Questions Frequently Asked about Nevada Divorce
If you’re considering divorce, you likely have a lot of questions. Below, we’ve done our best to address the most common questions that we hear from people who are considering divorce. If your question is not answered here, please feel free to contact us about scheduling a consultation with Ms. Connolly.
Nevada Divorce FAQs
There is no Nevada statute that requires a litigant to hire an attorney before filing for divorce; however, a court will hold a litigant not represented by an attorney (a “Proper Person Litigant”) to the same standard as a licensed attorney with respect to knowledge of the applicable rules of law. For this reason, it is recommended that a litigant hire an attorney to represent them during the divorce process so as to ensure that spouses does not run afoul of the law and severely harm their case.
The valid grounds for divorce include:
- Insanity existing for 2 years prior to filing for divorce;
- Spouses live separately and apart for 1 year without cohabitating; and
Nevada requires a person be permanently present within the borders of the state for a period of six (6) weeks before filing for divorce.
A default divorce can occur after you have attempted service by a process server at the last-known address of your spouse, or you have served your spouse via publication of the Summons, Joint Preliminary Injunction, and Complaint in a newspaper. Once your spouse has been properly served either in person or by publication, a default may be entered on day 22 after the date of service or last date of publication. Once the default is granted, your divorce decree may be submitted for your judge’s signature. Once the court clerk files the decree, your Nevada divorce is final.
No. Nevada is a purely “no-fault” jurisdiction; therefore, you may not allege that your spouse’s wrongdoing was the cause of the divorce. A judge may not consider the conduct of the parties when making a determination.
It depends. If a case is uncontested or resolved, an appearance in court may not be required; however, when the parties are unable to come to an agreement to the terms of the divorce, the court must intervene and require the parties to appear before the court.
Nevada is a community property state. This means that any income earned or debt accumulated by either spouse during the marriage is generally considered to be marital property that is owned equally by each spouse. The same is true for property bought with those earnings. At divorce, any community assets, debt, and/or property is typically divided equally between the spouses.
It is important to understand that there are many exceptions to these general rules, and that not all property (particularly real property like your family home) can be divided into two equal halves. Nevada courts have discretion to order an unequal distribution of community property if an equal division would not be fair and equitable under the circumstances. Nevada courts may consider “fault” or wrongdoing by a spouse when dividing property upon divorce.
If a valid prenuptial agreement was signed prior to the marriage, this will likely impact how property is divided upon divorce. It may stipulate that certain property that would ordinarily be considered community property remains the separate property of one spouse in the event of a divorce. An experienced divorce lawyer can carefully analyze a prenuptial agreement and advise you as to how it will impact your rights and responsibilities upon divorce.
In Nevada, alimony is not mandatory and there is no formula for setting alimony; either the amount or duration. Whether a spouse is obligated to financially support the other, and to what extent, depends on factors, including:
- Ages and health of the spouses;
- Relative earning capacities of each spouse;
- Length of marriage;
- Whether one spouse has worked for a significant period of time while the other did not;
- Education of the parties;
- Assets and debts of the parties; and
- Needs of each party
Nevada courts will determine custody using the “best interest of the child” standard. In determining the best interest of the child, the court shall consider, among other things:
- The wishes of the child if the child is of sufficient age and capacity to form an intelligent preference as to his or her custody.
- Any nomination by a parent or a guardian for the child.
- Which parent is more likely to allow the child to have frequent associations and a continuing relationship with the noncustodial parent.
- The level of conflict between the parents.
- The ability of the parents to cooperate to meet the needs of the child.
- The mental and physical health of the parents.
- The physical, developmental and emotional needs of the child.
- The nature of the relationship of the child with each parent.
- The ability of the child to maintain a relationship with any sibling.
- Any history of parental abuse or neglect of the child or a sibling of the child.
- Whether either parent or any other person seeking custody has engaged in an act of domestic violence against the child, a parent of the child or any other person residing with the child.
- Whether either parent or any other person seeking custody has committed any act of abduction against the child or any other child.
Nevada requires spouses to pay a set percentage of individual gross monthly income, up to a certain point, to child support. Gross monthly income includes all income received each month, which typically includes: salary, wages, bonuses and commissions from job, and pensions or severance pay. The amount of child support depends on the number of children as follows:
- one (1) child is eighteen percent (18%);
- two (2) children are twenty-five percent (25%);
- three (3) children are twenty-nine percent (29%);
- four (4) children are thirty-three percent (33%); and
- each additional child is two percent (2%).
Each year, the court issues new guidelines to cap child support, effective each year from July 1st until June 30th.
Educate Yourself with Our Guide to Nevada Divorce
Divorce is a serious decision, and we understand how stressful and uncertain the time leading up to your divorce can be. That’s why we’ve provided free answers to your most pressing Nevada divorce questions in “A Guide to Nevada Divorce”.