Divorce Law in Nevada
Divorce Law refers to the legal termination of a marriage and often involves working through several complicated issues. Are you facing a costly divorce in Nevada? Does your estranged spouse have an attorney? Usually, couples going through a divorce are unable to compromise on most items and reach an agreement on their own. Thus, many couples go through mediation or the court system to resolve their case.
Issues Involved in Nevada Divorce Law
There are many complicated issues that you need to settle during the divorce process. Many of these elicit strong emotions from one party or the other, resulting in volatility.
One of the most challenging issues in the divorce law process is dividing property, debts and assets. In many states, like Nevada, anything you and your spouse purchased over your marriage is subject to division. This includes things such as real estate, bank accounts, cars, stocks, etc. Some states split marital property evenly, while others go along an equitable split. In the latter, the judge weighs the contribution each spouse made to the marriage and uses that information to decide the disposition property, which may not equate to a perfect 50/50 division of your property, debt, and other assets.
Both parents are responsible for paying for the care of their children. There is a child support guideline that helps determine how much each parent should contribute based on their income and the amount of time they spend with the children. Child support pays for things such as healthcare, food, clothing and other basic needs.
Nevada uses the percentage of income model to calculate child support. Under Nevada law, the gross monthly income of the obligor is multiplied by different percentages, depending on the number of children. The percentages are 16, 22, 26, and 28 for one, two, three or four children, respectively. Child support can be paid by mail or online through the Nevada State Collection and Disbursement Unit payment system. The Child Support Enforcement Program can suspend driver’s licenses and passports, intercept tax refunds, order income withholding and property liens, and intercept lottery winnings. Under Nevada law, if you knowingly fail to provide court-ordered support, you can be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the specifics of your case.
Alimony, or spousal support, can vary dramatically depending on the marriage, and Nevada divorce law court looks at multiple factors when determining the amount and length of alimony, including:
- A spouse’s need and the other spouse’s ability to pay
- The age and health of each spouse
- The length of the marriage
- Each spouse’s earning capacity and level of education
- The division of property
- Parental responsibility of the children
- Sole investments and assets of either spouse
Under Nevada law, the courts may award temporary, short-term, rehabilitative, and permanent alimony. Temporary alimony may be awarded for living expenses during divorce proceedings. Short-term alimony may be awarded upon final judgement for a limited amount of time to ease the transition post-divorce. Rehabilitative alimony may be awarded to help the dependent spouse with job training and education. Permanent alimony is typically awarded in a long-term marriage where the dependent spouse cannot achieve financial independence.
Child Custody and Visitation
Child custody is perhaps the most emotional issue during a divorce that involves children. The most important thing to keep in mind is that the court bases all decisions on what is in the best interest of the child. Keeping this in mind may help navigate the rough waters of custody.
Under Nevada law, the courts consider many factors including the physical, developmental, and emotional needs of the child. Additionally, the court will consider the child’s wishes, and which parent is more likely to support the relationship between the child and the non-custodial parent. Preference is not given to either parent for the sole reason that the parent is the mother or the father of the child. Any history of or future potential for child abuse or substance abuse by a parent is a heavy factor in the final decision.
Generally, Nevada courts award joint legal custody giving both parents the legal right to make decisions for the children, such as education, medical care and religious practices. Legal custody has nothing to do with physical custody or visitation. Joint custody does not mean both parents split time with the child evenly, just as sole legal custody does not bar the non-custodial parent from visiting the child.
The Process of Going Through Divorce Law in Nevada
Are you leaning towards getting a divorce from your partner? If so, it is important to understand the necessary steps of the Nevada divorce law process.
Step 1: File the Divorce Law Petition
The divorce law process begins when one spouse files a legal petition to terminate the marriage. The petition must include:
- A legal reason for divorce (grounds for divorce)
- A statement that shows at least one spouse meets the state’s residency requirements for divorce
- Other statutory information your state requires
Most states offer the option for filing a no-fault divorce, which does not require a legal reason for the divorce.
The courts will allow a no-fault divorce in Nevada as long as the two spouses declare themselves to be incompatible.
Step 2: Request Temporary Orders
The divorce law process in Nevada can take several months, and in some cases, spouses cannot wait that long for judgments, but temporary orders can be requested and approved for a multitude of reasons, including:
- Child custody
- Child support
- Spousal support
- Property restraining orders
- Status quo orders
Request temporary orders as quickly as possible so you are not absent the resources or protection that you need.
Step 3: Serve Your Spouse and Wait for Their Response
If you are the one who files a petition for divorce, you must have your spouse served with their divorce law papers and then file a proof of service with the courts. If your spouse accepts service, then they need to fill out an affidavit to that effect. However, in many cases, the petitioner must hire a process server or sheriff to formally serve the petition on the other spouse. It is this third-party who then records the proof of service.
Step 4: Try To Come to an Agreement
The best outcome for anyone going through this process is to have an uncontested divorce, meaning both spouses agree on all issues.
Both partner can reach an agreement between themselves or with the help of a mediator. Not only will this save each spouse money, but there will typically be a lot less animosity.
Step 5: Go To Court
If you and your spouse are unable to reach an agreement, then the case continues before a Nevada judge. While there is some benefit to having a judge hand down orders, it may also be a detriment as there is little to no control of the agreement by the parties. In Nevada, the District Courts handle divorce cases. Nevada has 11 Judicial Districts, serving Nevada’s 17 counties.
Step 6: Receive the Judgement of Divorce
The divorce law trial will end with the official judgment of divorce, ending the marriage. This final dissolution of marriage sets out the details about property and debt division, child custody and all relevant issues between the couple.
Work With an Experienced Nevada Divorce Law Attorney
If you are going through a divorce and are unable to reach an agreement with your partner, you should hire an experienced Nevada divorce law attorney. A lawyer will fight for you and make sure you get what is yours. We can even help you connect with an attorney across Nevada state lines.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!