1. My wife says she won’t’ give me a divorce. Do I have to stay married to her?
No, you do not. Despite the fact that this hasn’t been true for a number of years, especially in Nevada where no-fault divorce has existed for a number of years, we still hear the question often. This misconception used to be true (hence, how it became one), back when a specific reason and strong proof had to be given to obtain a divorce in Nevada, but it’s no longer the case.
Your spouse can make getting a divorce more difficult, prolonging the process, in a number of ways (avoiding service, sending you on wild goose chases for documents and old bank account statements, etc. filing motions that are essentially harassment, etc.), but no Nevada judge is going to force you to stay married to him or her.
2. I get to keep my house because I bought it before my marriage. Correct?
Maybe. Maybe not. Nevada is a community property state, which means that anything owned in either spouse’s name alone still belongs with the community property assets, with some exceptions.
For instance, if you owned the house before the marriage and used only your separate funds, earned before the marriage, to make mortgage payments and to handle the upkeep on the property and to make improvements, then yes, the house will go to you in a divorce.
If any community funds were used to cover upkeep or to make improvements, the house moves into the realm of community property. It makes no difference if the mortgage or deed is held in the name of one spouse only.
If you did use community funds for the aforementioned house expenses, your spouse would be entitled to half of the increase in value of the property since the time of your marriage. You would retain whatever down payment you made on the house before the equity is split.
Community funds in the context of this answer are funds from a joint bank account, and any funds earned during the marriage by either you or your spouse even if they are in an account you do not share with your spouse.
3. My spouse cheated on me. I’m going to get all of our property, correct?
Not correct. Because Nevada is a no-fault state on divorce, it doesn’t matter at all who cheated and who didn’t; it’s not even looked at by the court when it comes time to divide marital assets.
Yes, we understand you feel it’s unfair. We feel for you. Nevertheless, it’s still a fact around which there is no getting around. Even if your spouse cheated, he or she will receive his or her equitable share of the marital assets.
You can always try to mediate this if you feel very strongly that you should get more of the assets than your spouse (mediation is a far superior way to handle property division in a divorce, whether or not cheating or any other wrong-doing took place), but if a Nevada judge gets to make the decision, the assets will be divided fairly between the two of you.
4. I’ve been a stay-at-home mom throughout the marriage so I will get full physical custody of our children.
This is a very common misconception. Again, because it used to be true.
You could possibly get full custody of your children; however, Nevada family courts favor shared physical custody and are likely to grant each parent equal time with the children, unless the children are at risk of coming to harm in the presence of their other parent.
Of course, if your spouse agrees that the children should live with you full-time, and will visit with him or her on weekends, the court will not object. But, the court is not likely to grant you full physical custody of your children if you ask for it and your spouse is not willing to give it voluntarily. Unless, again, there is a good reason as to why the children aren’t safe with their other parent (drugs, alcohol, mental illness, abuse of any kind, etc.)
Legal and Physical Custody of the minor children: some people confuse physical and legal custody when they divorce in Nevada.
- Legal custody is the right of a parent to see a child’s medical and school records and to have a say about the child’s education and religious upbringing. No more, no less. A parent can have legal custody without having any physical custody at all.
- Physical custody determines which parent the child lives with, or states that a child lives with both parents, sharing about equal time between them. Typically, a parent who has either full or shared custody also has legal custody.
- There is also Sole custody, meaning that a parent has both legal and full physical custody, with the other parent having essentially no say in a child’s upbringing. Sole custody is not easily granted by the court. When one parent gives up (or forced to give up) legal custody, the court likes to see a replacement guardian put in place to share legal custody with the sole custody parent. This is an effort on the court’s part to avoid the child becoming a ward of the state should anything happen to the parent with sole custody.
In all of the above scenarios, visitation can still take place. In other words, a parent with no legal or physical custody rights could still be granted visitation.
Finally, be careful before you ask for full physical custody unless you have a strong provable reason that your child would be endangered by their other parent. Family court in Nevada highly favors shared physical custody and is likely to see you as a trouble maker if you push for full physical custody without a really good reason.
5. If we have shared custody, neither of us pays child support, correct?
This is also a very common misconception. One party will typically still pay some child support to the other party even with shared custody. The court follows the formula below – you can read about this in more detail on our divorce with children page.
Easy formula to figure out your child support obligation:
- Take the percentage of each party’s gross salary according to the number of children:
For one child, the sum of:
- For the first $6,000 of an obligor’s monthly gross income, 16 Percent of such gross income;
- For any portion of an obligor’s monthly gross income that is greater than $6000 and equal to or less than $10,000, 8 percent of such a portion: and
- For any portion of an obligor’s monthly gross income that is greater than $10,000, 4 percent of such a portion.
Subtract the smaller amount from the larger amount The party with the higher income pays the difference to the other party.
- John and Jane have one child and no reason to deviate from the Nevada statutory guidelines on child support.
- John’s gross monthly salary is $1000 per month, so his obligation to Jane for child support is $160 per month.
- Jane’s gross monthly salary is 800 per month, so she is obligated to John for $144 monthly for child support.
- Difference between $160 and $144 is $16, so John pays Jane $16 per month.
6. I didn’t work during our marriage. I will get alimony for the rest of my life if I divorce in Nevada. Correct?
This used to be true, especially for long-term marriages where the wife stayed at home raising the children and had not worked at all during the marriage.
It’s no longer the case.
Courts are a lot less likely to grant life-long alimony to a spouse, unless it was a very long marriage, the other spouse never worked and is incapable of earning due to physical or mental disability.
Otherwise, a judge might grant temporary alimony while the spouse that stayed at home retrains in a new career, or revives an old career.
Nevada law on alimony (NRS 125.150 states the following regarding the circumstances under which a judge might grant alimony in a divorce:
- the standard of living to which the couple was accustomed
- the career of both spouses before the marriage
- whether one spouse has advanced the other spouse’s career
- age and education of the parties
- the ability to pay of the spouse who will be paying alimony
7. My friend told me I can get a divorce in Nevada in just one day. Is that true?
Not anymore. We do wish this misconception about getting a divorce in Nevada would go away. We still get the question nearly every day despite the fact that this hasn’t been true for at least 10 years!
Back in the 50’s when it was popular to get a divorce in Nevada because of the short residency requirement, yes, you could often get a divorce in Nevada in a day (after establishing residency). And even just 15 years ago, you could get it done in just a few days. What happened is that between budget cuts, the now much larger population of Nevada, and the many people who establish residency to get a divorce, family courts in Nevada have become overwhelmed.
How long a divorce in Nevada takes depends in large part on how busy the court is at the time your divorce is filed. It also depends on how busy your divorce judge happens to be at the time he or she is assigned your case.
Our office does get final decrees back from the court in just two or three days occasionally, but the norm is more like 7 to 10 days and even up to three weeks sometimes.
All of the above timeline is based on a joint petition divorce (you both signed the divorce documents before filing the case). If you file a complaint for divorce, it will take 12-16 weeks or so if your spouse can be personally served and up to 26 weeks if publication has to take place.
The best thing to do to dispel misconceptions about divorce in Nevada is to talk to your attorney about any concerns you have regarding any aspect of your divorce. Don’t assume and don’t just accept for granted what your friend who went through a divorce three years ago tells you. That person is not in the trenches every day dealing with divorce court and they don’t know the law like your lawyer knows it.
If we agreed that she could keep the house and she will take on the Mortgage in the divorce. Does that remove me from the home loan?
the court doesn’t have jurisdiction over third parties, in this instance, the mortgage company. Usually, when one spouse keeps the marital home and is responsible for the mortgage payment, it’s always best to put a deadline on that spouse to get his or her own mortgage. If that’s not possible, you’ll have to address Family Court if she defaults on the payments.
I had a good career back home. Tried to start life over in Nevada so I could be with my wife but ha a hatf time finding work. After one year of being martial she wants a divorce because I have been laid off and she no longer wants to support the household. She was the supporter once I couldnt find work. We’ve only been married one year and she has made my life a living hell since I’ve been here. Locked me out the house and left me homeless. Can i receive temporary alimony til I get back on my feet ? I gave up everything.
you could be. There are no guidelines really for alimony in Nevada, however, what we see is that alimony is granted for about half of the length of marriage when the party asking for alimony needs it. It will require filing a complaint for divorce, asking for the alimony, which she might contest, which will get you to court on the issue. It could be some time before you get that money, so you should reach out to family and friends. If you’re unable to afford an attorney, you can reach out to Legal Aid. If you’re not earning anything right now you might qualify. If you have funds available you should retain an attorney so you can get some alimony, and at least some of your stuff back.
I’m married in California but my husband forcing me to divorce in Nevada so we can have fast divorce we both want to end this marriage fast. Is it possible to get divorced in different states even I’m Californian resident?
as long as your spouse is a current Nevada resident, you can file for a divorce here. Here’s some info on Nevada residency for divorce purposes: https://discountlasvegaslawyer.com/las_vegas_divorce_residency/
I have been married for 2 years and was my husbands caregiver for 3 years. We were together for 4. Will I get a settlement we own our house together. It was bought after we married
if you both own the house, you are both entitled to the equity in it. It would be shared equally unless the court feels one of you should get more of the equity than the other.
If A couple lives in California but got married in Las Vegas do they or one of them have to go back to Las Vegas to get divorced? Both parties have separate personal property with no home ownership or real property and no children involved. Uncontested, been married 8 yrs. Both in their sixties. Is this an easy divorce?
Hello Antonio, yes, one of you would have to establish residency in Nevada before you can obtain a divorce. You can read about that here: https://nevadadivorce.org/residency-requirements/
My husband wants me to file for divorce first. I feel he is prepared. Is there any reason why he wants me to start first?
this doesn’t matter for legal purposes. Must be a personal reason.
Is money from an inheritance/trust considered income?
That’s a question for your accountant. If your question is whether your inheritance counts as income as far as paying alimony, say, the answer is no, provided you have not commingled those funds with the marital assets. You would have commingled the funds if you had deposited your inheritance into a joint account, or paid for marital home expenses from the account in which you hold your inheritance.
Hello; My husband and I got married in Las Vegas NV 2 years ago. We haven’t lived together the entire time. He resides in Nevada while I reside in MIchigan. I lived in a home that my siblings and I bought (paid cash) together a few years before the marriage. Just over a year ago the house was signed over to me however; it’s still our family home. Can my estranged husband go after the house?
it depends on where the divorce is filed. If you file in Nevada, it will depend on whether community funds were used to take care of maintenance. If you had such a short marriage, you might consider an annulment instead of a divorce. https://nevadaannulment.org — that’s our annulment website.
Do I have to tell my spouse that I have acquired a divorce lawyer? Or can he/she find out when served papers?
You don’t have to disclose it up front, no. Your spouse must be served with the divorce papers and your lawyer will handle it.
What if we’ve been married less than 2 years and I bought the house prior to our marriage and I put her name on the title after we married. Is my spouse entitled to any equity even though she never made any mortgage, utility, tax , maintenance, etc payments on the house?
Am I responsible for any debt my spouse acquired during the marriage?
Nevada is a community property state. Your wife is entitle to 50% of the equity increase since the date of the marriage whether it’s in her name or not. Unfortunately, bills, even if in her name only (or yours only) belongs to both of you. A good way to figure out who should get what when it comes to property or debt in a divorce is to do mediation: https://nevadadivorce.org/collaborative-divorce/ . This can be followed by a joint petition divorce. Proceeding this way is less acrimonious, and less expensive than going the divorce trial route.
We have been separated for over 4 years. My spouse has not worked, but is capable. I told him I want to proceed with a divorce and he now says he is moving back in. Do I have any recourse while I try to find a lawyer?
Hello April, this isn’t easy to answer w/o details. He has a right to live in the marital home unless you are divorced or you have a restraining order against him, but this isn’t what I’m saying should happen. I’d need to know a lot more to be able to properly respond.
It’s about 1.5 months that I have moved away but my husband has been following me and tracking me with GPS. If I start a relationship when I am not living with him and planning to divorce is it still cheating? Also I need to know in Nevada tracking the spouse is legal? When they separated!
Hello Rebecca, if the car is in his name, he has the right to attach a GPS device. As long as you’re married, any other relationship would be considered adultery. It’s best to divorce as soon as possible if you’re certain it’s what you ultimately want.
We were married for 25 years, we equally contributed to the home, both retired from the air force. I filed for divorce last year during my nursing school education, I now need to get a job. Our divorce is not final yet, will I have to pay him if I get a job that makes more than he has now?
Hello Chris, that’s difficult to answer without having all the information. Alimony in Nevada has no set rules. However, if you earn more than your spouse and are getting a divorce, a judge is likely to grant some alimony for a period of time to the spouse earning less, at least until the spouse earning less can actively work on raising their income. Also, if a spouse needs retraining to enter or re-enter the workforce, it’s possible a judge would grant some alimony while that spouse is in school or order that the cost of the education be paid for.
I have been married for over 2 years. My wife wants the divorce. I am living with her at her place even before the marriage. We are shearing checking account to pay for all of the house’s expenses, and at the same time all my earnings from my work, which are not enough for her living standard, are going to this account. I do not have any other saving account only a Roth IRA. What is the best way to end this nightmare?
Hello David, during the divorce process, you would open your own separate account for your salary to be deposited into, of course. As far as property split now, Nevada is a community property state, so you are both entitled to half of any property (houses, cars, furniture, any money earned by either of you during the marriage, anything else of value purchased during the marriage). If you are unsure as to how any of the property should be split, or you disagree on it, you could consider divorce mediation — https://nevadadivorce.org/collaborative-divorce/ –After that, you could file a joint petition divorce (requires that both parties agree on all issues and both must sign the divorce papers) See here for more info on that — https://nevadadivorce.org/joint-petition-divorce/
My husband and I have agreed to divorce after 25 years of marriage. We are in the process of splitting everything equally. He has agreed to pay alimony in the amount of $900 a month for 12 years (or until I remarry-if that happens). I make 56K a year and he makes 106k a year. We are sharing our marital home even after the divorce until we get my name off the loan and can buy a small house for myself. If we agree on everything before we file, will the judge grant it or will I have to fight for the alimony? We are on very friendly terms and would like to keep it this way.
Hello Theresa, it’s the best way to divorce. In a joint petition divorce, judges typically don’t question property division or amount of alimony. It’s assumed you have both agreed and have reached out to counsel about it before signing the divorce paperwork.
Hey, I recently got a divorce in Hawaii and granted sole physical and joint legal custody of my kids. I have lived in Nevada fir 2 years and now my ex is trying to get custody of my kids. He wants my kids to come down to Hawaii until the next school year because my oldest has been acting out. I just want to know what can I do to make sure that when the end of next summer comes up that he will send back my 7 year old and my 13 y.o may make her own decision. I just want to make sure he doesn’t go back on his word and take the kids from me
Tee, if she does not return the children when visitation is over, you’ll have to address the court in Hawaii and show that you have physical custody of the children and that they have been living in Nevada for two years.
Time sensitive uncontested divorce, i ve been trying for 2 years, covid, now running out of time i have 2 months
if you are a current Nevada resident, and the divorce is uncontested, it shouldn’t take two years. Even if the divorce needs to be done by publication because the other party can’t be found to be served, it should be doable within six months; that’s the longest we’ve seen. Unless we can serve the defendant in person, it’s not likely you’ll obtain a divorce within two months at this time. Even in the best of circumstances, that would be considered fast. If your spouse signs the divorce paperwork, it’s totally doable.
I’ve been married to my husband for 12 years but he never got his citizenship finalized. He had resident card. Would this affect his rights to half my pension? I’m already retired. Thanks.
The two things are unrelated. It would not affect his rights.
I chose homelessness over staying with my abusive husband, abandoning him and our residence in August 2018. Although he also abandoned our apartment, he has not moved out of Las Vegas nor has he filed for divorce before fathering a child outside our marriage. Can I use his residency status to file for divorce in Las Vegas?
If he lives in Nevada, you can file a divorce here, yes.
I have been married to my husband for 7 years. Now i want divorce but he won’t give it to me. we both live in a house bought by me, under my name. He wants to take half of everything i own. He makes about 35k a year and i make 55k. He wants to file for alimony. Is that allowed in this case and is there a chance he could win? what if i get fired from my job during the divorce because of stress and mental issues he is causing me. can i ask for alimony? I also work in the hotel industry and may get laid off, what happens then?
consider doing divorce mediation to work through all the issues. Either of you could be eligible for alimony depending on the situation at the time you are divorcing. Going through a divorce mediation is a better option than fighting in court: https://nevadadivorce.org/collaborative-divorce/
My parents live in NV. Mortgage only in moms name, we understand community property law. If she were to leave for a short time, does she lose possession of the property? Father trying to keep his cars and hers and wants half of home. He is now withholding his income to help pay bills but is still in home.
They should consider divorce mediation to go over all those issues: https://nevadadivorce.org/collaborative-divorce/
Nevada is a community property state; it doesn’t matter whose name the mortgage or deed to the house is in, or in whose name a car is registered. They both own it equally, other than a few exceptions. For instance, if one of them owned the house before the marriage and never used community funds to make repairs or pay the mortgage, then that house belongs to that person only. But even if the house was bought before the marriage, and then community funds were used for upkeep or mortgage payments, then both parties own it and upon a divorce, the party who bought the house before the marriage would be entitled to get the down payment back before equity is split between the parties. One of the parties leaving to go somewhere for a while doesn’t mean they are giving up their share in the house.
I did an online check for my daughter about her divorce. She wanted the exact date of her divorce for her records. When searching Clark County 8th district it said Divorce vacated 8/25/15. Then on 8/26/15 it says decree of divorce. Then 9/8/15 it said recorded. Then on 1/4/21 is says Administratively ReAssigned to new judge. Why would it be reassigned to a new judge 5 1/2 years after.
The reason why it was reassigned to a new judge after years later is that most likely, the judge in that department either retired or a different judge was elected to that department.