Frequently Asked Questions
- Why do I need an attorney?
- How long before my family law case is over?
- Will I have to go to court?
- How much will I pay/receive in child support?
- Will the court order the other party to pay my fees?
For the same reasons a mechanic fixes a car or a dentist works on your teeth, an attorney should handle your legal needs. Like any professional in any other field, we possess unique training, knowledge, and experience that allows us to practice the law. Our focus on a select group of practice areas further enables us to ensure that we are up-to-date and well-trained to serve your legal needs.
While it is possible for any person to represent him/herself in a legal proceeding, it is almost never a good idea. The law is complex. Procedural nuances and unique court rules can make your case extremely tricky to navigate, and compliance to those rules often makes the difference between winning and losing. Even if you were to dedicate all of your available time to your case, the likelihood that you would not make a mistake at some point is slim. This likelihood increases in family law where emotional involvement in a case often clouds the individual’s ability to make reasoned decisions.
If you have additional questions about whether you need an attorney, schedule a consultation to meet with us. If we don’t feel you need an attorney, we will tell you. If you elect not to retain our firm, you will not be charged for the consultation. If you do retain Mills & Anderson, you can feel comfortable knowing that your case is being handled professionally.
How long before my family law case is over?
Uncontested matters can be completed in 3 to 4 weeks, sometimes faster, provided that both parties cooperate with the reasonable requests of the attorney. Even if the parties are very cooperative, there can still be some delay due to backup of filings in the court system. Your case will not be finalized until your decree is signed by a judge, and we cannot control how long the judge will take to approve your final decree.
Contested family law cases can take anywhere from 6 months to 2-3 years before the case is finally resolved. Of course, the parties can come to a settlement at any time during the proceedings; however, a case that proceeds all the way through to trial can often take in excess of 18 months depending on the complexity of the case. We always do our best to make sure the case resolves as quickly as possible, consistent with your best interests.
Generally, you will have to make at least one court appearance in a contested case; if the parties are not able to reach a settlement following the initial court appearance, then multiple trips to the courthouse will be required. In uncontested cases, your court appearance is not required. We will handle all of the drafting and processing of paperwork and you will only need to sign off on documents for filing from time to time. If your case involves an initial determination of custody, you will be required to attend the COPE class as a prerequisite to receiving your final custody order.
How much will I pay/receive in child support?
The amount of child support you will pay or receive is determined by Nevada statute. If you are the custodial parent, you can expect to receive a percentage of the non-custodial parent’s gross monthly income based on the number of children you have together. For example, one child equals 18% of GMI, two children equal 25% of GMI, three children equals 29% of GMI, four children equals 31% of GMI, and so on. These amounts are subject to a per child statutory cap that adjusts once per year.
In a joint custodial arrangement, the same calculation is performed for each parent, and the parent earning less gets the difference between the two amounts. For more information regarding how child support will be determined in your particular case, please schedule a consultation.
You will only be charged for the initial consultation if you elect to retain our firm. If your matter is handled on a flat fee basis, your consultation will be included in that fee. If your matter is handled on an hourly basis, the time spent on your initial consultation will be charged against your initial retainer.
Will the court order the other party to pay my fees?
The court may, but is not required to, order one party to pay the other’s attorney’s fees. This usually happens in cases where one party makes significantly more money than the other or where the court determines that a claim by one of the parties was made “without reasonable grounds.”