Divorce in Nevada
Liberal residency requirements, but restricted property division if only one spouse in Nevada
Many experts and legal authorities suggest that, at a minimum, the Petitioner in a divorce action (the one filing the suit) hire an attorney as this ensures the filing is legal and the eventual decree enforceable. If you’re considering a divorce in which your spouse is expected to agree to terms, this route may be an option for you. However, if the divorce (or “dissolution of marriage”) will be contested–especially if children or significant assets are involved–it’s highly recommended that each party retain trained, experienced counsel.
End of marriage can feel like a death in the family
Experts also warn of two other aspects of ending a marriage. One, when a committed relationship comes to a close, it can feel very much like a death in the family. Such emotional trauma may be a candidate for professional counseling, grief therapy or spiritual guidance. Once the painful decision has been made, people are sometimes in such a rush to “get it over with” that they forget to budget time, energy and money for counseling.
Addressing domestic violence
Of paramount importance is domestic violence, which if present in the relationship should be addressed immediately. Fortunately, Nevada provides a wide variety of domestic violence resources, including:
- Nevada Network Against Domestic Violence;
- Attorney General: Domestic Violence in Nevada;
- Attorney General: Prosecuting Domestic Violence in Nevada;
- A.A.R.D.V.A.R.K.’s Nevada: Domestic Violence Resources (includes emergency information).
Moreover, a competent attorney will be able to provide helpful referrals for either counseling or domestic violence problems, protective orders and so on.
Residency requirements: six weeks and no plans to move
According to a Nevada State Bar pamphlet, “Any married person who has been a resident and physically present in Nevada for a period of six weeks and has the intention of remaining in Nevada indefinitely. ‘Indefinitely’ means that at the time of filing for divorce, the person filing for divorce has no immediate plans to move out of Nevada. You must also provide a witness who lives in Nevada who can testify in person or sign an affidavit that, based upon his or her personal knowledge, you have lived in Nevada for at least six weeks. For child custody issues to be decided, the child must have lived in Nevada for six months prior to the filing of the divorce case.
“Note: If the spouse you are divorcing does not (1) live in Nevada, (2) make a legal “appearance” in the action, and (3) if that spouse does not have significant contacts with Nevada, the court will only be able to address marital status, and such property and (sometimes) such children as are in Nevada.”
No-fault grounds, equal division of community property
Nevada is a no-fault state (parties are “incompatible”) but also provides grounds for insanity and for couples who already have lived apart for a year. Property division applies to community property on equal basis (with the residency caveat as mentioned). Also, the court encourages mutual agreements, in which both parties have come to terms before appearing in court.
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