What Does It Take to Obtain a Divorce in Nevada?

If you are considering a divorce in the State of Nevada, the first step is consulting a Las Vegas divorce lawyer. In some states, a divorcing spouse may file for either a “fault-based” or “no-fault” divorce, but not in Nevada. Nevada is a “pure” no-fault divorce state.

The key distinction between a fault-based divorce and a no-fault divorce is that in a fault-based divorce, one spouse claims that the other is “at fault” for the divorce. However, in a no-fault divorce, neither spouse needs to allege, claim, or prove anything about the other spouse.

Because every divorce in Nevada is legally considered a no-fault divorce, if you are filing for divorce in this state, you only have to provide one of these three reasons:

  1. You and your spouse are incompatible.
  2. You and your spouse have resided separately for at least one year.
  3. Your spouse has been deemed legally insane for at least two years.

What is a Fault-Based Divorce?

Only some states allow fault-based divorces. The courts in those states will allow a fault-based divorce if one spouse claims (and then proves) that the other spouse’s behavior is the reason for the divorce. In those states, fault-based grounds for divorce include but are not limited to:

  1.  abandonment for a specified length of time
  2.  adultery
  3.  cruelty, the infliction of unnecessary physical or emotional pain
  4.  legal insanity
  5.  a prison sentence for a specific number of years
  6.  a physical inability (not disclosed before the marriage) to have sexual intercourse

In the states where it is allowed, divorcing spouses may choose a fault-based divorce for a number of reasons. In some of these states, for example, a spouse who is deemed to be at fault for the divorce may receive a lesser share of the marital property.

However, in most cases, a fault-based divorce is going to be more expensive for both spouses than a no-fault divorce. As a “pure” no-fault state, Nevada is one of only eighteen states where a spouse who seeks a divorce is not even allowed to claim a fault-based ground for the divorce.

Is No-Fault Divorce Available in Every State?

Historically, Nevada was known as the easiest state for obtaining a divorce. At a time when most states required a spouse to be a resident for at least a year before he or she could file for a divorce, in 1931, Nevada lowered its residency requirement to six weeks.

In 1969, California became the nation’s first no-fault divorce state. Since the State of New York adopted no-fault divorce in 2010, no-fault divorces may now be obtained in all fifty states.

How Do You Divorce in Nevada?

A spouse who is seeking a divorce in Nevada should consult a Las Vegas divorce attorney before taking any other step. Your divorce attorney will handle the legal paperwork and help you file for divorce. Your spouse then has the right to file an answer and counterclaim.

If your spouse does not file an answer and counterclaim, you will be granted an uncontested divorce. Your Las Vegas divorce lawyer will know how to have divorce papers served on a spouse who lives in another state or how to conduct a due diligence search for a missing spouse.

The residency requirement for divorce is that either spouse must have resided in the state for at least six weeks, or the parties last cohabited in the state. The exception? If the reason for the divorce occurred in Nevada, you may file for divorce immediately in that county, and you do not need to remain in the state for six weeks.

How Long Will a Divorce Take? What Will It Cost?

Filing fees vary from county to county, but you may expect to pay a filing fee from $250 to $400 when you file for divorce in Nevada. If a divorce is uncontested and the spouses file a joint petition for divorce, there is no need for a hearing, and the divorce can be finalized quickly.

Without knowing any details, it is impossible to determine how long your divorce will take or how much it will cost. Uncontested divorces can usually be finalized in about six weeks if the spouses can agree on alimony, child custody and support, and the division of the marital assets.

If the divorcing spouses cannot agree on one or more of these matters, the divorce will be contested. A trial date will be set, and the unresolved issues will be resolved by a Nevada judge. There are no jury trials in Nevada divorce proceedings. A judge determines the findings of fact. And contested divorce proceedings, as you might imagine, are both longer and costlier.

When Should You Consult a Divorce Lawyer?

In or near the greater Las Vegas area, when you decide to seek a divorce, or when you learn that your spouse is filing for divorce, immediately schedule a consultation with a Las Vegas divorce attorney.

Even when the choice to divorce is mutual, if you have children, or if you have substantial assets, the legal issues can quickly get complicated, and you are going to need an attorney’s insights, advice, and representation.

This is important: Do not let financial concerns keep you from seeking an attorney’s guidance and advice. Most Nevada divorce attorneys offer several different payment plans, and in some Nevada divorce cases, you can petition the court to order your spouse to pay your attorney’s fees.

Fuller Law Practice is Here for You

For more than seventeen years, attorney Rebecca A. Fuller has been representing divorce clients in the Las Vegas area. She will speak to you candidly, protect your rights, explain each step in the divorce process, and ensure that you receive what is rightfully yours in your divorce settlement.

If you are entitled to alimony or child support, Nevada divorce attorney Rebecca A. Fuller will advocate aggressively and effectively on your behalf. From your first consultation until the final divorce decree is issued, the team at Fuller Law Practice will fight for you.

We will determine your legal needs and goals and bring your divorce case to its best possible conclusion. When you know a divorce is going to happen, call Fuller Law Practice immediately at 702-935-4144. We will answer your questions and address all of your legal concerns.