Experienced Divorce Law Firm Serving the Areas of Clark County Including Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson, Overton, Moapa Valley, Mesquite, and Laughlin.
Deciding to file for a divorce can be a scary and unsettling experience. Before filing, you should take certain steps to educate yourself about the process and make the appropriate plans for each stage of the case. Our trusted Las Vegas divorce lawyers can help.
The decisions that you make can impact every aspect of your life including where you will live, what happens to your assets and debts, how you will care for your children, and how you will spend your money.
Contact our highly experienced Las Vegas divorce attorneys at Mills & Anderson to discuss your case. During the initial consultation, an attorney can help you understand the stages of separation and the decisions you will make at each stage. We represent both men and women in cases throughout Clark County including Las Vegas, Henderson, and North Las Vegas, Nevada.
Call (702) 386-0030 to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced Las Vegas divorce attorneys to discuss the facts of your case.
Resolving the Temporary Divorce Issues First
One of the most important decisions you will make is how to divide the assets on a temporary basis immediately before the divorce is filed. The temporary issues also include those issues that arise while the case is pending but before it’s finalized.
Temporary issues can include who will live in the primary residence, where the other spouse will live, how the money in bank accounts will be divided at the onset of the case, how the reoccurring bills of the household will be paid, and how much temporary child support and spousal support will be paid each month while the case is pending. Those initial decisions made early in the case can have a huge impact on how the issues are ultimately resolved.
Our skilled and knowledgeable Las Vegas divorce lawyers will help you make all of the preliminary decisions in the case. Deciding those issue fairly might ultimately help you prevent waste, save money and preserve the assets that you and your family worked so hard to accumulate during the length of the marriage.
Who is Eligible to File for Divorce in Nevada
Before filing for divorce in Nevada, one or both of the spouses must have lived in the State of Nevada for at least six (6) weeks before the action is filed and the person must have the intent to remain here indefinitely. In other words, either the husband or the wife must actually be a resident of Nevada.
The issue of venue is also important. The action must also be filed in the correct county within Nevada, which is usually the county where the defendant lives. If the wife is filing for divorce from the husband, and the husband is a resident of Nevada residing in Las Vegas in Clark County, NV, then the action is properly filed in Clark County, NV. Having a trusted Las Vegas divorce law firm on your side will help you through this difficult time.
Civil Unions and Domestic Partners in Same-Sex Relationships
Like many other states, Nevada has adopted statutes recognizing civil unions – including same-sex partners – as an alternative to marriage. As a community property state, Nevada has provisions allowing for couples, including same-sex couples, to become “domestic partners.” Under Nevada law, two individuals, including two same-sex partners, may register as domestic partners. As registered domestic partners, the two adults are subject to state community property laws, in the same way, was married couples. Nev. Rev. Stat. § 122A.200.
Therefore, registered domestic partners in Nevada must split community property income on their separately filed individual federal income tax returns. Registered domestic partners, however, may not file joint returns. Also, community property owned by registered domestic partners may be subject to the same tax collection remedies as community property owned by married couples in Nevada.
The Residency Requirement in a Nevada Divorce
In order to file in the State of Nevada, one party must reside in Nevada for at least six (6) weeks prior to filing. Additionally, a divorce in Nevada requires a “Resident Witness.” This witness is another resident who signs the document stating that the party has lived in Nevada for at least six (6) weeks.
If one party is currently in the military, and if the state of record or military home state is Nevada, then the divorce can be filed in this state even if one or both parties currently reside in another state or outside of the United States. Read more about the military divorce in Nevada.
Grounds for Divorce under Nevada Law
The State of Nevada is considered a “no-fault” divorce state. Under the “no-fault” theory, the person filing does not have to prove fault. Instead, the person only needs to claim that the parties are no longer compatible and that there is no chance of reconciliation. Other grounds exist, although they are rarely used in the State of Nevada.
To discuss these matters or any other family law matter please get in touch with our helpful and highly skilled Las Vegas divorce attorneys at Mills & Anderson.
Types of Divorce Actions in Nevada
Nevada law provides for two different types of divorces – the joint petition for divorce (often called the “uncontested divorce”) or the separately filed complaint about divorce (often called the “contested divorce”). In an uncontested case, the parties can file together in a “joint petition.” These cases are approved more quickly. In many cases, the parties do not need to appear in open court in front of the judge.
When the parties do not agree on all of the terms, then one party will file a “complaint about divorce” and have the complaint served on the other spouse. Either the husband or the wife can file the complaint.
The person who files is designated as the “plaintiff.” The other spouse that must respond to the complaint is designated as the “defendant.” After being served with a complaint in Nevada, the defendant will file an “answer.” In most cases, the defendant will also file a “counterclaim for divorce.” A counterclaim is appropriate when the defendant also wants a divorce.
After the complaint, if filed by the plaintiff and served on the defendant, the Court will schedule several hearings to make sure the case is progressing towards a fair resolution. Hearing can be set to ask the Court to decide temporary issues of child support, visitation, and spousal support.
If you have any questions, please get in touch with our Las Vegas divorce attorneys to discuss your case.
Issues to be Resolved in a Divorce
Under Nevada law, several different issues will be decided in the divorce case, which include the division of property and debts, whether either spouse will receive temporary alimony or support from the other spouse, child custody, child support, and child visitation or time-sharing.
In most cases, the parties will come to some agreement on how these issues are resolved. If the parties cannot agree then the Court will make the final decision for the husband and wife.
Alimony and Spousal Support
There are four different types of alimony in Nevada:
- Temporary alimony – This type of spousal support is awarded only while the divorce case is pending.
- Permanent alimony – This type of alimony continues without an express expiration date. It continues to be paid until the death of either party or remarriage by the spouse receiving it.
- Term alimony – This type of alimony does have a set expiration date. It may expire on a specified date or when a certain event occurs.
- Rehabilitative alimony – Rehabilitative alimony provides financial support to a spouse while he or she obtains training or education to become self-supporting.
Alimony may be paid in a lump-sum payment or through periodic payments.
By Nevada law, alimony comes in different forms, including a lump-sum payment or periodic payments.
When making decisions regarding alimony – including whether to order it, what type to order, and how much support to order – the court considers these 11 factors:
- The length of the marriage
- The type and value of each spouse’s property
- The contribution each spouse made to their property
- The age, health, income, and earning capacity of each parent
- The physical and mental condition of each spouse as it relates to their financial position
- Each spouse’s financial condition
- The standard of living the parties enjoyed during the marriage
- The career the spouse, who would receive alimony, had before the marriage
- Whether either spouse has specialized education, training, or marketable skills
- Whether either spouse acted as a homemaker
- The property award made by the court
Determining Child Custody, Visitation and Support
If the parties have minor children in common, then the divorce action will include issues of legal custody, physical custody, child visitation, and child support. Child custody issue can also include requirements that the parents maintain life insurance for the benefit of the minor child and requirements related to maintaining health insurance for the children.
Division of Property
The State of Nevada is considered to be a “community property” state. In a community property state, the property and debts acquired during the marriage are presumed to belong to the husband and wife equally. For that reason the community property is generally divided equally. The different types of assets divided can include:
- cash on hand;
- the money in various bank accounts;
- stocks and bonds;
- the primary residence;
- vacation homes;
- commercial real estate;
- ownership in a business;
- retirement accounts; and
- personal property including clothing, furniture and furnishings.
The different types of debts can include:
- personal loans;
- student loan debt;
- credit card debt;
- vehicle or car loans; and
- tax debts.
Separate Property or Separate Debt
Under Nevada law, a distinction is made between assets and debts obtained before the marriage and assets and debts obtained during the marriage. Some types of property obtained during the marriage are also considered to be separate property of one spouse that is not divided during the divorce including:
- an inheritance;
- a personal injury award;
- a disability award; or
- certain types of gifts.
Be aware that Nevada law generally recognizes a presumption that all property acquired after marriage is community property and the presumption may only be overcome by clear and convincing evidence. See Forrest v. Forrest, 99 Nev. 602, 604-05 (1983).
Finding a Lawyer
If you are considering filing or if you were just served with divorce papers, contact an experienced divorce lawyer at Mills & Anderson. Our knowledgeable and proven lawyers will help you determine what property and debts should be considered separate property. Your attorney will also help you determine the best way to divide the community property accumulated during the divorce. Our lawyers will also help you with child support, custody, and visitation issues. Call our office to speak with our experienced divorce lawyers about the unique facts of your case.
Our dedicated Las Vegas divorce lawyers represent clients throughout the greater Las Vegas Metropolitan area and the surrounding areas of Clark County, Nevada including North Las Vegas and Henderson, NV. During the initial consultation, our family law attorneys can also advice you in regards to alimony, spousal support, child support, and child custody. Contact us to discuss your family law questions and let us help you find the best solutions for your family.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Las Vegas divorce lawyers of Mills & Anderson have years of experience helping individuals and families in all aspects of family law. Below are frequently asked questions answered by our attorneys. The information below should not be construed as legal advice and is for educational purposes only. Contact Mills & Anderson at (702) 386-0030 or submit an online form to schedule a confidential consultation.
- What are grounds for divorce in Nevada?
- How long will it take to get a divorce in Nevada?
- What legal issues are resolved in a Nevada divorce?
- How much will my divorce cost?
- How can a divorce attorney from Mills & Anderson help me?
- Can the Facts of the Case Remain Private?
- How does a mail-in divorce work?
- Can I repossess my property because the buyer did not return to me my trailer that it was delivered upon?
- Trying to get Visa for India for a minor child.
- I’d like to file for divorce but I am unable to locate my spouse. What should be my first step?
- Does Adultery trigger disqualification of alimony in a divorce?
Nevada is a “no-fault” divorce state, meaning that you don’t have to prove that either spouse did anything wrong to ask for a divorce. While some states might require you to show your spouse cheated, had a drug problem, was impotent or treated you in a cruel manner, this isn’t necessary in Nevada. You will simply claim in your divorce complaint that you and your spouse are no longer compatible and there is not a chance of reconciliation.
There are certain time periods that must usually be met before you can get a divorce in Nevada. One is the residency requirement. Either you or your spouse must have resided in Nevada for at least six weeks before you can request a divorce. After you file your complaint, your spouse has 21 days to respond to it.
The amount of time depends on a number of factors, such as whether you know where your spouse is, how your spouse must be served and whether you have to file by publication. Also, summary divorces are usually faster than formal ones. If you have children or complex assets, the process can take longer. The court’s caseload also impacts the length of the process.
Generally, if you and your spouse agree on most of the key terms, the case goes faster. The more unresolved legal issues there are, the longer the case will probably take. Generally, it takes between a few weeks to four months for uncontested divorces and longer for contested ones.
Common legal issues are division of property and debt, alimony, child custody, and child support.
While this is one of the most common questions we get, it’s one of the most difficult to answer. The cost will depend on a number of specific factors relevant to your case and situation, so we can’t throw out a random number. Some factors that can affect the total cost include: whether you need to locate a missing spouse, whether the case is contested, how complex your assets are and whether there are child custody or alimony issues to deal with. You must also factor in the filing fee.
Our divorce lawyers are committed to helping you end your marriage at an affordable rate. Our clients often pay much less than their spouse has to pay with another firm. During our initial consultation, we can discuss an estimate of what your cost based on your specific circumstances.
The Las Vegas divorce attorneys at Mills & Anderson have a wealth of knowledge with over 40 years of collective experience. We are familiar with the relevant laws and courts and know how to prove your case. We can help you avoid costly mistakes that may negatively affect your case. We provide each and every one of our clients with zealous legal representation. We devise a customized legal strategy that considers the strengths of your case and focuses on what is in your and your family’s best interest. We can aggressively advocate for your interests in and out of the courtroom.
For the most part, the parties do not want to air their dirty laundry in public. When the case is initially filed, it is a public record. Typically, anyone can go to the clerk’s office and obtain a copy of the filings or orders issued in the case. At the end of the case, your divorce lawyer can request that the Court seal the case file so that the contents are no longer public records. Your attorney will file a “Request and Order to Seal File” for this purpose. The parties must then wait for the request to be approved by the Court.
Q: I just read, that in certain cases, like no children, no property involved, and the debt/ property does not exceed $10 000/ $150000, then a mail-in divorce can happen? How does that work and when?
A: Check with a lawyer in your jurisdiction. Online divorce services are fraught with peril. Many are being run in violation of state law, without the supervision of a licensed attorney. Documents are often prepared incorrectly or with gaping holes in areas where items should have been addressed. That’s not to say it won’t work, but its a gamble in my opinion.
If your case is as simple as it sounds, a good Las Vegas divorce attorney can probably handle it for a reasonable flat fee. It will cost more than the “mail-in” divorce, but it will be done correctly.
Q: Over a year ago, I sold a shed to an individual on Craigslist with a bill of sale stating that the sale of the shed was contingent upon me receiving the trailer back upon which it stood and was delivered on. the buyer was well aware that the trailer that the shed sat on was not part of the sale and even signed his signature on the agreement stating that the trailer was not part of the sale.
I have been sending multiple text messages and leaving multiple voicemail messages stating that I need the shed to be removed from my trailer so that I can have the trailer back.The responses I get have mostly been that he has not found a place to park the shed yet.
now that it has been well over a year I have been texting him telling him that I am going to come and pick up my trailer regardless of what stands on it I also told him that due to him not giving my trailer back within a timely manner after me warning him that it is his last warning I am going to take the trailer back even though the shed is still on it and any money that he had put towards the shed has become rent for having my trailer so long. And ignoring my requests to remove the shed.
A: Courts typically frown on self-help, meaning you probably don’t want to show up at his house and hitch up the trailer w/shed and leave without a court order. That being said, my guess is both your trailer and shed are long gone. He probably sold them and is lying about it. I don’t know why someone would buy a shed with no place to put it.
It is probably best to sue him in small claims court and get a judgment for the return of the property or its equivalent value.
Q: I have joint custody of my child but he has been living with me since birth and his father has never contacted him. Now I want to get Visa for India to visit for child and the application requires other parent’s signature. But I do not have his contact information to reach him. What should I do?
A: You will either need to get the Court to order its clerk to sign the application on behalf of the father or file a petition to terminate the father’s parental rights. Either way, you’ll need to hire a competent attorney in your area to accomplish what you want to.
Q: My spouse and I started an uncontested divorce (with no lawyers) last year in Colorado but he got angry with me and disappeared right before we were to sign the final papers. I am unable to contact him and I have now moved to Arizona for work. I have no idea where to start/how to start filing again. What should be my first step?
A: Rules for service on your spouse vary from state to state. Generally, you must first file a summons and complaint for divorce and attempt to locate him through what is called a “due diligence search”.
If you are unable to find and personally serve him, then you will need to petition the Court for permission to serve him by publication. In terms of where to file, that will depend on the jurisdictional rules of the state where you are and in Colorado. You’ll probably need to consult with a divorce attorney in both states prior to deciding what to do next.
Q: Divorce after 12 years of marriage and my spouse has cheated on me.
A: Nevada is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that marital fault is not considered by the Court, except in very limited circumstances, when the Court determines the division of community property/debt and alimony. Unless a court order or marital settlement agreement between the parties specifically states, alimony will still be available to the cheating spouse assuming he/she would otherwise qualify.
For questions specific to your case, please contact our Las Vegas divorce lawyers today! We are here to help you navigate through this stressful time.