6 Most-asked Questions Regarding Residency for a Nevada Divorce

You’ll find much incorrect information surrounding how to establish residency for aResidency for a Nevada divorce Nevada divorce online. Not surprisingly, this is one of the most-asked questions we get by email and phone. 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:

  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 and plan to get divorced here then be social and get to know a friend, co-worker or neighbor.  Surprisingly people who have lived here for a year sometimes have difficulty finding a resident witness because they have not bothered to get to know someone on a regular basis, i.e., who has seen them physically present in Nevada each week for 6 weeks.  Remember, if children are involved the Court requires that they reside in Nevada for 6 months before the Court will exercise jurisdiction over custody and visitation of the children.

We create the affidavit, notarize, and file the resident witness affidavit as a part of our Nevada divorce service to you.

  1. Do I have to change my driver’s license to Nevada before I sign my 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 identification and evidence that you actually now reside in Nevada we will notarize you signature reminding you that you are under oath.

That said, 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.   A passport alone with an out of state address will not be sufficient to prove that you are a Nevada resident.

If your divorce is uncontested, it’s unlikely that you’ll have to appear in court and show as much proof as stated above, 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 live here.  Under these 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 until your uncontested divorce is finished up.  If you already have filed a case in another state and it is still pending, and, maybe that case is moving too slow for you, you cannot come to Nevada to live here 6 weeks and file here as that is called forum shopping and is not allowed.  The case in the other state would have to be closed or dismissed for you to file a new case in Nevada.

  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.  Although the divorce took place in Nevada when an immigration application for a visa was attempted the immigration officer wanted much more evidence 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 time and is the home that is recognized by law.

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.  California may require that you live there 6 months before you file for divorce instead of Nevada’s 6 weeks.  So context is everything where it comes to residency.

What is an Annulment?

annulmentsmallWhat is an annulment and how does it differ from a divorce? In simple terms, the granting of an annulment renders a marriage null and void and of no legal consequence to the parties.

In many states, such as in Nevada, marriages are void ab initio, meaning from the very beginning of the marriage, so from a legal standpoint, it’s as if the parties had never married in the first place.

In some states, marriages are annulled from the time of the granting of the decree of annulment instead of from the beginning of the marriage. This is especially true when there are issues such as community property, debt, children alimony, tax or retirement issues which may cause complications or prejudice. In such cases, judges, even in Nevada, might be inclined to grant an annulment as of the time of the Decree.

A man and woman are upset with each other.

Nevadadivorce.org can help you get both an annulment or a divorce, depending on what you need.

Granting an annulment from the time of the decree instead of from the beginning of the marriage recognizes a legal relationship between the parties for the duration of the marriage, just as in a divorce.

Some marriages are automatically null and void – such as when one of the parties was already married to someone else at the time of the marriage being annulled – however, an annulment must still be filed to legally establish the fact that the marriage was null and void. Otherwise, it’s just say so and it will regarded as a bigamous marriage.

Some religious bodies, such as the Catholic Church, do not recognize a civil annulment, so the parties must still go through the process of annulling their marriage through their church if they wish to remarry in the Church.  For instance, catholic annulments follow Cannon Law and not Civil Law. A marriage obtained through a church, such as the Catholic Church must still be legally dissolved through a civil annulment or a divorce.

If you need a divorce or more information about obtaining a Nevada divorce please go here: http://nevadadivorce.org

If you need an annulment or more information about obtaining an annulment in Nevada please go here: http://nevadaannulment.org.

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

What is Collaborative Divorce (mediated divorce)?

mediationA collaborative divorce entails the divorcing couple meeting with a licensed mediator (oftentimes a divorce attorney) in order to fairly divide property, as well as to decide issues of child custody, visitation, and child support. This type of divorce is also known as a Mediated Divorce.

A mediator is obligated to keep a neutral position by only talking to both parties at the same time, all the time, except perhaps when scheduling a mediation session. This way, you can feel confident that you know everything being addressed and that you didn’t miss out on something the mediator might have told your spouse.

Discussing issues of child visitation, physical custody, and child support often proves difficult for couples about to divorce. Having an experienced, licensed, third party present (the mediator) to guide the discussions and to answer questions about divorce laws and what is customary in a Nevada Family court goes a long way in helping keep things civil and fair throughout the divorce process.

Other issues usually addressed during mediation are property and debt division, as well retirement accounts, if any, which come into play for longer-term marriages. The idea here is to come out of the mediation (and ultimately the divorce) feeling that the community property and debts (and retirement money) were divided fairly between you and your spouse based on your particular circumstances, rather than having it awarded to you in a manner you feel is unfair by a divorce trial judge who knows nothing of your personal circumstances.

You could say that the goal of a collaborative or mediated divorce is to defuse the acrimony that often enters divorce negotiations – without mediation, a tense situation holds potential for a much worse outcome than necessary for all involved: you, your spouse, and your children.

Though this should be the least thing you consider when you make important decisions during your divorce, you do save a lot of money, compared to a divorce trial, when you choose to collaborate your divorce. No one benefits from paying exorbitant attorney fees for a divorce trial (except the attorneys).

So, if you have children with the spouse you are divorcing and you own property and debts together, and cannot agree on your own on how to divide everything, or you simply feel unsure of what is fair, give serious consideration to using the services of a mediator before moving forward with your divorce in Nevada (or in the state in which you reside).

In a large majority of the collaborative divorces this office has facilitated, all issues get resolved in just one session, and represents large savings to the divorcing couple.
Bottom line is that a collaborative divorce allows the couple to divorce with as little friction as possible and go on with their lives with little to no hard feelings toward one another (especially important if you are still raising children together).

Visit our collaborative divorce in Nevada page for more details on collaborative divorce.

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