Frequently Asked Questions
About Divorce in Nevada
Am I eligible to file a Nevada Divorce?
The following parties are eligible to file a divorce in Nevada:
- One (or both) Joint Petitioner(s) is a current Nevada resident having lived in Nevada for a minimum of six (6) weeks preceding the filing of the divorce.
- Nevada was was the last marital place of residence for the parties.
- The Plaintiff in a Complaint for Divorce, if he or she has resided in Nevada a minimum of six (6) weeks immediately before filing the divorce.
- The non-resident Plaintiff may file in Nevada if the Defendant has resided in Nevada a minimum of six (6) weeks and Plaintiff files in the Nevada county of residence for the Defendant, and last lived with Defendant in Nevada.
How long will it take for my divorce to be granted?
If both parties sign the documents, it takes approximately 1-3 weeks for a divorce to be granted – if there are no children or property division involved, it’s about two weeks. If only one party signs, it takes 6-8 weeks when the Defendant can be served in person, and approximately 16-18 weeks when the Defendant must be served by Publication (when he or she cannot be found).
How long must I be a resident of Nevada before I can file a divorce in Nevada?
One of the parties to the divorce must have resided in Nevada a minimum of six weeks before filing a divorce. If it’s a Complaint (1 signature), the Plaintiff must be the resident. In the case of a Joint Petition (both sign), only of the parties needs to live in Nevada. The other party can live anywhere else in the world.
What is a valid reason for a divorce in Nevada?
The most-often used valid reason used in a divorce in Nevada is incompatibility. Other reasons, also valid, but hardly ever used as reasons because incompatibility simplifies the process, are:
- The parties have lived separate and apart for 1 year without cohabitation
- Insanity existing for 2 years prior to the commencement of the action
How soon after my divorce becomes final may I get re-married?
You may remarry as early as the day after your Nevada divorce becomes final.
I can’t find my spouse. Can I file for a divorce anyway?
Yes, you may, provided you are a Nevada resident. When the Defendant cannot be found, a skip/trace must be performed to try and find the Defendant. When this search fails to find the whereabouts of the Defendant, an Affidavit of Due Diligence is obtained and the Summons is then published in a newspaper once a week for five (5) weeks (service by Publication), and also sent by first class mail to the Defendant’s last-known address. If the Defendant fails to respond to the mail service or the Publication service, a Default is filed 21 days after the last date of publication, and your divorce is granted by Default.
Are there additional fees in addition to the attorney fees?
Yes. There are court filing fees and costs associated with filing your divorce forms. These change periodically. At the time of this writing, the total of the divorce filing fees plus the filing costs are $326 for a Joint Petition and $364 for a Complaint.
How do I get custody of my child(ren)?
Please visit the Nevada Divorce Child Custody Laws page of our website.
Can I move out of the State of Nevada with my children?
To leave the State of Nevada once you have filed a divorce, you must either get the written consent of your spouse or a court order. If you leave the state before a divorce action has been filed, it is assumed that the permission of the other spouse was obtained. That said, if the child(ren)’s habitual residence has been Nevada and you do leave the state with your child(ren) before a divorce action has been filed and your spouse then files a Complaint for Divorce asking for physical custody, a judge might well order the children back to Nevada, especially if it appears that the intent behind the move was malicious towards the other parent rather than moving because of work or to be nearer to family for help with the child(ren). The jurisdiction of children under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act is the state where the children have lived for the majority of the 6 months immediately preceding divorce filings.
Do I have to pay Child Support?
In many cases, even when parents share physical custody, one parent will pay some child support. In Nevada, child support is calculated according to a specific formula which you’ll find on our Child Support page.
Do I have to update the child support I pay if I get a raise?
If the pay raise is more than 20%, it should reported to Child Support Division, or if you pay directly, update the monthly amount you pay. Technically, Family Court wants W-2s and income tax returns exchanged between the parents every year. If you do not update your child support voluntarily, it will be addressed next time the parent who receives it asks the court for an adjustment. Child support is eligible for adjustment every three years. Most judges will adjust the amount from the time of the filing for the adjustment, but some judges might make it retro-active to when the payer had a significant raise if payer did not disclose it.
Can I get a free INFORMATION consultation?
Yes. A paralegal well-versed in Nevada divorce matters and trained by James E. Smith, Esq. is available able to answer your questions on procedure and cost for an UNCONTESTED divorce. Just call us at 702.420.7052. If we feel that your divorce might escalate into a contested matter, this paralegal will quickly refer you to the attorney for a free 10-minute consultation.
Can I be on my spouse’s health insurance after our divorce?
The short answer is no. Health insurance providers typically do not cover a spouse after a divorce. This is a question for your health insurance provider to answer; some insurance carriers will cover a divorced spouse if the final decree of divorce states that the other party in the divorce agrees to it. There is always the option for the other spouse to reach out to C.O.B.R.A. to extend coverage at the current rate for up to 18 months until he or she can find suitable coverage elsewhere. This was true at the time of this writing. Please verify this yourself.
Do I have any interest in a house/car for which I am not on title?
The name under which the asset is held is not determinative of who has an interest in that asset. What is important is whether that asset was purchased during marriage and what source of funds were used to purchase that asset.
My spouse moved into my house that I purchased prior to marriage. Does my spouse have any interest in this house?
If the parties do not have a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement and the house has a mortgage that was paid down with the “owner” spouse’s earnings, then the spouse that moved in has an interest in the house. Earnings during the marriage are community property and the paying down of a mortgage creates a community property interest in the property which is split pursuant to a complicated formula with the “owner” spouse’s separate property interest.
Do I have to take the C.O.P.E. class if I have children?
If you live in Las Vegas (Clark County) The short answer is “yes.” This class IS required of all divorcing parties who have children together. Though some online typing services advertise that you can avoid the C.O.P.E. class fee when you live in Las Vegas by using their services, it’s because they file your case in a different county that does not require parents to take the C.O.P.E. class. This might sound like a good deal for you up front, but it’s not and this is why. Chances are high in a divorce with children that you will return to court at some point to at least adjust your child support before your children turn 18 – you are entitled to review child support amounts every three years. If your divorce was filed in a county outside Las Vegas, it means you’ll have to spend money to move your case to Las Vegas before addressing the court to modify your child support, or you’ll have to travel to Reno to address the court. Both are costly choices. So, it’s best for you to take the C.O.P.E. class and file in Las Vegas if you live in Las Vegas, especially since you can now take it online.
My spouse and I are filing a joint petition. do we have to go to your office together to sign the documents?
No. All the parties to a divorce case may come to our office separately to sign the documents in front of our notary. Each individual must bring a government-issued have a photo I.D. to get notarized.
What is an uncontested divorce?
An uncontested divorce is where both parties agree to a divorce, even if one of them does not sign the divorce documents. Provided no Answer and Counterclaim is filed at court by the other party, the divorce is considered uncontested even if only one party signed.
Do I have to pay alimony/Can I get alimony?
There is no set rule for alimony payments in Nevada as there are for child support. Whether or not a spouse must pay/will receive alimony depends a lot on the length of the marriage, the contribution of each party to the couple’s finances, income relative to each party. To note is that alimony is deductible on taxes by payer, and considered reportable income for the recipient. It’s also possible that the payer would be ordered by the judge to pay the taxes on the alimony. All this applies to spousal support as well.
Do I have to pay spousal support when I get a legal separation?
See Alimony. The rules are exactly the same for spousal support