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How to Find the Best Divorce Attorney in Las Vegas For You

How to Find the Best Divorce Attorney in Las Vegas For You

Often, when you want a divorce in Las Vegas, you want it quickly. While no one enters into marriage expecting that things will end in a divorce, after making the difficult decision to end your marriage, you just want things to be over fast.

Due to the complexities that often arise during the divorce process, working with an experienced divorce attorney in Las Vegas will be the best way to accomplish this. But not everyone goes around with attorney business cards in their pocket. Which means you have to go through the process of finding the right divorce attorney in some other way.

How do you go about this search? Where do you start from? How do you know when you have the right attorney, and how do you ensure you get started on the right foot?

Well, you can start here to learn all you should know about finding the best divorce attorney in Las Vegas.

 

Why you need the best attorney for your case

Finding the best divorce attorney in Las Vegas is likely the last thing on your mind while you are in the turmoil of divorce. The pain and frustration of the situation creates a need to get things over quickly, and because of this, you might settle on the first attorney you find.

However, this can often be a bad decision. Due to the fact that divorce is a sensitive area of law, you need an attorney that genuinely cares about securing the best outcome for you. Your divorce attorney needs to appreciate your need for a quick resolution, without compromising on the necessity for a comprehensive and beneficial outcome.

They also need to match your outlook on what you want from the divorce. Do you want a court-supervised process, or would you rather complete the whole divorce in a private and confidential mediation? Your attorney should be able to deliver on your expectations.

If you don’t agree on property and debt division, or on child physical custody and child support, it’s always best to mediate. Divorce mediation avoids a costly divorce trial. It’s also less acrimonious, an important factor if you have minor children to keep raising with your soon-to-be-ex after the divorce, or a business to keep running with them.  So, it’s best to retain an attorney who customarily conducts divorce mediation so that you are not automatically guided toward the divorce trial route.

You may not immediately find these qualities in the first attorney you come across. And even when you think these qualities are there, it makes sense to compare this attorney with others, and then pick the best one for your case.

 

How to begin your search for a divorce attorney in Las Vegas

Starting your search may be the most difficult part of the process, but there are several options to explore. These include referrals from friends and family, visits to local attorney offices, and online search via review sites and Google.

  • Referrals: Referrals are one of the most common ways that people find an attorney. According to a Legal Trends report by Clio, roughly 62% of people found an attorney this way in 2017. With a referral, you can easily find an attorney who has been tested by a loved one or close friend, and is now trusted.
  • Local attorneys: You may also begin your search by visiting the offices of local attorneys in your neighborhood who practice family law. There is nothing wrong with making an appointment with the attorney nearest you, telling them about what you need, and evaluating them on the basis of the information in this guide. But make sure you don’t end your search here. Go on to check them out online, and conduct your due diligence by comparing them with other divorce lawyers.
  • Online search: This is another great place to start from. With a quick Google search, you can easily get access to recommendations for several attorneys close to where you live in Las Vegas. But, again, it’s important to ensure your search is as wide as possible. You can use this opportunity to evaluate the websites and practice of the attorneys you found through other means. You can also visit attorney review sites such as Avvo, Best Lawyers in America, the Martindale-Hubbell Bar Registry, and Superlawyers for the most highly-rated divorce attorneys in Las Vegas.

After your search, you should be able to draw up your shortlist. It is a good idea to have a shortlist of at least three attorneys. This gives you a good range of options that all have the potential to provide the representation you need. Keep your shortlist limited to attorneys that are located either within your neighborhood, or close enough that setting up a meeting with them won’t be a problem for you.

 

Interviewing your Las Vegas divorce attorney

If you know for certain your case will be contested, you should meet your attorney options in person before you make a decision on who to hire. But where this may not be possible, an online meeting can also do the trick, either through a video or audio meeting. Setting up an interview should not be too difficult, especially since most attorneys provide a free and confidential consultation for the first meeting.

If you know your case will not be contested, it’s acceptable to deal with the attorney’s staff as lawyers closely monitor anything the staff does, and dealing with the staff instead of directly with the attorney will save you hundreds of dollars.

To be certain that you make the most of an initial consultation, whether it’s with the attorney, or a case intake paralegal who works with the attorney, here’s some advice on what to take to the interview, and questions to ask.

 

What to take to the interview 

The goal of the interview is twofold – to help the attorney or staff learn about your case, and help you finalize your decision on choice of an attorney. For the attorney to learn about your case, it is important to take all the information that presents a complete picture of your case.

The first thing you should have is a summary of your divorce case, and the circumstances it involves. What is your spouse’s outlook concerning the divorce? Are there any legal documents between you and your spouse (such as a prenup or postnup) that may affect the divorce? Ensure you provide a full and accurate description of all the facts involved.

The next thing you should provide is any documentation that supports your story. If there was a prenup or postnup between you and your spouse, be sure to mention it, or bring it along if you meet the attorney in person. Finally, provide a clear outline of your goals, objectives, or preferences for the divorce. If there is any outcome that is important to you, such as child custody or property division, you should disclose it right away.

 

Questions to ask the attorney or staff

Remember that the interview is more or less a job interview, only in this case, you’re the one hiring. So, as you would with any job interview, you should come prepared with questions that help you evaluate the attorney. Start with questions:

  • Do they specialize in family law? Learn how much of their practice the attorney dedicates to family law. Also learn if they specialize in a specific type of family law, such as collaborative law, divorce mediation, or uncontested divorce cases.
  • Do they have experience with cases like yours? Ask if the attorney has handled cases like yours before and the outcome of those cases. This gives you a good idea of the attorney’s ability to deliver the outcome you desire.
  • How familiar are they with the courts and judges in Las Vegas? Great divorce attorneys have a lot of experience in local courts. This shows they are no strangers to local county law and divorce procedures.
  • How do they intend to handle your case? Ask how the attorney intends to deliver on the goals you have identified for your case. Let them explain the options available to you and their chances of success.
  • How much will your case cost? Finally, never leave the interview without a full understanding of what the attorney charges, and how much your case will likely cost. If your case is uncontested, look for an attorney who offers a flat-fee service.

 

What will hiring a divorce attorney in Las Vegas cost? 

Questions around how much will a Las Vegas divorce attorney will charge often factor heavily in the decision to hire a lawyer. Typically, divorce attorneys charge an hourly fee, especially for divorce proceedings that may be long or complicated. For less complicated proceedings, they may charge a flat fee.

However, each attorney provides a flexible procedure to help clients learn about their fee structure, and adopt the most beneficial arrangement for them. Some even provide an unbundled services setup, so you only pay for the services you require. There are many options that will be available to you. Ensure you find out and learn thoroughly about these before making a decision.

 

You can start your search here

Experienced Las Vegas divorce attorney, James Smith, has represented parties in their Nevada divorce for over 25 years. With a BV rating (highest possible) from Martindale-Hubbell, Attorney Smith is recognized for providing thoughtful representation that helps couples find the best outcome possible. He is a highly experienced divorce mediator as well as court-certified arbitrator. Even in contested matters, he always strives to find the middle ground with the other party in order to avoid a divorce trial. Contact us to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation today.

 

Ins and Outs of Filing for Divorce in Nevada

Filing a divorce in Nevada differs vastly from filing a divorce in the State of New York, for instance.

The rules in Nevada are more moderate, and no valid reason is needed beyond incompatibility, which means no need to hire private investigators to prove wrong-doing.

That, and the fact that divorces are processed fairly quickly—if both parties agree to a divorce, it can often be obtained in under a month—compels people from outside the state to look into a filing a divorce in Nevada instead of their home state.  We’ll address the residency issue a little later in this post, but it’s not as simple as some people believe.

 

How to File for Divorce in Nevada

The simplest, and least expensive, way to file a divorce in Nevada, when both parties agree to sign the divorce papers before filing, is through a joint petition for divorce.

The attorney represents both parties in a joint capacity, meaning he or she isn’t siding with either husband or wife. In some cases, both parties hire their own attorney, and the attorneys work together to plan the terms of the divorce, meaning property and debt division, child custody, visitation, and child support.

If the parties don’t immediately agree with one another on all issues, they can take part in a divorce mediation.  

During mediation, the attorney will address all issues related to the children, if any, as well those related to property and debt. The attorney will essentially explain to the parties what they’re each most likely to be granted were they to enter a divorce trial—without the expense of one.

When marital assets are high and, or, the relationship between the parties has deteriorated to a point where there is no trust left at all, a non-attorney mediator will be brought in, as well as an attorney for each party, and a forensic accountant to go over all assets and find some that might have been hidden by either party to the divorce. Sometimes, even a child psychologist will join the group to give advice on the best course of action to take for the children involved.

Complaint for Divorce

If the parties cannot come to an agreement on all, or some issues, one party will file a complaint for divorce, the other party after being served with the complaint and a summons, will file an answer and counterclaim.

The first thing the court does when an answer and counterclaim is filed in response to a complaint for divorce is to set a date for a case management conference.  The case management conference is essentially a mandatory mediation. A divorce trial date can’t be set until the parties have taken part in this mandatory mediation.

The attorneys’ role during the case management conference is to get the parties to agree to reasonable terms to avoid a divorce trial. If this cannot be accomplished, then a trial date is set so the judge can decide on the issues.

Oftentimes, those issues are child custody, visitation, religious upbringing, schooling, alimony, as well as property and debt division.

 

Child Custody when Filing for Divorce in Nevada

Nevada favors joint physical custody unless there’s a good reason to believe the children aren’t safe with one parent or the other.

There’s also the issue of schooling. Both parents must live a reasonable distance from the children’s school. If that’s not possible, it’s likely that the parent who lives closest to the school will be given physical custody and the other parent given visitation.

Another alternative is for the children to live with the parent who lives close to the school from Monday after school until Friday after school. The parent who lives farther away would pick up the children from school on Friday and deliver them back to school on Monday morning. This would be considered joint custody since the children would be with the weekend parent all day every day, while with the other parent only outside school hours. This makes the time spent with each parent fairly equitable.

 

Child Support in Nevada

Child support guidelines in Nevada are very clear. You can see the guidelines here: https://discountlasvegaslawyer.com/child_support_guidelines.pdf

There are, however, some allowed deviations:

In any deviation from the table below (higher or lower amount), the Court takes into consideration the following factors (NRS125B.080)

  • Cost of health insurance
  • Cost of child care
  • Any special educational needs of the child
  • Age of the child
  • Legal responsibility of the parents for the support of others
  • Value of services contributed by either parent
  • Any public assistance paid to support the child
  • Any expenses reasonably related to the mother’s pregnancy and confinement
  • Cost of transportation of the child to and from visitation if the custodial parent moved with the child from the jurisdiction of the court which ordered the support and the noncustodial parent remained
  • Amount of time the child spends with each parent
  • Any other necessary expenses for the benefit of the child; and,
  • Relative income of both parents

 

Residency when filing for divorce in Nevada

One party to the divorce must have lived in the State of Nevada for a minimum of six continuous weeks before filing to be eligible to file. The resident must also intend to remain in Nevada for the foreseeable future. In other words, the resident must intend to remain in Nevada even after the divorce has been granted at least for some time.

This doesn’t mean someone filing a divorce in Nevada must live here the rest of their life; just that they had the intent to remain here at the time of filing.

Proof of Residency in Nevada

As Nevada proof of residency, the resident must have a resident witness.

The resident witness is any other Nevada resident who knows the resident to have lived in Nevada for a minimum of six weeks. The resident witness affidavit, which must be signed in front of a Nevada notary, will also state that the resident witness sees the resident three to four times per week.  In today’s world, it’s rare to see even your neighbor that often, but the State of Nevada hasn’t seen a need to change this language.

 

Property Division when Filing for Divorce in Nevada

Nevada is a community property state. This means any property (this includes money earned at a job, a house, car,  couch, or television for Nevada divorce purposes), belongs to both parties if earned or acquired after the marriage. Whose name the asset was acquired under is irrelevant. It belongs to both.

Same with debt. If acquired after the marriage, it doesn’t matter whose name it’s under; both parties are responsible for that debt.

There are exceptions to the above. For instance, if a Husband bought a house before the marriage using an inheritance for the down payment and never commingled community funds with his inheritance funds to upkeep the house, it would go to him only in a divorce. Or if a Wife buys a house after the marriage using her inheritance, Husband signs a release relinquishing his rights to the property during the escrow process, and no funds were commingled for upkeep afterward, that house belongs to Wife only in a divorce. Either of these examples apply to either Wife or Husband.

Both parties are responsible for any debts acquired by either party during the marriage.  A third-party creditor, such as a car loan company, is entitled to go after either spouse for payment.  If one spouse agrees to take on a debt during a divorce, of if the court orders one party to a divorce to shoulder a debt, and that spouse stops paying, the creditor can still come after the other spouse despite the final decree of divorce. The court has control over only the parties to a divorce, not over third-party creditors.

In the case of the IRS, a spouse is even responsible for tax debt acquired before the marriage—this has surprised more than one person.

Visit https://discountlasvegaslawyer.com/nevada-divorce-attorney/ if you’re ready to proceed with a divorce, or if you have questions about anything in this article, or comment below.

What to Expect at Your Case Management Conference at Family Court in Nevada

When a Complaint for Divorce is filed in Family Court in Nevada and the other party responds by filing an Answer and Counterclaim, the first thing Family Court does is set a mandatory Case Management Conference (CMC). This sets the case on either a litigation track, meaning a trial date will be set, or final resolution during the Case Management Conference itself. Both parties are expected to attend.

How judges handle a Case Management Conference

Not every family court judge handles the Case Management Conference the same way. Just know that items #1 through #4 on the list below are things that usually do happen, and that items #5 through #8 are things that might  or might not happen.

Things likely to happen during the conference:

Item #1: By the time of the case management conference the Judge expects that Plaintiff and Defendant will have filed financial disclosure forms on the Court’s form indicating that their respective income, expenses, assets and debts are. This give the Judge a financial picture of the parties which will help the Judge administer the case.

Each side has to attach 3 pay stubs or income statement to the FDF. So this is item number 1 and the Judge could sanction you if you do not have this document completed and filed at the time of the hearing.

Item #2:  Applies only to parties with minor children:
If you have children the Judge is required to send you to mandatory mediation in order to try to formulate a parenting plan with the help of one of the Court’s counselors, therapists or mediators. The Judge will then set a date about 1-2 months from then for you to come back court to ask if either a partial or full parenting plan has been agreed upon between you and your spouse.

NOTE: To speed up your case, you can submit a request for mediation right after an Answer and Counterclaim is filed. This way, perhaps you can have your return from mediation hearing at the same time as your case management conference.

Item # 3: Next comes setting the case down for either trial or a status check. One main reason for the CMC is to move the case along as the Judges want to be able to conclude the case within a year after it has been filed. Therefore, the Judge will want to know how long the parties need for Discovery and when can they, or their lawyers, will be ready for trial.

Item #4: There is a mandatory initial disclosure of witnesses and exchange of documents between the Plaintiff and Defendant. While it is possible that both parties have the same copies of documents, e.g., income tax returns, bank statements, credit card bills, title to cars, 401(k) statements, etc., the Court nevertheless wants an exchange of documents which might be used at trial. The rule is that if you don’t disclose the document up front, you cannot use it later at a hearing.

Also, the names, numbers, addresses, and expected testimony of witnesses must be disclosed. You obviously list your spouse, but also be sure to add teachers, accountants, friends, coaches, and any other individual you might want to later call as a witness.  If you don’t list someone, you cannot later call him or her as a witness.

Things that may or may not occur during a case management conference:

Item #5: Some Judges will, even if no motion has been filed by either party, make temporary orders during the Case Management Conference.

These include orders for temporary custody, visitation, child support, alimony, exclusive possession of the home or car, etc. Be prepared to address these issues.

Item #6: Another discretionary item the judge might address is misbehavior of the parties during the period of time leading up to the case management conference. Whether there has been a violation of the joint preliminary injunction, interference with visitation, refusal to pay bills, overspending, threats or abuse, etc. The judge might address the issues and admonish the parties or provide them with guidance.

Item #7: A third discretionary item judges may address at the Case Management Conference is whether to send the parties to a settlement judge or financial mediator to work out the division of debts and liabilities before the Judge actually sets the case for trial.

The judge might also make referrals to outsourcers, e.g., counselors, psychologists, private mediators, etc. This can be a good thing if it helps in the case, but if it does not,  it could delay your eventual trial date.

Item #8: Finally, the case management conference is used by some judges to try to settle as many issues as possible right then and there. The Judge will sometimes either resolve the entire case during the CMC,  or just set the matter down for a hearing on one or two issues, like the amount of support, or the division of the personal property.

After the Case Management Conference, the Court will prepare an Order setting forth what was discussed and any dates for future hearings including the divorce trial, if applicable.

Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding obtaining a divorce in Nevada. Or call 702-420-7052

 

How to Choose a Divorce Attorney in Las Vegas

How to choose a divorce attorney in Las Vegas

We understand your dilemma. There are ton of divorce attorneys in Las Vegas; which one should you choose?  Most people only go through a divorce but once or twice in their lives, and have little experience when it comes to dealing with it.

The one thing you want to avoid is hiring the wrong attorney and have to switch as this increases the overall cost of your divorce.

If you follow these guidelines, the cost of your divorce should be lower overall.  you can follow with any attorney you consider retaining for your divorce.

 

First know what kind of divorce you are getting into.

Does your spouse agree to a divorce? Does he or she agree to sign the divorce documents? The answer to this question is important and it will affect what type of attorney you should look for to represent you in your divorce.

If you already know that your spouse agrees to sign the divorce papers, you’ll need one kind of divorce attorney, and if your spouse refuses to be reasonable and plans to fight you every step of the way, you’ll need another.

 

What kind of divorce attorney do you need?

Of course, you need a divorce attorney whether your spouse signs or not, but they come in different flavors too. To determine which type of lawyer is best for you, you need to first know the answer to the question posed above; will your spouse contest the divorce or not?

If your spouse is reasonable and you both agree on all the terms of a divorce on your own, you can file a joint petition divorce.  You can bring all your terms to your attorney and he or she will include them in the divorce pleadings.

That said, if you have been married for a number of years and own property together, have children together, and pensions are involved, and even if you think you agree on all the terms, it would be a good idea to go through mediation just to be sure that you are treated fairly. There are guidelines a divorce mediator can follow to ensure that you are both getting what is fair for your particular situation, finances, and length of marriage.

If your spouse won’t sign the documents, and will contest the divorce once filed, you’ll need a much more aggressive attorney than if your spouse agrees to terms you set together or through divorce mediation.

If your spouse is intent on fighting everything to the end, your best option is to find a divorce attorney who specializes in litigation.

Before you retain a divorce attorney in Las Vegas, be sure that he or she is open to alternatives, to mediation, rather than choosing a divorce lawyer whose typical strategy is divorce court before he or she has even “felt out” the other side.

Whether children and finances are involved or not, it’s always best to try mediation first before you enter litigation, either through an attorney who offers collaborative divorce as a part of his or her divorce practice, or through a certified and licensed non-attorney divorce mediator.

 

Find at least three attorneys

This would be a good strategy to follow:

  1. Ask for referrals from friends and acquaintances who got divorced before you
  2. Read online reviews
  3. Keep looking until you find three attorneys you think you will like
  4. Interview the three attorneys.

Many divorce attorneys in Las Vegas will give an initial consultation at no cost for divorces that are bound to be contested.

If your case is very simple and uncontested, you can simply talk to the attorney or his staff on the phone. In such a case, you just need information on divorce procedure rather than legal advice.

If your case is to be contested, it’s probably best to meet all three potential attorneys in person. You want to see for yourself how these divorce attorneys look and what demeanor they have. This person might end up representing you in divorce court. You want to be sure that he or she is a proper reflection of you.

Ask the following questions:

  • What is your experience with (contested or uncontested) divorce?
  • Do you specialize in any particular type of divorce (litigated, collaborative, uncontested)?
  • Do you favor collaborative divorces over litigation whenever possible?
  • Do you offer flat fees for uncontested divorce matters?
  • What is your fee if my divorce becomes contested? Typically, a divorce attorney in Las Vegas charges an hourly fee. Usually, a retainer fee is paid and the hourly fee is charged against it. The attorney is bound to deposit any retainer into a trust account and will then take portions of the retainer out as they are earned.
  • How long have you been practicing divorce law in Las Vegas?
  • How often go you go to family court here?
  • How familiar are you with the judges currently sitting on the bench?

 

Make your choice.

After interviewing all the lawyers, retain the divorce attorney with whom you feel most comfortable.

Be sure that he or she is a highly experienced divorce attorney in Las Vegas. In other words, he or she is a local attorney, not a lawyer who, say, just moved to Las Vegas from Reno. That attorney isn’t likely to know the judges currently sitting on a Family Court bench. 

Be sure that he or she regards divorce in the same way you do. For instance, if you favor a joint petition divorce, meaning you want to come to an agreement on all the terms of the divorce and you want both you and your spouse to sign the divorce papers before filing, choose an attorney who will do his or her best to promote mediation if you hit a road block, rather than immediately pushing for court.

Of course, if your intent is to go to court to fight for everything you want and you have no intention to compromise, then choose a strong litigator with a good track record for winning tough divorces.

Be sure you know all the fees you will be charged up front and what it could cost down the road.

If you follow this guidance, you should end up with a professional and highly experienced divorce attorney in Las Vegas, one who cares as much as you do about the outcome of your divorce.

Highly Experienced Las Vegas Divorce Attorney

6 Most-asked Questions Regarding Residency for a Nevada Divorce

You’ll find much incorrect information surrounding how to establish residency for a Nevada residency for Nevada divorcedivorce, or a Nevada annulment while browsing online. Not surprisingly, this is one of the most-asked questions we receive. So, in the spirit of setting the record straight, here are the 6 most-asked questions pertaining to what the court looks for as proof of your Nevada residency when it comes to filing a Nevada divorce:

  1. Do both my spouse and I have to be Nevada resident to file a divorce in Nevada?

No. Only one of the parties must have resided in Nevada for a minimum of six-weeks before filing a divorce.  If you are filing for an annulment and you obtained your marriage in Nevada then you need not be a Nevada resident.  The Court has jurisdiction to set aside the marriage.  However, if you want to annul a marriage from another state residency is required.

  1. How do I prove I’m a resident?

The main proof comes in the form of an Affidavit of Resident Witness. The individual who signs this sworn Affidavit in front of a notary must be another Nevada resident who knows you to have lived in Nevada for a minimum of six weeks before the date your divorce is filed.

This can be a friend, relative, co-worker, landlord, employer or employee, just anyone else at all who is a Nevada resident and is willing to sign this affidavit.  If you are moving to Nevada not long before you plan to file a divorce, be sure to make some friends in your neighborhood or at work.  You will need your resident witness to sign an affidavit that states that not only has he or she known you to have lived in Nevada for 6 weeks, but that he or she sees you three to four times per week.  If you have children and they live here with you in Nevada, they must reside here for 6 months before the Court will exercise jurisdiction over their custody and visitation.

  1.  Do I have to change my driver’s license to Nevada before I sign my Nevada divorce documents?

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) does require that incoming residents trade in their out-of-state driver’s license for a Nevada driver’s license before the first 30-day period of residency has expired. However, we are working for you and not for DMV so if you provide us with sufficient photo identification and evidence that you actually now reside in Nevada we will notarize your signature reminding you that you are under oath.

The Court generally does not ask to see your driver’s license unless you must make a court appearance in your divorce.  If you cannot obtain a driver’s license DMV issues a state identification card which will be sufficient.

If your divorce is uncontested, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll have to appear in court and show as much proof of your residency, though it has occurred in the past.  However, if the divorce is contested and your spouse challenges your residence then you will have to come up with other proof that you moved here for a legitimate reason (work, family, etc.) and have the intent to remain.

Under the above circumstances, it is a good idea to corroborate your Nevada residency in the form of:

  • Nevada driver’s license
  • Voter registration (if you vote)
  • Rental or utility company receipts (if you rent/own a place where the utilities are in your name)
  • Car registration, if you own a vehicle.
  1. Can I just move to Nevada, get my divorce, and leave?

Your divorce documents will state that, at the time you sign your divorce documents you have the intent to remain in Nevada after your divorce.  Your Affidavit will state that it is still your intent to remain in Nevada for an indefinite period of time.  The court has nothing to say on the fact that you might change your mind afterwards.  However, this does not mean that you can come to Nevada, spend 6 weeks here, sign your divorce papers and leave town.  You would be advised to remain in Nevada at least until your uncontested divorce is granted.

  1. I’m getting divorced because of an Immigration issue. Can I just move to Nevada, get a divorce, and leave?

There have been many instances in the recent past where Immigration officer have questioned the validity of Nevada divorces obtained to benefit parties in an Immigration case.  Our office had a case where there was a paralegal company in New York City advertising Nevada divorces and gave out inaccurate information on residence.  When an immigration application for a visa was filed after the Nevada divorce was granted, the immigration officer wanted much more evidence of the applicant’s Nevada residency than just a cousin’s affidavit that he had seen the client in Nevada for 6 weeks.  If immigration suspects fraud by a non-citizen they can abort the immigration application and deport a person or not allow them reentry in to the country.

  1. What constitutes a legal residence?

The term, legal residence, applies to the place a person spends most of his or her time and is the home that is recognized as yours by law. For instance, you have a driver’s license issued by that state, and/or you claim Nevada as your home state on your tax filings, and/or you claim Nevada as your home state on your LES if you are military.

Residency as a legal term has different meanings in different contexts in the law.  Also different jurisdictions define residency in different ways because of different laws.  Some people consider themselves to have two residencies, especially when they have a second home.  A deployed member of the military may be a permanent resident of Nevada even if he or she has been in Iraq for the past two years.  Bankruptcy may require that you live in Nevada 6 months before you file whereas you only have to live in Nevada 6 weeks to file for divorce.  Context is everything when it comes to legal residence.

There’s more here on Nevada residency and divorce

Is a Joint Petition a Good Option for your Las Vegas Divorce?

Las Vegas Divorce Joint PetitionAs you might know, filing a Joint Petition Divorce is currently the simplest and fastest way to dissolve a marriage in Las Vegas. Actually, all courts in Nevada accept joint petition divorce filings, so they’re not just for a Las Vegas divorce.

That said, filing a joint petition divorce requires the participation of both parties which is why we sometimes refer to it as a two-signature divorce.  Note that if your situation is highly acrimonious and you fear harm from your soon-to-be ex-spouse, this article isn’t for you. Protect yourself first and foremost. In this case, a one-signature divorce is the best option for you.

If there are no children, no debt, and no property, and even if there are, a joint petition is the simplest, and least costly, way to obtain a divorce in Las Vegas, provided both parties are willing to sign the divorce papers.

If children, property (this can be anything from a house to a couch or television for divorce purposes) or debt are involved, obviously an agreement on issues such as child support, child visitation, physical custody, and property and debt division will be required before you get started.

Before you make the above decisions, a little research would go a long way towards avoiding arguments.  For instance, in Nevada, child support is pretty much set in stone, so you can just look up the child support guidelines and follow them. The guidelines also contain allowed deviations.

This being a community property state, as far as property and debt division is concerned, you’d expect it to be a 50/50 split between the parties. However, this isn’t always the case; there are many exceptions. For instance, a vehicle or a house owned by only one of the parties before the marriage is likely to be awarded to that party were you to go into a divorce trial.  Many things are considered, such as investment of the community property funds (when both parties share a checking or savings account and those funds are used for home improvement or paying the mortgage, for instance).  If one of the parties owned a house before the marriage, the other party would only be entitled to half of any increase in equity from the time of the marriage.

If you feel that a Joint Petition divorce is a good option for your but feel uncertain about how to divide your debts and property, or if you have children with your spouse and want to know what’s appropriate as far as child support and visitation, consider Collaborative Divorce.  This is a good option for longer term marriages, especially when the parties have many assets and, or,  retirement benefits come into play. Some attorneys’ offices, like ours, offer divorce mediation services (collaborative divorce by a different name) in preparation for doing a Joint Petition divorce.  Generally speaking, during mediation , the parties find out what they’re likely to be granted if they ended up in a divorce trial.  Find out more about it here, Collaborative Divorce in Nevada

Bottom line is that when filing for a divorce in Las Vegas, a joint petition, except in a few situations, is the best option for everyone involved. You save time and money and the even bigger heartache of divorce court.

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

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