Are you contemplating getting a
divorce in Las Vegas? If so, the sooner you do your research, the better. Divorce
is notorious for being a stressful process, however, once you remove the
mystery element, you’re in a much better position to
strategize your divorce – and this is a good thing!
There are definite advantages to being the one who contacts a divorce lawyer
first. By being in control, you are able to carefully plan your steps;
you are able to be strategic, instead of defensive.
When you act first, you can eliminate a lot of the stress involved because
you’ve already consulted with your divorce attorney and learned
about your rights and responsibilities during the divorce process. That
being said, let’s take a look at what you should know about getting
a divorce in Nevada.
Nevada is a No-Fault Divorce State
Like our neighbor California, Nevada is a “no-fault” divorce
state. This means that a spouse can ask for a divorce, without having
to blame the breakdown of the marriage on “fault-based grounds,”
such as adultery, cruel and inhumane treatment, or abandonment.
The only thing that matters is that one of the spouses wants out; the court
will not be interested in “why” the marriage ended. As long
as you’re not getting along and you’re incompatible, you can
ask for a divorce and get it.
Filing for Divorce
In Nevada, spouses can file for divorce together if they agree on matters
pertaining to child custody, property and debt division. If they wish
to file together, they can file a “joint petition for divorce.”
These divorces generally move through the courts quickly and do not require
an appearance before the judge.
If the spouses do not agree on every aspect of the divorce, one spouse
can go to court and file for divorce separately. The spouse who files
for divorce is called the “plaintiff” and the other spouse
is the “defendant.”
Often, what ensues are several hearings to sort out
child custody, asset and debt division. If the spouses fail to reach an agreement on
the above matters, the judge will have to step in and decide for them.
Nevada is a Community Property State
Nevada, along with a handful of other states is a “community property”
state. Under the community property model, any
property acquired during the marriage is considered “community property”
and owned equally by both spouses, regardless of who earned the money
or whose name is on title. The same goes for marital debts.
However, separate property is not subject to division. Separate property
includes property owned before the marriage, as well as gifts, inheritances,
and personal injury awards obtained by one spouse during the marriage.
If you do not want your assets and debts split down the middle, you and
your spouse can agree on a settlement that deviates from the 50/50 model.
However, if you cannot agree on how to divide your assets and debts, a
judge would have to divide your marital property in accordance with Nevada’s
community property laws.
How Long Before My Divorce is Final?
The answer depends on how well you and your spouse are willing to work
together to push the divorce through. If you’re both able to reach
a settlement quickly, then it should not take long to finalize the divorce.
On the other hand, if you cannot meet eye-to-eye on child custody, spousal
support, or property division, you may have to go to court several times
before everything can be ironed out and finalized.
We are only scratching the surface of a Las Vegas divorce. If you need
contact our firm to schedule a consultation!