How To File for Divorce in Las Vegas
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. Don't hesitate to contact our Las Vegas firm for your initial consultation. 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.
Las Vegas Divorce Process
In Nevada, spouses can file for divorce together if they agree on matters pertaining to child custody and 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 division, 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 the 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 further advice, contact our firm to schedule a consultation!