Thanks to the landmark Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, same-sex couples now enjoy full marital rights in every state in the nation. Same-sex marriages are fully recognized in Nevada, and couples are subject to the standard laws and processes for divorce, child custody, and other family law matters.
If you are going through a divorce or custody dispute, it is normal to experience stress and emotional anxiety. This process can be overwhelming at times. To help lift the burden off of your shoulders, it is advised that you team up with a family law attorney.
For your reference, below are answers to some of the most common questions we receive related to divorce and family law.
Do not hesitate to give us a call if you have further questions.
You can reach us at FAQ to get started in your divorce or family law case.
For further answers and counsel for divorce and family law matters, contact Leavitt Law Firm to get the quality representation you deserve.
Family Law FAQ
Does Nevada recognize same sex marriages?
What about annulment?
An annulment dissolves a marriage but unlike a divorce, an annulment treats the marriage as if it never happened. You can only get a marriage annulled in Nevada for the following reasons: there was a lack of understanding or insanity by you or your spouse, you were induced to marry through lies, the marriage was illegal due to consanguinity, or you or your spouse was married to another person at the time of your marriage.
How is child support enforced?
A unit within the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services called Child Support Enforcement (CSE) enforces state and federal laws pertaining to child support. CSE in conjunction with family courts is used to implement child support decisions. CSE can take money directly from a parent's paycheck if they have past-due child support accounts and can intercept their federal tax returns and apply arrears to them.
Can I challenge the amount of support I am required to pay?
Yes. You can ask for modifications of both child support and spousal support. Typically, a person will request modification due to changed circumstances, such as: increase/decrease in income of either spouse, change in child costs.
How is child support calculated?
Child support depends upon the number of children, the type of custody, and the gross monthly income of both parents.
If one spouse has primary custody of the children, then the other spouse is required to pay a specified percentage of his/her gross monthly income. The percentage depends upon the number of children the parties have together.
If the spouses enjoy joint custody of the child(ren), then the court: (1) takes a specified percentage of each parent’s income, (2) subtracts the higher number from the lower number, and (3) awards the difference to the lesser-earning spouse.
Of course, there are exceptions. For example, if there is a special needs child, high medical bills, or other extenuating circumstances, the court has discretion to deviate from the formula.
Nevada’s specified percentages used for child support calculations are as follows:
- One child = 18%
- Two children = 25%
- Three children = 29%
- Four children = 31%
- Add 2% for each additional child.
What are grounds for divorce in Nevada?
Nevada is a no-fault divorce state, which means that you can base your divorce on “irreconcilable differences.” However, at least one spouse must be a resident of Nevada for at least six weeks before filing for divorce.
How do I know if I will get custody of my children?
Child custody cases generally result in some sort of shared legal and physical custody agreement between the parents. Joint custody means that both parents with have equal amounts of time with the children. Nevada courts presume joint physical custody. However, in some cases, one parent may be granted sole custody if that parent shows the other is an unfit parent. When one party is granted sole custody, that parent usually has custody of the children at least 60% of the time. This is a case by case type of issue, but the court will make their decision based on what they see as in the best interests of the children.
Will I have to go to court?
You will need to appear in court if you and your spouse are unable to agree on certain matters on your own. It is likely that you will need to appear in court at least once during your case. However, if you and your spouse are able to resolve any outstanding disputes, then you may not need to appear in court at all.
How is spousal support (i.e. alimony) determined?
In Nevada, the judge has discretion to grant spousal support to either spouse. A judge weighs a number of factors when determining whether to grant spousal support, including:
- The financial condition of each spouse
- The age and health of each spouse
- The length of the marriage
- The standard of living enjoyed by the parties during the marriage
- The career before the marriage of the spouse who would receive the alimony
- Whether one spouse makes significantly more money than the other
- The future earning capacity of each spouse
- Whether either spouse obtained specialized education or training attained by each spouse during the marriage
- The contributions made by both spouses during the marriage
How is property divided in divorce?
Nevada is a community property state. This means that all property obtained during the marriage by either spouse is divided evenly between the spouses upon divorce. If left up to the court, the judge will attempt to split up assets and debts in an even and equitable manner. Community property subject to division upon divorce includes: houses, cars, bank accounts, retirement accounts, stock accounts, a mortgage, credit card debt, student loan debt incurred during the marriage, and more.
However, some assets and debts are separate property. Separate property, such as an inheritance, gift, or property owned before the marriage remains the possession of the owner.
What are alternatives to divorce?
If your marriage has reached the point that there is no way to reconcile your relationship with your spouse, you may be looking at options for relief. Divorce is often the first that comes to mind, but it is important to be aware of all your options. Another route that you can consider is legal separation. Legal Separation is a method that allows you to live apart from your spouse and live your life separate but continue to be legally married. Oftentimes, a legal separation gives spouses the space and time apart that they need and then later they can decide if divorce is something they really want.