As 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