Nevada divorce details
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Uncontested VS Contested Divorce in Nevada
The main choice you have to make when you decide to have a divorce is whether you want to contest or not.
A contested divorce is a very time-consuming and expensive process that may include long and numerous court hearings. You are also usually required to hire an attorney as the court tend to become a battlefield of conflicting interests. Nowadays, more and more people prefer to save their time and money, contesting their divorces only as a last resort.
An uncontested divorce means that the spouses are able to discuss and decide on all the most important terms of their case without a trial. The common aim is to create a detailed Settlement Agreement that suits both parties. Such a process is usually much cheaper and less time-consuming as you can deal with the process without an attorney.
Uncontested Divorce in Nevada
An uncontested divorce implies that there is no one to blame, and just a mutual intention to divorce between the two spouses. As a result, you are not required to discuss the personal issues with the court.
The main part of any uncontested divorce is the negotiation. You may try to decide on issues such as child custody, property division, and spousal support on your own with your spouse, or you may request the help of a lawyer or mediator. When the court approves your Settlement Agreement (the document that governs your post-divorce life), the divorce can be granted.
However, the easiest option of an uncontested divorce is a so-called “Summary divorce”. The spouses can file for divorce as co-petitioners, and their divorce can be finalized within 2 weeks. In order to do so, they must meet the following conditions: there are no children and the wife is not pregnant, there is no community property nor a premarital agreement that covers all the property issues, the spouses don’t require alimony or any additional court orders, and the spouses live separately for one year.
Try to persuade your spouse to file a joint petition for divorce in order to make the case easier. If it is impossible, you should prepare all the necessary forms and serve your spouse with the copies, notifying them of the divorce.
Grounds for Divorce in Nevada
Nevada is a no-fault state. This means that if one of the spouses want to get a divorce, this is enough to begin a proceeding. They do not have to prove their partner’s guilt or convince the court that the divorce must be granted.
Under the Nevada Statutes, the intention to divorce should be pointed before the court as “Incompatibility”. This means that there is some conflict of interest, and the marriage is irreparably broken.
Living separate and apart for at least 1 year also can be considered as a no-fault ground for divorce. The filing spouse must state this ground, but is not required to present any evidence.
And finally, there is one exception that can be considered as a “fault grounds” because you have to prove it. It is the insanity of one spouse for at least 2 years prior to filing for divorce. The filing spouse must provide the court with clear evidence of their partner’s mental disorder.
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Nevada Residency Requirements to File for Divorce
Nevada residency requirements are not so strict. In order to file for divorce in the Silver State, either you or your spouse must reside in the state for at least 6 weeks by the time the divorce actions begin.
However, you have to prove your residency with the Affidavit of Resident Witness. This form must be filled out before the notary by the other resident of Nevada who can affirm and testify that you lived in the state for the required minimum of 6 weeks or more.
How to File for an Uncontested Divorce in Nevada
Below are the main steps to follow for any uncontested divorce case. The steps may vary depending on your individual case.
- File a Complaint for Divorce in your county court (or in your spouse’s county, or in the county where you last resided together).
- Fill out other forms that are necessary for your case and make a copy of the Complaint for your spouse.
- Serve your spouse with the documents (you can do it via mail or with the help of the sheriff or private process service).
- Your spouse then has 20 days to give a response (namely, to fill out the Answer to Complaint for Divorce). Meanwhile, they must sign an Acceptance of Service in order to let you and the court know that the delivery was successful.
- Once it is clear that the Defendant (non-filing spouse) agrees with all the terms of the divorce, this case is officially considered as uncontested. The spouses can fill out the rest of the forms together and submit their Settlement agreement to the court.
- The state of Nevada does not have any “cooling-off” waiting period, so, when all the documents are prepared, the divorce can be granted within a couple weeks.
Do-It-Yourself Divorce in Nevada
If the case is simple enough and spouses’ desire to divorce is mutual, they can easily arrange a divorce by themselves.
Nevada divorce laws officially provide such an opportunity by recognizing the summary divorce. Under some conditions that help determine that your case is not complicated (no children, no common assets, and debts, the partners live separate for a 1 year, and so on), you can file for divorce jointly and save time. In that case, you don't need attorneys because there are no issues that need to be resolved with their help.
However, a regular uncontested divorce can also be arranged in a DIY format if both you and your spouse want to terminate your marriage but, for example, don’t meet the requirements for summary divorce. You have to deal with a settlement agreement in this case, but if you are ready to negotiate and compromise, you may cope with it without a lawyer. And if there are still some difficulties, you can always consider mediation or ask us for help in document preparation.
How Much Does an Uncontested Divorce Cost?
The cost of divorce starts with a filing fee, which is a mandatory payment that is charged by the court at the time you file for divorce. It usually costs around $300 in Nevada, but may vary depending on the county.
Additional expenses may include mediation fees, which vary between $200 and $400 in Nevada, and attorney fees, which are not as required in an uncontested case as it is in a contested one. In Nevada, an average uncontested divorce including both court and attorney fees is about $2,000.
How Long Does It Take to Get Divorced in Nevada?
As there is no “cooling-off period” in Nevada, the divorce can be granted pretty quickly. If the spouses file for divorce as co-petitioners, the proceeding can be finalized within 2-3 weeks.
If the filing spouse has to serve the partner with the divorce paperwork, it can take more time because the filing spouse should wait for the Answer to Complaint for Divorce (this waiting can delay the process for another 20 days).
Generally, an uncontested divorce takes between 30 and 60 days in Nevada. In comparison, a contested divorce typically takes from 6 months to 1 year.
How to Serve Your Spouse in Nevada
If you file for divorce as a sole petitioner, it is your responsibility to deliver the divorce paperwork (namely, the copies of the Complaint for divorce and Answer to Complaint for Divorce) to your spouse.
They must be served these forms personally, but you are not allowed to do it yourself.
In Nevada there are three common ways who to serve your spouse:
- Via direct mail
- Through the private process service
- Through the sheriff’s service
It is important to remember that your partner must provide a signed Acceptance of Service in response.
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Documents You Need to Get a Divorce in Nevada
Below is a list of the main forms you must fill out to get divorced in Nevada. Note that not all the forms are required as it depends on your individual case.
- Complaint for divorce (with / without children)
- Answer to Complaint for Divorce No Counterclaim
- Confidential Information Sheet
- Decree of Divorce (with / without children)
- Child Support Worksheet A - For Primary Physical Custody Calculations; Child Support Worksheet B - For Joint Physical Custody Calculations (if there are children involved)
To file for divorce as co-petitioners you must fill out some special forms:
- Joint Petition for Divorce
- Joint Petition Divorce Decree
- Confidential Information Sheet
Online Divorce in Nevada
Online divorce refers to the process of preparing all the necessary documents accurately through an online service. You just need to order the papers, pay the filing fee, print out the documents, and file them at court. Such a process can help you save a lot of money as compared to getting the documents completed with the help of an attorney. For just $139, you can rest assured that the documents are prepared accurately and on time to be approved by the court.
Rules for Child Support and Visitation in Nevada
In Nevada, there are three things that essentially affect the amount of child support: number of children, custody agreement, and gross income of parents.
An approximate percentage of parent’s income is calculated to be spent on child support. In 2018, these percentages are 18% for one child, 25% for two, 29% for three, and +2% for each additional child after that.
Child support is not necessarily the payment from one parent to the other. It is expected that both parents can contribute to this amount and a lot of depends on the custody arrangement.
As for custody, Nevada modern laws favor joint custody for both legal and physical, if possible.
Legal custody refers to the decision-making power in regards to important issues affecting the child’s life.
Physical custody refers to who the child lives with and the time each parent gets to spend with the child (at least 146 days per years).
Neither parent is allowed to prevent the other parent from having contact with the child. However, if the court finds that close contact with one of the parents can be harmful or even dangerous to the child, joint custody may not be granted.
Rules for Spousal Support in Nevada
Alimony, or spousal support, can be granted by either spouse due to the premarital agreement or the court decision.
In the state of Nevada, it can either be one-time (for the period of the divorce process) or temporary (periodic) payments.
But at the same time, alimony orders can be changed depending on the paying spouse’s financial circumstances.
There are a lot of factors considered by the court to order equitable alimony: financial condition of both spouses, sole property of each spouse, each spouse’s contribution to the family welfare, length of the marriage, earning capacity and qualification of each spouse, their physical and mental health, and others.
Division of Property in Nevada
Being a community property state, Nevada belongs to a minority of the American states.
According to the divorce rules of a community property state, all property earned and acquired during the marriage by either spouse or by both spouses is divided equally without any consideration of essential factors or circumstances. After the divorce, each spouse gets 50% of the assets and marital property value, regardless of who contributed more, or who can earn more under the new circumstances.
However, the court can make an exception in extreme cases, when there is clear evidence that 50/50 splitting cannot be just and fair, and there are convincing reasons to divide the property in some other way.
Division of Debt in Nevada
The rules of community property state apply to the debts the same way. Debts are considered to be a part of property. So if they are collected during the married life, they should be divided equally between the two spouses
Prenuptial agreement is almost irreplaceable for partners who live in a community property state. All the conditions claimed in such a document legally override the community property laws.
Divorce Mediation in Nevada
Mediation is an alternative to dispute resolution. Mediation helps to reach a mutually acceptable Settlement Agreement. Thus, it is a very important option for an uncontested divorce, especially if issues regarding child custody and property division are involved.
During the mediation session, the spouses meet and negotiate under the guidance of a qualified mediator. The mediator doesn’t order something, but they may provide advice on what decisions are reasonable and express their opinion on what the court would do in certain cases. The mediator basically helps the spouses to build a strategy for the divorce proceeding and reach an agreement.
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How to Divorce a Missing Spouse in Nevada
You have the right to divorce even if you are unable to locate your spouse. The whole process may take more time and demand more effort, but is possible.
You need to first attempt to serve your spouse with all the paperwork. They have 20 days to give a response to the Summons. If you fail to locate your spouse and deliver the documents, you can file for divorce by publication.
You must first describe all your attempts of looking for your missing spouse in the Affidavit of Diligent Search form. If the judge is convinced, the judge issues an Order of Publication that allows you to publish the notice in the local newspaper. After a certain time and the spouse still fails to respond, the divorce is granted by default.
Default Divorce in Nevada
Divorce by Default judgment is a motion to enter a final divorce decree without the participation of the Defendant (non-filing spouse). It can be entered if the Defendant was served with a Petition but fails to respond it or, as in the case described above, if the Defendant was served by publication.
Typically, in the case of divorce by default, the Petitioner (the filing spouse who initiates the divorce) is granted what was requested in their Complaint for Divorce.
Annulment of Marriage in Nevada
Annulment is the process that recognizes a marriage as invalid, or as it never existed.
In Nevada, there are 5 grounds for annulment:
- Underage marriage without consent (and lack of guardian's consent in other cases when it is needed).
- Incapacity to give consent of one of the spouses at the time of marriage registration.
- Fraud marriage (a consent for marriage was obtained by lies).
- Incest, close relatives.
An annulment of marriage in Nevada has different residency requirements than a divorce. To file the "Complaint for annulment", one of the spouses must reside in the state for at least 6 months, or the marriage must be registered in Nevada.
Legal Separation in Nevada
Legal separation, also referred to as Separate Maintenance, is a court action that is very similar to a divorce but does not legally terminate the marriage.
Separate maintenance regulates all the essential issues of the couple’s dissolution such as custody, child and spousal support, and property division. However, the spouses remain legally married and are not allowed to remarry. There are different reasons as to why couples seek a separation and not a divorce - from hopes of reconciliation to the wanting to retain their insurance benefits.
The requirements for Legal separation in Nevada are the same as for divorce, and as Nevada is a no-fault state, it isn't necessary to have any ground for it. But there are three additional, special grounds to file for a Separation:
- Insanity of one of the spouses for 2 years or more.
- Living separate and apart for a year or more.
- One of the spouses is abandoned by the other for at least 90 days.
Same-Sex Divorce in Nevada
Same sex marriage and divorce were recognized in Nevada in 2012.
At the same time, Nevada recognizes a domestic partnership between same-sex couples. It is quite similar to a marriage, but grants fewer benefits (like federal tax advantages or medical and other benefits when the partner works for the federal government).
It is worth noting that a divorce proceeding can end both a domestic partnership and a regular marriage.
Military Divorce in Nevada
You can file for divorce in Nevada if you are a resident of the state for at least 6 weeks or if you are currently stationed in Nevada as a military member.
One thing to note is that a military divorce can take longer than a regular divorce proceeding. This is because the process of serving may be postponed for the entire time the military member is on active duty and some time after that. The default judgement cannot be entered against them according to the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act (SCRA).
Furthermore, division of servicemembers’ retirement pays is guided by the Uniformed Services’ Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA). These pensions are subject to division, but the spouses must be married for at least 10 years.
How to Divorce a Spouse in Jail in Nevada
There are two most common ways to divorce an incarcerated spouse in Nevada:
1. First, you may suggest to file a joint petition for divorce so that your case could be cheap and easy. The jail authorities can tell you how it’s better to notarize your partner's signature.
2. Second, you can file as a sole petitioner and deliver the paperwork to the jail. If your spouse doesn’t respond, you can get a default divorce.
If your spouse answers, you have a contested case. Cases like this are quite rare and you will most likely need an attorney to handle it.
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Nevada Divorce Filing Fee
Court filing fees are in addition to the cost of using DivorceFiller.com. This cost may vary by county. Please check with your local courthouse to determine the exact amount.
Can a Filing Fee Be Waived?
The filing fee may be waived for indigent petitioners. You must file a “fee waiver application” which provides information regarding your income, expenses, and so forth with the court. With this information, the court determines whether to approve or deny your request.
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