Nevada

Nevada men’s divorce attorneys provide answers to frequently asked questions with regards to divorce and divorce laws in Nevada.

What are the grounds for divorce?

Pursuant to N.R.S. 125.010, the only valid grounds for divorce are:

1. Insanity existing for two years prior to the filing for divorce;
2. Spouses live separate and apart for 1 year without cohabitating; and
3. Incompatibility.

What is a divorce going to cost me?

It is impossible for an attorney to give an accurate estimate of what a divorce action will cost because there are too many variables to consider. Furthermore, an attorney can never know how aggressively one litigant may pursue any given issue; i.e. custody, visitation, child support, alimony, etc.

Do I really need to hire an attorney?

In Nevada, there is no statute or court rule that requires a litigant to hire an attorney to represent them in a divorce action. However, a litigant representing himself or herself, known as a “proper person litigant,” will be held to the same standard as an attorney and be expected to know the rules and law applicable to their case.

Therefore, it is highly recommended a litigant hire an attorney to represent them so they do not run afoul of any rule or make a mistake that could be severely damaging to their case.

Does Nevada grant divorces based on marital fault?

Nevada is a “Pure No Fault” jurisdiction. Specifically, that means a judge cannot look at the conduct between the parties to make a decision; i.e. marital infidelity is irrelevant to divorce proceedings in Nevada.

Can I get alimony or will I have to provide alimony to my spouse?

Nevada’s statutes provide that a judge has discretion to order or award alimony. The judge will utilize the need and ability to pay standard.  Specifically, whether one spouse has a need for alimony, and whether the other spouse has the ability to provide that alimony to the other.

Can I change my name at the time of divorce?

Yes. Divorcing spouses have the option to change their name at the time of the divorce. This is typically done by the female, who returns to her maiden name.

Can I get an annulment?

Yes. In Nevada, the only valid grounds for obtaining an annulment are:

1. Lack of consent by at least one parent, guardian or District Court;
2. Want of understanding; i.e. Incapacity; and
3. Fraud.

When can I file for divorce?

Pursuant to Nevada law, any person may file a Complaint for Divorce with the District Court as long as they have met “Nevada’s Durational Residency Requirement.”

Nevada’s Durational Residency Requirement requires a person be permanently present within the borders of the state for a period of six weeks before filing the Complaint for Divorce.

Residency is established by Affidavit signed by a neutral third-party who affirms to the court that they have seen the person three to four times per week for the six weeks prior to filing the Complaint.

When is my case going to be over?

It is impossible for an attorney to accurately estimate when a case will conclude as there are too many variables to consider. Generally, when litigants vigorously pursue issues, the amount of time to completely resolve the matter increases.

Do I have to go to court?

It depends on the type of action brought before the court. When parties can generally agree on a complete and final disposition of their property, children, etc. they can file a Joint Petition and the court will summarily enter a decree without parties needing to appear before the court. When the parties cannot agree on the terms of their divorce, the court must intervene and it is likely court appearances will be necessary.

If attempts to serve my spouse do not work, what is my next step?

Pursuant to Nevada’s rules of civil procedure, service of the summons and complaint must be accomplished by “personal service.” For personal service to be satisfactory, Nevada requires a neutral non-party personally give a copy to the opposing party/litigant and file an affidavit of service with the District Court Clerk’s office.

In the event personal service cannot be accomplished, a Complainant may seek relief from the District Court and obtain an order to publish service in a publication of general circulation for a period of five consecutive weeks.  The appropriate publication of general circulation is the Nevada Legal News.

At what point during the process can a spouse remarry or start dating?

Because Nevada is a “Pure No Fault” jurisdiction (see answer above), a party is free to resume dating at any time. However, remarriage cannot occur until the judge signs the Final Decree of Divorce and entered with the District Court Clerk’s record.

What if my spouse does not want the divorce?

Any person may file a divorce action with the District Court for any reason at any time. It is irrelevant that one party wants to remain married. The District Court will not require a person to remain married when they no longer want to.

Do the other issues – support, custody, alimony, and property – have to be decided before the divorce is final?

Pursuant to Nevada law, a Final Decree of Divorce making a full and final disposition of the case will not be entered until all relevant issues have been decided or resolved. Therefore, support, custody, alimony, and property issues must be decided before the court will grant a divorce to the parties.

How long do I have to live in this state to obtain a divorce?

Nevada’s Durational Residency Requirement requires a person be permanently present within the borders of the state for a period of six weeks before filing the Complaint for Divorce.

Residency is established by Affidavit signed by a neutral third-party who affirms to the court that they have seen the person three to four times per week for the six weeks prior to filing the Complaint.

What if I am in the military and out of state?

A person may file an action for divorce in Nevada when they are not a resident as long as the proposed defendant/spouse lives within the jurisdiction of Nevada.

What forms do I need to file a divorce?

If you decide to pursue a divorce action on your own, the appropriate forms may be obtained by contacting the Family Court Self-Help center located at 601 N. Pecos, Las Vegas, NV, 89155.

How and where is a divorce complaint filed?

Eighth Judicial District Court – Family Division Court Clerk’s Office, located at the Family Court and Services Center, 601 N. Pecos, Las Vegas, NV, 89155.

You must file the Complaint with the District Court Clerk’s Office and pay the filing fee.

How do I serve the divorce complaint on my spouse? How long do I have to wait to receive my divorce?

See Nevada’s Rule of Civil Procedure #4 for instructions on serving a Complaint for Divorce.

As described above, it is impossible to accurately estimate the amount of time it will take to complete a divorce action because there are too many variables involved.

How is a divorce granted? Will I have to go to court?

A divorce is granted when a District Court Judge signs the Final Decree of Divorce, and it is entered with the District Court Clerk’s record. You may have to appear in court depending on the type of action filed and whether the parties can amicably resolve the matter between themselves.

What typically happens if I go to court to obtain my divorce myself?

You will be required to operate by the same rules and standards as a licensed attorney practicing before the court. You will be required to know the relevant law of your case and be able to persuasively argue your position. It is possible you could make a mistake that would have a severely negative effect on your case.

How do I prove fault for divorce?

Fault is irrelevant in Nevada.

At any time can a parent change a minor child’s last name without the other parent’s permission?

Generally, if a parent wants to change a child’s last name, they will be required to obtain consent from the child’s other parent, or seek an order granting the name change from the District Court.

Can a couple become legally married by living together as man and wife under the state’s laws (common law marriage)?

No. Nevada law does not provide for common law marriage. Specifically, cohabitation and commingling of two people’s assets does not create a marriage contract under the laws of Nevada.