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Top 10 Nevada Divorce Laws You Should Know

10 Top Nevada
Divorce Laws

10 Top Divorce Laws

1. If you sign a prenuptial agreement the prospective husband and wife must attach a list of their separate property and separate debt going into the marriage for the pre-nuptial to be valid.

2. Nevada divorce laws do not have a separate and apart statute for property and debt (like California does, for instance) so until you are actually divorced, absent a prenuptial agreement, post-nuptial agreement, or separation agreement, all community income, debt and property still belong to both parties even if the parties have been physically separated for years.

3. Nevada divorce laws require that your divorce documents state that you have been an actual resident of Nevada for a minimum of six weeks before filing your Nevada divorce. Nevada divorce laws also require that your divorce documents state that you have the intent to live in Nevada for an indefinite period of time after the divorce becomes final.

The resident witness affidavit will state that the resident witness has seen you physically present in Nevada three to four times per week for the six weeks immediately preceding the divorce.

As far as residency rules when children are involved, Nevada divorce laws, as per the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act, state that Nevada has no jurisdiction over children of the marriage until the children have resided in Nevada for at least six months.

That said,  though children might not have not been in Nevada for six months and this court can’t address issues of physical custody, divorce laws here give the court jurisdiction over the marriage itself (provided the parent filing the divorce is a current resident) and  can grant a  divorce, therefore dissolving the marriage, but without addressing physical custody.

4. The Court can consider the wishes of a child of sufficient age and intelligence in determining physical custody of that child. However, Nevada divorce laws do not name a “magic” age when the child gets to unilaterally make that decision. Some judges will give children over the age of 13 more say-so in where they live (they might meet with the child before deciding), but the Court’s standard is always the best interest of the child.

5. Nevada divorce law NRS 125B.070 provides for child support with a maximum on the amount that a parent has to pay for child support based on income level. The amount of child support is adjustable every three years or by special motion filed with the court. In a joint physical custody divorce case, the Court still looks at the disparity of income between the parties and will still grant one of the parties child support even if physical custody is shared equally between the parties.

6. Nevada divorce laws allow a woman the right to change her name back to her former name from immediately before this marriage or to her birth name. She cannot choose just any name the way she can in a name change proceeding.

7. Retirement, pensions, 401(k)s, IRAs, etc. earned during the marriage are considered community property as per Nevada divorce laws. However, the division of retirement accounts often require a Qualified Domestic Relations Order to be prepared before they can be distributed in addition to the Decree Of Divorce. Each spouse is entitled to one half of each other’s retirement benefits accrued during the marriage. A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (commonly known as a Q.D.R.O.) is a procedure done separately from the divorce itself.

8. There is no formula for alimony in Nevada divorce laws like there is for child support. NRS 125.150 leaves alimony to the sole discretion of the Judge. The post-divorce financial condition of the parties is considered, along with the ability to pay, length of the marriage, health and education of the parties and what occurred during the marriage.

9. After the divorce, although the Court maintains jurisdiction over child support and child custody issues and alimony,  the Court loses jurisdiction over property and debt issues once the divorce is granted. There is a provision in Nevada divorce laws to set aside a divorce for up to six months under NRCP 60(b) for excusable neglect, mistake and fraud regarding property and debt issues. After 6 months, it’s difficult to re-open a divorce case insofar as property and debt matters.

10. When filing a one-signature Nevada divorce, if the Defendant lives in a different county or state, Defendant may be able to change venue, and, or, dismiss or limit the Nevada Court’s decision to just granting the divorce without matters of property and debt division being addressed. The Nevada Court has no jurisdiction over an out of state resident for property, debt, alimony and the physical and legal custody of out-of-state children in a default divorce in Nevada. A “default divorce” means that the Defendant was served with the divorce papers and never responded. Also, if the Defendant resides in Reno and you filed in Las Vegas, venue can be changed to Reno if Defendant demands it.

Need more information on filing a Nevada divorce?  We can help by representing you in your divorce. We’ll be easy on your bank account too!

We’re closing the comments on this post. Many of the questions that come in have been answered already. If you do have a question not answered here, visit this post where we talk about property division, often an area of dispute in a divorce situation. We’re still open for comments there. Thanks!

8 Tips & Tricks to get a Quick and Easy Nevada Divorce

As you most likely know by now, there are many myths circulating around on how quick quick_easy_decree_of_divorceand easy a Nevada divorce can be obtained, and oftentimes, people get confused as to what’s true and what’s not. Some people firmly believe that a Nevada divorce can be granted in a day or two. Some people think it’s impossible to obtain one that quickly. Both theories are somewhat correct. And it often

depends on the manner in which the Nevada divorce is filed.

We hope to clarify things for you here, and offer some tips and tricks on obtaining a quick and easy Nevada divorce. Now, we’re talking about real ways to do this, not fantasies and ads on websites that promise you a Nevada divorce in a day. Unfortunately, it’s no longer that quick and easy to obtain a Nevada divorce. Between the population of Nevada having grown considerably in the past 20 years, and the likes of But, it’s pretty darned quick just the same compared to the majority of other states.

How to get a Quick and Easy Nevada Divorce Tip #1 – Find a highly experienced Nevada divorce attorney:

Find an attorney with a good, long-standing reputation (stay away from typing services and paralegal services to avoid potential problems later) who does lots of divorces. Nothing beats a lawyer with lots of experience in filing divorces when it comes to saving time. Some divorce lawyers have begun to offer unbundled services which lowers the cost to the client considerably while maintaining high-quality service, so there’s no excuse that it costs too much to retain a divorce attorney.

How to get a Quick and Easy Nevada Divorce Tip #2 – Get your spouse to agree to sign:

Do what you can to get your spouse to agree to sign the divorce documents. This ALWAYS speeds things up. In some cases, a joint petition divorce (both parties must sign), especially when there are no children and no property or debts involved, is sometimes granted in as little as two to three days after filing. This is NOT the norm, mind you, however, it does occur, so we can say it’s possible. Just don’t count on it. Generally, if both spouses sign the divorce documents we get final Nevada divorce decrees back from the court in anywhere from a few days to two weeks. It sometimes takes up to three weeks if the court is really busy, or your judge is particularly busy at the time your case was assigned to him or her.

Remember that you are undergoing a legal process, ending a legal relationship. Allow the process the time it needs for it to be done correctly. It’s best for your divorce case to take a few days more and have it done correctly than have to fix it again later because it was done in a rush and botched. To have to go back and fix a botched divorce later costs more and takes more time than taking a few more days to do it right the first time around. A few days to a couple of weeks is still a lot less time than it takes to obtain a divorce in most other states (for instance, in California, even with both parties signing, it takes six months to finalize a divorce!!), so we can still safely say that a Nevada divorce is a quick and easy divorce even if it takes two weeks, right?

How to get a Quick and Easy Nevada Divorce Tip #3 – Agree on issues of property and debt division beforehand:

If you do have children and property and, or, debts to divide, come to terms on the issues before you begin the divorce process. It will save you a lot of time. If you cannot come to terms on your own, consider divorce mediation with a reputable divorce lawyer with the proper credentials to mediate a divorce. This will not only save you a lot of time compared to filing a contested divorce. Not only will you save time, but you’ll save a lot of money.

How to get a Quick and Easy Nevada Divorce Tip #4 – Take the online parenting class:

If you have children and you live in Clark County, Nevada, take the required parenting class before your case is filed. It can now be taken online which saves you both time and money (it’s less expensive to take it online, but no travel time to class).

How to get a Quick and Easy Nevada Divorce Tip #5 – Have all your information ready before starting the process:

Give all the information your Nevada divorce attorney asks of you as soon as possible after you’ve retained him or her. Your divorce documents can’t be created without certain vital information and your divorce attorney can only work as quick as he or she gets the mandatory information required by the court from you to include into your Nevada divorce forms.

How to get a Quick and Easy Nevada Divorce Tip #6 – Sign your divorce documents as soon as your attorney tells you they are ready:

Your Nevada divorce forms can’t be filed at court without your signature, so until you’ve signed, your divorce attorney can’t file your case. So, once the documents are ready for your signature, make an appointment as soon as possible and go sign the documents at your attorney’s office.

How to get a Quick and Easy Nevada Divorce Tip #7 – File at the beginning of the week:

Try to sign your divorce documents on a Monday or Tuesday. If you sign the divorce forms at your attorney’s office on a Friday, the case might be e-filed from the attorney’s office on that day, however, the court clerk is not likely to email your attorney the filed/stamped copy until the following Monday, or even Tuesday or Wednesday, and that means that 3-4 days have already gone by. Whereas, if your divorce case is e-filed earlier in the week, we often get the filed/stamped copies back within just hours (though this is no guarantee, it could still take a few days depending on how busy the court happens to be when your case is filed). This counts a lot in a divorce timeline because your attorney can’t send the decree to court for the judge’s signature until he or she has a case number. And your divorce attorney won’t get your case number until he or she receives the filed-stamped copy of the joint petition or complaint filing from the court.

How to get a Quick and Easy Nevada Divorce Tip #8 – If you have to file bankruptcy, do it now instead of after your divorce:

Though this is not a tip that will speed up your divorce per se, it will help out greatly if you have a lot of debt accumulated during the marriage and plan on filing a bankruptcy in the future. Consider filing a joint bankruptcy before you file your Nevada divorce. This will save you time and money in that you can share the cost of the bankruptcy with your spouse instead of paying for the whole thing yourself after your Nevada divorce.

Author: Attorney James E. Smith — http://nevadadivorce.org/about_nevada_divorce.htm

8 Key Questions to Ask your Divorce Attorney

Hiring a divorce lawyer is the same as hiring any other professional. You’ll want to get references from others if possible, and you should check the attorney’s credentials with the Nevada State Bar to be sure he or she is currently licensed and whether there are complaints filed against him or her. Also, check the attorney’s listing with the Better Business Bureau and if complaints were filed whether they were resolved satisfactorily. Also, you should ask the attorney or his case intake paralegal some questions about the legal experience of the attorney. Here are the most important ones to ask:
1. How many divorce cases of this type as this divorce attorney filed on behalf of clients?
The more of your type of divorce case the attorney has done, and the more recent the cases, the better job he or she will do with your divorce case. Divorce laws change on occasion so you want your attorney to be up on the latest changes in the law and to have recently been in front of the court on similar matters.

2. Has your attorney ever been divorced? Does he have children?
This actually makes a difference. A divorce attorney who has never felt the pain of going through the process of divorce may not empathize with your situation. A divorce attorney with personal divorce experience will understand the emotions you go through and will be more patient with you than a divorce lawyer who has just enjoyed the single life. After all, divorce attorneys are human beings too, breathing and bleeding like everyone else, and as we all know, nothing makes us more aware of the emotions that go along with life experiences than actually living through them.

3. What will be my estimated total fee?
Though an attorney is not always able to give you an exact total, he or she should be able to get fairly close barring any unforeseen circumstances, such as your spouse contesting the divorce and demanding much more than is reasonable (or if you kept things to yourself that you should have disclosed to your divorce lawyer which broadside him or her, a no-no!). The best thing, of course, is to retain an attorney with a flat fee for uncontested matters, and check that this same attorney charges reasonable fees in the event your uncontested divorce becomes contested. There are now many unbundled law firms that charge by the task which also lowers overall costs for you.

4. Will you keep me informed with what’s going on with my divorce?
Be sure that your attorney’s office has a person on staff whose job it will be to follow your divorce case from start to finish. And be sure that this individual has a system in place to keep you updated as your case moves through the court system.
In other words, this person would know firsthand by looking at your file what’s been done on your divorce case because he or she will have performed the task himself of herself. In some law firms, the really large ones, the tasks of case management are divided between multiple individuals, which means you are dealing with different people all the time depending on the stage of your divorce process.The most you should stand for is for a case intake person to turn you over to a case manager who performs pretty much all tasks on your divorce after it’s been filed at court, rather than your file going from individual to individual who perform different tasks as your divorce case progresses through the court system.When there is more than one person working your divorce file, you end up talking to a different person nearly each time you call for a status check. This might confuse you, or at the least leave you a little insecure as to actual status of your case and you want to feel totally confident that the matter is proceeding as it should at all times. Also, when case management is broken down between different individuals in a divorce law firm, the individual you talk to today might not be familiar with anything that might have become slightly different with your divorce compared to other Nevada divorces. When only one case manager handles the tasks related to your divorce, this individual will remember those things that set your case apart as he or she reads the notes in your file because he or she will have performed all the tasks related to taking your case through the court system.

5. Can you work out a deal with the other attorney?
Perhaps. Find an attorney for whom this is the norm. Some attorneys tend towards mediation and some tend to “shoot first and ask questions later.” You really don’t want the latter kind of divorce lawyer, unless your spouse has already demonstrated that he or she will be totally unreasonable and you feel you need to be overly aggressive. It is NOT recommended to go this route. The only winners are the attorneys.
If the attorney you retain is more in favor of collaborative divorce and is himself or herself a mediator, he or she is a lot more likely to open up a discussion on settlement with your spouse’s attorney if your case becomes contested. This saves you not only time and money, but a lot of emotional stress on you and your children.
A skilled negotiator and mediator is often better in a divorce situation than an aggressive trial lawyer because over 90% of divorce cases settle in order for the Court system to function. As a matter of fact, the very first thing the court orders when a divorce becomes contested is a mandatory Case Management Conference which is essentially divorce mediation. Family Court wants to see everything done that can keep the divorce from going to trial, and wants as many issues as possible resolved before the divorce trial if it becomes unavoidable.

6. How many cases have you taken to trial?
If you are filing a one signature Nevada divorce, even if you don’t anticipate that your divorce will be contested, find out if your divorce attorney has any divorce trial experience. This will avoid you the extra expense of having to retain a new attorney in the event your spouse does decide to contest your Nevada divorce. Some attorneys charge a flat fee for uncontested matters and will credit all, or at least a portion of, those uncontested divorce fees towards your contested divorce.

7. How well does the attorney and staff communicate with you?
A good Nevada divorce lawyer knows how to communicate. Does this divorce attorney and his staff talk to you in plain English or confusing legalese? Does the attorney write well? Does the staff write well? Are you easily able to understand what the attorney and staff communicate to you? Chances are high that the writing style used in general communication with you will find its way into your divorce documents filed with the Nevada Divorce Court.

8. How well does your divorce attorney know the judges in the court where your case will be filed?
This is important. Judges are people too, with personalities and quirks and attitudes and their own set of morals. Sure they have to follow divorce laws, but in a discretionary court such as family courts in Nevada, they do have a lot of discretion in decisions they make. If your divorce lawyer is familiar with the judges, he or she might know that, depending on your particular situation, it might be best to request a different judge right at the outset of your divorce.
Your attorney would make such a decision if he or she happens to know that the judge to whom your case is assigned is particularly conservative with any certain issue that affects you personally. Say that, for instance, you need all the alimony you can get, you know your spouse can afford to pay it, and the judge assigned to your case is known to be less than generous when it comes to granting it; you’d want your attorney to file a Peremptory Challenge to get a new judge assigned to your case in the hopes that the new judge is more understanding and generous when it comes to alimony.
Or you want full physical custody of your children but the judge assigned to your case highly favors joint physical custody and is not really likely to grant you full physical custody. Only an attorney with lots of experience at the court where you case is going to be filed would know your judge well enough to determine these things. In the case of family court in Las Vegas for instance, there are 23 family court judges at the time of this writing. Only an attorney with many years of experience of filing cases in that court would know enough about 23 judges to know how any of them think when it comes to any issue that is of particular concern to your own divorce.

Have any questions for our Nevada divorce attorney?

 

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