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Going through a divorce can be emotionally draining, especially knowing that the results will affect you for the rest of your life. Many questions come up during this process: questions about children, assets, and your financial future. While going through the divorce process, it is important to have a third party that can help you make the smartest and most impactful choices that will set you up for a successful new life.
Our Las Vegas divorce attorneys will work hard to get you the best possible outcome from the proceedings. We understand the many pressures and considerations that impact a divorce case. We will help you protect your assets and, most importantly, protect your rights as a parent.
Our firm can provide knowledgeable advice and effective representation for:
Let our affordable divorce lawyers help you through this difficult situation, so that you can move on with your life and get a fresh start. Contact us and schedule your free consultation today!
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Here are a few commonly asked questions regarding divorce:
What’s the difference between divorce, legal separation, and annulments?
Divorce is the formal dissolution by a court of a legally valid marriage. Nevada divorce laws may have provisions that are not found in other states, particularly if there are children whose welfare must be considered in the divorce.
A Nevada court cannot, with certain emergency exceptions, award custody if a child has not been a Nevada for the six months prior to the divorce. Also, those filing for divorce in Las Vegas/Clark County must attend a COPE (Coping With Divorce) course if there are children whose custody is to be decided by the court. Parents may also elect to attempt to settle custody and other issues through a mediated or collaborative divorce, where an experienced mediator helps both parties reach an agreement before asking a court to rule on such matters. Since a mediated solution is voluntary and not legally binding, either party may reject all or part of such an agreement.
Under Nevada law a legal separation is almost identical to a divorce except that the parties remain married but living apart. A petition for legal separation must show that the spouse asking for the separation (the plaintiff spouse) has a valid reason for granting a divorce and is asking the court to order an equal division of property, child support, and alimony. Once granted, the provisions of a legal separation can be enforced by the court as if they were part of a formal divorce proceeding.
An annulment is the formal dissolution of a marriage that was invalid from the start for any of several reasons. Among these reasons are:
- Marriage to a close relative
- either spouse was deceived or tricked into agreeing to the marriage
- a spouse under the age of 16 did not have parental consent to the marriage
The grounds for annulment can be applied in several ways and the advice of a family law attorney should be obtained in such matters.
How long does it take to get a divorce?
In a simple uncontested divorce case, once all the appropriate paperwork has been filed a divorce can be finalized in less than a week. Anything other than an uncontested divorce can take several months, depending on the complexity of the divorce relating to the division of property, alimony, and child support.
How much does it cost to get divorced?
If you have completed all the necessary paperwork online or by filling out the documents by hand, a simple, uncontested divorce can be obtained for around $200 to $300. Depending on whether other factors such as child custody and alimony, the cost can start at $500 and higher depending on attorney fees and court costs.
What should I do before filing for divorce?
In general, before filing for divorce you should gather all the relevant information and documentation regarding community property, financial records, inventories of real and personal property of each spouse and estimations of the amount of child support and alimony that will be required. Many spouses choose to work through an attorney when starting a divorce. In these cases an attorney will guide the client as to what information or documents are needed for a specific case.
Can I file for divorce when living in different states?
Nevada law requires that the plaintiff spouse must have resided in the State of Nevada for a period of at least 6 weeks, and this period must be attested to by an Affidavit of Resident Witness filed with the divorce papers. As long as the court is satisfied that all other requirements have been met (e.g. serving the nonresident spouse with a copy of the divorce petition) the divorce is granted as if both parties were Nevada residents.
The above answer holds true for spouses without children. If there are child custody issues to resolve, a Nevada court cannot exercise jurisdiction over children unless the children have been residents of Nevada for the six months immediately prior to the filing of the divorce action. There are exceptions allowed under emergency situations but these exceptions, which fall under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act, can be confusing and are best handled by by the family law attorney who is managing their divorce.
Are divorce filings public?
Yes. Since a divorce filing is made with the clerk of a court, it becomes a public document and can be read by anyone.
What is an uncontested divorce?
An uncontested divorce is a divorce in which both spouses have previously agreed to a division of property, child custody rights, alimony and child support responsibility and are asking the court to approve their decisions.
What is a covenant marriage?
A covenant marriage is an optional legal agreement made prior to the actual wedding that the future spouses will receive “counseling” before their marriage, agree to the conditions under which a divorce could be granted at some point in the future, and to again receive “counseling” prior to a divorce.
Since covenant marriages are recognized in only three states (Louisiana, Arkansas, and Arizona), a Nevada court can grant a divorce so long as the other legal requirements for a divorce in the state have been met. Once a divorce is granted in Nevada, the divorce is valid in both the state where the covenant marriage was performed as well as any other state in the nation.
If there are religious obligations for finalizing a divorce, each spouse can make their own decision as to whether they will meet those obligations but no spouse can be compelled by a court of law to participate in such ceremonies or any other religious “obligation.”
How does alimony work?
In Nevada, alimony can be either “general” or “rehabilitative.” General alimony is money paid by one party to a divorce in order that the other party may continue to enjoy a standard of living similar to that which existed during their marriage. Rehabilitative alimony is money paid by one party in order for the other party to obtain the education and skills necessary to reenter the job market and obtain employment to make that party self-supporting. The court can award a combination of general and rehabilitative alimony for a set period of time after which rehabilitative alimony payment will stop or be decreased over some time frame.
The court will award alimony based on several factors such as a former spouse’s income or projected future income, standard of living prior to the filing of the divorce, amount of property owned by each spouse after the divorce, and the ability of the spouse to bear the burden of alimony payments.
Since the awarding of alimony can place a considerable financial on the paying party, it is highly advised that a spouse who might be ordered to pay alimony contact a family law or divorce attorney to represent their position in court during alimony award proceedings.
When is alimony awarded?
Alimony can be awarded during the time the divorce proceedings are moving through the court system or at the time the divorce is finalized. If the divorce has been preceded by a legal separation, the court may either continue the alimony payments made under the separation agreement or alter the terms and/or the amount of alimony at its discretion.
How long does an annulment take?
Technically, an annulment means that a marriage was invalid from the outset. The timeline for a formal annulment decree issued by a court is usually determined by the court’s calendar (its schedule of cases waiting to be heard). If both parties sign the annulment papers, an annulment can take anywhere from a few days to a month. In other circumstances, such as only one spouse consenting to the annulment or the other spouse cannot be located, the process can take several months before all the legal processes can be completed and an annulment order is issued.