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Nevada Divorce Laws
Residency and Filing Requirements:In order to file for a divorce in Nevada, residency requirements must be met for the court to accept the case. If the court discovers it does not have jurisdictional rights to hear the case it will not be accepted or it will eventually be dismissed. The requirements are as follows:
Divorce from the bonds of matrimony may be obtained by verified complaint to the district court of any county: (a) In which the cause therefor accrued; (b) In which the defendant resides or may be found; (c) In which the plaintiff resides; (d) In which the parties last cohabited; or (e) If plaintiff resided 6 weeks in the State before suit was brought.
Unless the cause of action accrued within the county while the plaintiff and defendant were actually domiciled therein, no court has jurisdiction to grant a divorce unless either the plaintiff or defendant has been resident of the State for a period of not less than 6 weeks preceding the commencement of the action. (Nevada Statutes - Chapter 125 - Sections: 020)
Grounds for Filing:The Complaint for Divorce must declare the appropriate Nevada grounds upon which the divorce is being sought. The appropriate lawful ground will be that which the parties agree upon and can substantiate, or that which the filing spouse desires to prove to the court. The divorce grounds are as follows:
Divorce from the bonds of matrimony may be obtained for any of the following causes:
1. When the husband and wife have lived separate and apart for 1 year without cohabitation the court may, in its discretion, grant an absolute decree of divorce at the suit of either party. 2. Incompatibility.
1. Insanity existing for 2 years prior to the commencement of the action. Upon this cause of action the court, before granting a divorce, shall require corroborative evidence of the insanity of the defendant at that time. (Nevada Statutes - Chapter 125 - Sections: 010)
Filing Spouse Title:Plaintiff. The Plaintiff is the spouse who initiates the filing procedure with the family law or domestic relations court.
Non-Filing Spouse Title:Defendant. The Defendant is the spouse who does not file the initial divorce papers, but rather receives them by service.
Court Name:In the District Court for __________ County, Nevada. This is the Nevada court where the divorce will be filed. The court will assign a case number and have jurisdictional rights to facilitate and grant the orders concerning, but not limited to: property and debt division, support, custody, and visitation. The name of the court is clearly represented at the top of all documents that are filed.
Primary Documents:Complaint for Divorce and Decree of Divorce. These are the essential documents needed to start and finalize a divorce according to Nevada law. There are anywhere from ten to twenty other documents that may be required throughout the filing process. A few other documents that are typically filed during the process are: Civil Cover Sheet, Family Court Cover Sheet, Marital Settlement Agreement, Affidavit of Resident Witness Form, and Certificate of Mailing.
Court Clerk's Title:District Clerk's Office. The clerk or the clerk's assistants will be the people managing your paperwork with the court. The clerk's office will keep the parties and the lawyers informed throughout the process in regards to additional paperwork that is needed, further requirements, and hearing dates and times.
Property Distribution:Nevada is a "Community Property" state. Community property is all property that was acquired during the marriage. This property will be divided equally (50-50) by the court if the parties are not able to come to an agreement.
In granting a divorce, the court shall dispose of any property held in joint tenancy (community property). If a party has made a contribution of separate property to the acquisition or improvement of property held in joint tenancy, the court may provide for the reimbursement of that party for his or her contribution. The amount of reimbursement must not exceed the amount of the contribution of separate property that can be traced to the acquisition or improvement of property held in joint tenancy, without interest or any adjustment because of an increase in the value of the property held in joint tenancy. The amount of reimbursement must not exceed the value, at the time of the disposition, of the property held in joint tenancy for which the contribution of separate property was made.
In determining whether to provide for the reimbursement, in whole or in part, of a party who has contributed separate property, the court shall consider: (a) The intention of the parties in placing the property in joint tenancy; (b) The length of the marriage; and (c) Any other factor which the court deems relevant in making a just and equitable disposition of that property. (Nevada Statutes - Chapter 125 - Sections: 150)
Restoration or Name Change:In all suits for divorce, if a divorce is granted, the court may, for just and reasonable cause and by an appropriate order embodied in its decree, change the name of the wife to any former name which she has legally borne. (Nevada Statutes - Chapter 125 - Sections: 130)
Spousal Support:Not all cases involve support from one spouse to the other. The obligation of one spouse to support the other financially for a temporary or permanent basis is decided on a case-by-case basis as agreed to by the parties or at the court's discretion.
In granting a divorce the court shall consider; The respective merits of the spouses; the post divorce financial condition of each spouse; which spouse actually acquired the property being used for support; and the need to grant alimony to a spouse for the purpose of obtaining training or education relating to a job, career or profession.
In addition to any other factors the court considers relevant in determining whether such alimony should be granted, the court shall consider: (a) Whether the spouse who would pay such alimony has obtained greater job skills or education during the marriage; and (b) Whether the spouse who would receive such alimony provided financial support while the other spouse obtained job skills or education. (Nevada Statutes - Chapter 125 - Sections: 150)
Child Custody:When minor children are involved in a divorce, the Nevada courts will do everything possible to help lessen the emotional trauma the children may be experiencing. If the parents cannot come to an agreement regarding the issues involving the children, the court will establish the custody order at its discretion.
In determining custody of a minor child in an action, the sole consideration of the court is the best interest of the child. If it appears to the court that joint custody would be in the best interest of the child, the court may grant custody to the parties jointly.
Preference must not be given to either parent for the sole reason that the parent is the mother or the father of the child.
In determining the best interest of the child, the court shall consider, among other things: (a) The wishes of the child if the child is of sufficient age and capacity to form an intelligent preference as to his custody; (b) Any nomination by a parent or a guardian for the child; and (c) Whether either parent or any other person seeking custody has engaged in an act of domestic violence against the child, a parent of the child or any other person residing with the child. (Nevada Statutes - Chapter 125 - Sections: 480, 490)
Child Support:Nevada child support guidelines uses the Percentage of Income Formula which calculates the support obligation as a percentage of the income of the non-custodial parent who is obligated to support the child. This method simply applies a percentage to the income of the parent according to the number of children requiring support.
The state of Nevada has child support guidelines devised for determining the appropriate child support amount. These guidelines will be applied to any case in which the parents can not agree on a reasonable month obligation. When applying the guidelines, the court will also consider several other factors that will help determine whether or not it is appropriate to deviate form the amount proposed by the use of the guidelines worksheet.
The court shall consider the following factors when adjusting the amount of support of a child upon specific findings of fact: (a) The cost of health insurance; (b) The cost of child care; (c) Any special educational needs of the child; (d) The age of the child; (e) The responsibility of the parents for the support of others; (f) The value of services contributed by either parent; (g) Any public assistance paid to support the child; (h) Any expenses reasonably related to the mother's pregnancy and confinement; (i) The cost of transportation of the child to and from visitation if the custodial parent moved with the child from the jurisdiction of the court which ordered the support and the noncustodial parent remained; (j) The amount of time the child spends with each parent; (k) Any other necessary expenses for the benefit of the child; and (l) The relative income of both parents. (Nevada Statutes - Chapter 125 - Sections: 230, 070, 080, 090)
Copyright Notice:The above synopsis of Nevada divorce laws is original material which is owned and copyrighted by Divorce Source, Inc. This material has been adapted from applicable state laws and unauthorized reproduction is prohibited. Violation of this notice will result in immediate legal action.
Nevada does not have a very strict residency requirement. The court requires that one of the spouses live in the state for at least six weeks immediately before filing for divorce.
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"A Plain English Guide to Protecting Your Children"
Author: Mary L. Boland, Attorney at Law
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