Nevada Divorce Tips: 5 Things You Should do Before Filing for Divorce
Divorce is an emotionally trying, life-changing experience. Many people let their emotions get in the way of rational thinking in the midst of a divorce, and this can lead to negative legal and financial consequences that are difficult to reverse. Before you file for divorce in Nevada, there are a few steps you can take to protect your legal rights and secure a favorable divorce settlement.
This article provides only basic information about divorce in Nevada. It is not a substitute for consulting with a divorce lawyer. Only an experienced Nevada divorce attorney can give you legal advice about your situation.
1. Hire an Experienced, Reputable Divorce Attorney
Your divorce lawyer is someone with whom you will work very closely throughout the divorce process. It is important to feel comfortable with this person, so make sure to interview potential divorce attorneys about their background and approach to family law. At the outset of the attorney-client relationship, clearly express your needs and what you hope to secure in your divorce settlement. This will empower your attorney to fight for your best interests.
2. Take a Detailed Financial Inventory
Before you file for divorce, you need to understand where you and your spouse stand financially. Nevada is a community property state. In general, this means that all earnings and property acquired during your marriage are owned in common between you and your spouse, and all debts incurred during your marriage are the shared responsibility of you and your spouse. Upon divorce, Nevada courts will try to make a fair and equitable distribution of marital assets and debts.
In order to secure a favorable divorce settlement, you must know what you and your spouse own and owe. Take an inventory of any property acquired during your marriage. This includes your marital home, any financial accounts, and assets such as vehicles, artwork, pension plans, inheritances, and valuable belongings. You should also account for all of your debts. Get an up-to-date copy of your credit report. Any debt you have will be listed on your credit report.
Gather records pertaining to your assets and debts. Your divorce attorney will request these documents from you, and having them readily available will save you both time and money.
3. Gather Proof of Income
Proof of income is critical in the Nevada divorce process. If you and your spouse have children, your respective incomes will be evaluated by the court in making a child support determination. Also, you may be entitled to receive alimony (also called “spousal support” payments) based on the disparity between your income and that of your spouse. On the other hand, you may be required to pay alimony. Having proof of your income will help ensure that any child support or alimony orders accurately reflect your financial situation.
If you and your spouse are salaried employees, make a copy of your most recent pay stub as well as your most recent income tax return. Determining income can be more difficult if you or your spouse is self-employed. You may need to make copies of your bank account statements or business invoices. If you are having trouble determining how much income you or your spouse earned, a divorce attorney can conduct discovery.
4. Prepare for Life After Divorce
Before initiating divorce proceedings, you should do your best to prepare for life after divorce. Think about where you will live and work after the divorce. Make a post-divorce budget that reflects your cost of livings and anticipated earnings, including estimated alimony and child support payments (your divorce attorney can help you with this). Your financial resources may drop considerably after a divorce. Building a realistic budget helps you adjust your lifestyle now instead of being surprised later by bills you can’t afford to pay. Having a budget prepared will also help you and your attorney secure a favorable divorce settlement that accounts for your financial needs.
In addition to getting your finances in order, now might be a good time to work with a therapist or counselor. Divorce is a major life transition, and having a trusted professional to talk with about how you are feeling can help you deal with the emotional weight of ending a marriage. If you have children, they also may need the services of a therapist or counselor during this difficult time.
5. Be Above Reproach
If you and your spouse have children, child custody will be an issue in your divorce. This means that you should be on your very best behavior until the divorce is finalized. Do not date or go out partying until all hours of the morning. Reports of your bad behavior – or even social media posts about your lifestyle – can play a significant role in the judge’s custody determination. Be a good mother or father. Spend time with your children, and take care of yourself physically and emotionally.
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”.