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Uncontested VS Contested Divorce in Nevada

The main choice you should make, thinking of your future divorce - whether it should be contested or not.

A contested divorce is mainly time-consuming and expensive process, which may include long litigation during numerous hearings. It is hard to imagine a traditional contested divorce without a lawyer’s help, vice versa, the contested case typically becomes a real battlefield between the spouses' attorneys. But contrary to the stereotype, modern Americans are not so addicted to the court trials. 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 all the most important terms of their case without a trial. They may involve attorneys or not, but the common aim is to make a detailed Settlement Agreement that would suit both parties. This way is much cheaper because you can deal with it without an attorney.

Uncontested Divorce in Nevada

An uncontested divorce implies that there are not any blames and claims, just an intention to get a divorce. So you haven't to discuss some personal issues before the court.

The main part of any uncontested case is negotiation. You may try to decide children-related issues, financial terms, and property division on your own as well as to ask for lawyers and mediators help. When the court approves your Settlement Agreement (the document that governs your future post-divorce life) the divorce can be granted.

But the easiest option of uncontested divorce is a so-called “Summary divorce”. The spouses can file for divorce as co-petitioners, and their divorce proceeding can be finalized within 2 weeks, but they must meet the following conditions: there are no children and the wife is not pregnant; there is no community property, or there is a premarital agreement that covers all the property issues; the spouses don’t require the alimony or any additional court orders; the spouses live separate for a 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 about the divorce action.

Grounds for Divorce in Nevada

Nevada is a no-fault state. It means that if one of the spouses want to get a divorce this is enough to begin a proceeding. He or she has not to prove the partner’s fault or convince the court that the divorce must be granted.

Under the Nevada Statutes, this intention to divorce should be pointed before the court as “Incompatibility”, what 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 there is no need to present some evidence.

And finally, there is one exception, that can be considered as a "fault ground" because you have to prove it. This ground is the insanity of one spouse for at least 2 years prior to filing for divorce. The filing spouse definitely must provide the court with clear evidence of the partner’s mental disorder.

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Nevada Residency Requirements to File for Divorce

Nevada Residency Requirements are not so strict. To file for divorce in Silver State either you or your spouse must reside in the state for only 6 weeks by the time of divorce actions begins.

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 definitely have lived in the state for a required minimum of 6 weeks or more.

How to File for an Uncontested Divorce in Nevada?

As you already know an uncontested divorce is popular, quite an easy and not expensive procedure. So, you want to get a divorce, you meet the residency requirements, your partner is not going to contest the case... But where to begin?

Here the main basic steps of almost any uncontested divorce case. Look at them and notice if some additional efforts may be needed in your individual situation.

  1. File a Complaint for Divorce in your county court (or in your spouse’s county, or in the county where you last resided together).
  2. Fill out other forms which a necessary for your case, make a copy of the Complaint for your spouse.
  3. Serve your spouse with the documents (you can do it via mail, or with the help of the sheriff or private process service).
  4. Then your spouse has 20 days to give a response (namely, to fill out the Answer to Complaint for Divorce). Meanwhile, he/she must sign an Acceptance of Service in order to let you and the court know, that delivery succeeded.
  5. Once it is clear that the Defendant (non-filing spouse) is OK 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.
  6. The state of Nevada has not 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 agreed and mutual they can easily arrange a divorce by themselves.

Nevada divorce laws officially give such an opportunity recognizing the Summary divorce. Under some conditions that help to determine your case as 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 your time. In that case, you don't need attorneys because there are no issues that are usually resolved with their help.

But a regular uncontested divorce can also be arranged in a DIY format if both of you 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 remember, if there are still some difficulties, you always can consider mediation or ask for our help with document preparation.

How Much Does an Uncontested Divorce Cost?

The divorce expenses start with a filing fee - the mandatory payment which is charged by the court at the time you’re filing for divorce. It is usually about $300 in Nevada, but you should check a relevant data on your county court’s website.

Additional expenses may include mediation fees, which vary between $200 and $400 in Nevada, or attorney fees, which are much less for an uncontested case than for a contested one. In Nevada, an average uncontested divorce including both court and attorney fees is about $2000.

How Long Does It Take to Get Divorced in Nevada?

As there is no the “cooling-off period” in Nevada, the divorce can be granted in quite short terms. 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 average uncontested divorce takes between 30 and 60 days in Nevada. To compare, 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.

He or she must be served with these forms personally, but you are not allowed to do it by yourself.

In Nevada there are three common ways who to serve your spouse:

  • via direct mail
  • through the private process service
  • or through the sheriff’s service.

Remember, that  your partner must provide a signed Acceptance of Service in response.

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Papers & Documents You Need to Get a Divorce in Nevada

Preparing your personal paperwork packet you may need some additional forms or documents depending on your unique case. But here are the main forms you must fill out to get divorced in Nevada.

  • Complaint for divorce (with / without children)
  • Summons
  • 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

Though there is no opportunity to finalize a divorce online, you still can prepare for it without attending a court.

Our company offers you to prepare your individual packet of documents online and download it in your computer.

You have not to learn the state and county divorce rules anymore. Just provide us with some data and we will select the necessary forms customizing them to your particular case. You can get completed and ready-to-sign paperwork kit only for $149. No mistakes, no delays. We guarantee that the court will approve your forms. In addition, our specialists are always ready to answer all your questions.

Rules for Child Support and Visitation in Nevada

In  Nevada, there are three things that essentially affect an amount of child support: number of children, custody agreement, and gross income of parents.

Eventually, an approximate percentage of parent’s income that should be spent as child support can be calculated. In 2018, in Nevada, these percentages are 18% for one child, 25% - for two, 29% - for three and +2% in addition for every next child.

Child support is not necessary the payment form the 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 the joint custody (both legal and physical, if it’s possible).

Legal custody means decision-making power about some important issues affecting the child’s life.

Physical custody means the children’s placement or approximately equal time spent with the children, and caring about them (at least 146 days per year).

Neither of parents is allowed to prevent the contact of the child/ren with the other parent.

But surely, if the court finds that close contact with one of the parents can be harmful or even dangerous for the child (for example, there were cases of domestic violence, abusing, cruelty) the joint custody does 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 due to the court decision.

In the state of Nevada, it can be one-time (for the period of the divorce process) or temporary (periodic) payment. For example, month-payments are the most common.

But at the same time, alimony orders are not established once and forever. They can be changed by the requirement if the financial condition of the paying spouse change.

Nevada courts provide a spousal support to be arranged as just. There are a lot of factors considered by the court to order the equitable alimony: financial condition of both spouses, sole property of each spouse, the contribution to the family’s welfare (both material and, for example, a contribution as a homemaker), length of the marriage, earning capacity and qualification of each spouse, their physical and mental health and other aspects.

Division of Property in Nevada

Being the community property state Nevada belongs to the minority of the American states.

According to the divorce rules of a community property state, all the 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 the part of the property, so if they are collected during the married life, they should be divided by the court into two equal parts.

Prenuptial agreement is almost an irreplaceable thing for partners who live in the community property state. All the conditions claimed in such a document legally override the community property laws.

Divorce Mediation in Nevada

The concept of mediation refers to business terms and means the situation when a qualified mediator guides the process of two parties’ negotiation with the aim to compromise and reach a mutually beneficial agreement. Nowadays, this reasonable way of resolving problems becomes increasingly popular during the divorce process.

The mediator is a neutral third party, kind of buffer between two spouses, often an experienced attorney, who meets with the couple and helps them to arrange the most difficult divorce issues like child custody, property division, parenting time, alimony and other.

Mediation is not a mandatory divorce procedure, though it welcomed by the courts. The parties should select the mediator by themselves, and it should seem like a reliable and pleasant person. The point is mediation is quite similar to the therapy (although a lot of legal issues are considered). The mediator can't take someone's side in a dispute or represent one of the spouses at the hearing. Also, the mediator doesn't grant orders, his/her job is to help you to reach an agreement, and to cope with some misunderstandings.

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How to Divorce a Missing Spouse in Nevada

You still have your right to get a divorce even if your spouse cannot be found. The whole process may take more time and demand some efforts, but nothing is impossible. Let’s sort out the concept of Divorce by Publication in the state of Nevada.

First of all, you have to serve your spouse with the divorce paperwork, and he/she has 20 days to give a response to the Summons after that. If there is not any proves that the documents were delivered, or you just understood that the last known address of your partner is incorrect, or you couldn’t locate your spouse from the very beginning you can file for divorce by publication.

To do it you must make all the possible attempts to find your spouse and describe them filling out the Affidavit of Diligent Search form. Then, you have to submit it to the court with the sworn declaration that you cannot find the missing spouse. If your proofs of the search are convincing, the judge issues an Order of Publication that allows you to publish the Notice of Publication. It means that you can publish your Petition and the Summons in Nevada Legal News.

After a certain time of the spouse’s silence the divorce can be granted by default.

Default Divorce in Nevada

A divorce by default happens when the Respondent (also called Defendant, or non-filing spouse) doesn’t attempt to defend him/herself or intercede with the court, namely, doesn’t give any answer to the spouse’s Complaint for Divorce.

So, whether the spouse is missing and cannot be found, or he/she just doesn’t want to negotiate or to formulate own requests to the court the default judgment takes place.

Typically, in case of divorce by default, the Petitioner (the filing spouse, who initiates the divorce) is granted what was requested by him/her in the Complaint for Divorce.

Annulment of the Marriage in Nevada

Annulment is one of the ways to terminate the marriage in Nevada. In the opposite of divorce, annulment doesn’t end the legal marriage, but declares the marriage null and void, as if it never happened.

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 understand a situation or insanity.
  • Fraud marriage (a consent for marriage was obtained by lies).
  • Incest, close relatives.
  • Bigamy.

An annulment of the marriage in Nevada has different residency requirements, than a divorce. Filing the "Complaint for annulment" one of the spouses must reside in the state for at least 6 months before that moment, or the marriage must be registered in Nevada.

Legal Separation in Nevada

Legal separation, or as it often called in Nevada - Separate maintenance, is a court action which is very similar to the regular divorce but cannot legally terminate the marriage.

What’s the point? Separate maintenance regulates all the essential issues of the couple’s dissolution such as custody, children and spousal support, property division, but doesn’t allow to remarry. There are different reasons why the couples seek a separation, not a divorce - from the hope of reconciliation to the willing to keep their insurance benefits.

Actually, the requirements for a Legal separation in Nevada are the same as for divorce, and as Nevada is a no-fault state it isn't necessary to give some ground to sue for it. But there are three additional special grounds to file for a Separation:

  • The insanity of one of the spouses within 2 years or more.
  • Living separate and apart for a year or more.
  • One of the spouses is abandoned by the other for least 90 days.

Same-Sex Divorce in Nevada

Same-sex marriage is recognised in the state of Nevada since 2012, so now it is fully legal with all the termination options and under the same rules as a heterosexual union.

At the same time Nevada recognises a domestic partnership between same-sex couples. It is quite similar to the marriage, but grant fewer benefits to the parties (like federal tax advantages or medical and other benefits when the partner works for the federal government etc.)

It is worth to know that a divorce proceeding can end both the Domestic partnership and the regular marriage.

Military Divorce in Nevada

As for military divorce, you can file for divorce in Nevada whether you are the resident of the state for at least 6 weeks or you are currently stationed in Nevada as a military member.

One more important thing to know about military divorce is that it can take more time. The military spouse must be served with the divorce paperwork the same as in civil case. But the process may be postponed while the military member is on active duty and some of the time after that. The default judgment cannot be entered against him/her according to the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act (SCRA).

The division of the 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, so that non-military spouse could be awarded by the part of the military spouse’s pension.

How to Divorce a Spouse in Jail in Nevada

If you want to divorce the incarcerated spouse in Nevada, there are two most common ways.

First, you may suggest to file a joint petition for divorce, so that your case could be quite cheap and easy. The jail authorities can tell you how it’s better to notarize your partner's signature.

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.

And, eventually, if your spouse answers, you have a contested case. It is quite a rare situation and you probably 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 This cost may vary by county. Please check with your local courthouse to determine the exact amount.

Can a Filing Fee Be Waived?

Yes, a filing fee can be canceled for those people who cannot afford to pay it. To waive the court fees you must file a "fee waiver application", which is needed to gather information about your income, employment, expenses and so on for the court. Having this data the court can decide whether you experience a financial hardship and really need help.

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