual case. Your attorney will likely help you mitigate your need for alimony as much as practicable.

Our years of experience have proven that a person who contributes toward their own support is in a much better position to bring an amicable closure to their marriage. More importantly, a Court is more inclined to award appropriate alimony to someone who is making good faith efforts to contribute toward their own financial needs. NRS125.210

Related article: Modification of Alimony in Nevada: Law and Reality 

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Getting an annulment is a multi-step process that is complicated and confusing, but not impossible.

Annulment

Depending upon the circumstances surrounding a marriage, it may be annulled by the Nevada Courts. An annulment means that the marriage is void, it never existed.

In the event that a marriage occurred while:

  • Either party lacked the mental capacity to enter into a contract, or was under duress.
  • Occurred while either party was intoxicated
  • Occurred due to certain types of mistakes, or fraud.

Courts retain much latitude to determine whether a marriage should be ended by an annulment or a divorce. In the event that you are a Nevada resident, or were married in the State of Nevada, and intend to seek an annulment, it is imperative that you seek the advice of counsel prior to filing a Petition. Obtaining an annulment is not easy. Hiring an attorney that understands the nuances of Nevada Law, will assist you in presenting your case and maximizing your chances of successfully obtaining an Annulment. NRS125.290

How much will my Divorce cost?

The cost of your divorce is going to depend on and is affected by many factors. The average divorce cost in the United States is between $10,000 and $20,000. This average is just an estimate and remember, every divorce is different. The more agreement you and your spouse have on how to end the marriage, dividing assets and sharing custody of any children, the less contentious the divorce will be. Spouses than cannot agree, or marriages where there are a lot of assets or custody issues, typically incur larger divorce bills. It all comes down to how much time you and your spouse are going to require from your respective attorneys to resolve the divorce. There are ways to reduce your costs and fees in any divorce, and it is important to discuss your financial position up front with your attorney so you can come up with a reasonable plan.

Related Article: How Much will my Divorce Cost?

Practicing Attorneys

John D. Jones, Partner

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Michele T. LoBello, Partner

Elisabeth S. Flemming, Associate

Shannon M. Wilson, Associate