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Divorce in Nevada – 6 Misconceptions
My spouse cheated on me. I’m going to get everything we own, correct?
No. Unfortunately, because Nevada is a no-fault state, it really doesn’t matter whether either party to a divorce in Nevada cheated or not; the court doesn’t take it into consideration at all when it comes time to divide marital assets.
Does it feel unfair? We’re sure it does; it’s hard not to feel that way. Yet, it’s how the law reads at this time. Even if your spouse cheated, he or she will get half of the assets of the marriage, or whatever share he or she would be entitled to had they not cheated. The cheating does not in any way affect that.
You can always try mediation and see if your spouse will cave on this (mediation is a better way to handle property division in a divorce, but if a judge gets to make the decision in your divorce in Nevada, the assets will be divided equally between the two of you.
My wife (or husband) refuses to give me a divorce. Can I still get a divorce in Nevada?
Yes, you can. Many people think that they must remain married if their spouse has stated that they do not wish to divorce. This hasn’t been true for many years, especially in Nevada where no-fault divorce has now existed for many years. This misconception used to be true (hence, how it became one), back when a specific reason and strong proof had to be given to obtain a divorce in Nevada, but it’s no longer the case.
Now, your spouse might make getting a divorce more difficult for you, which will prolong the process, but no Nevada judge is going to force you to stay married to him or her. So, your spouse can hold things up by avoiding service, sending you on wild goose chases for documents or for old bank statements, and filing motions that are essentially harassment, but in the end, you will get your divorce.
I bought my house before my marriage. I get to keep it, correct?
Possibly, but maybe not. Nevada is a community property state: anything owned in either spouse’s name still belongs with the community property assets, though there are some exceptions. If you bought your house before your current marriage and used only funds from your separate account (that also existed before your marriage) to make mortgage payments, as well as to take care of the upkeep and improvements, then yes, the house will go to you in a divorce.
Did you use community funds for the afore-mentioned house expenses? If so, your spouse is entitled to half of the increase in the value of the property from the time of your marriage. The split of the equity in the property would be after your down payment is returned to you; you do get to keep that before the funds are divided between you and your spouse. When we say “community funds,” we mean money in a joint bank account, as well as any funds earned by either you or your spouse during the marriage. This is true even if the money was deposited in an account with only your name on it.
I don’t have to pay child support if my spouse and I share custody.
We hear this one a lot. These days, even when you share custody with the other parent of your child, one of you is bound to pay child support, unless you each make the exact same amount of money. This page, divorce with children , has a formula that will greatly help you figure out your child support obligation.
I am a stay-at-home mom and have been throughout my whole marriage. I get full physical custody of our children, right?
This is also a very common misconception. You could possibly get full custody of your children. However, unless your children are in danger of any sort when they are with their other parent (drug or alcohol abuse, dangerous living arrangement, no safe sleeping space, etc.), the court is highly likely to grant each parent equal time with the children. In Nevada, this means at least three days a week with one parent, and four days per week with the other parent.
A typical scenario is children who are with one parent from after school on Friday until Sunday night or until school on Monday, and with the other parent from Sunday night or Monday after school to Friday. This would be considered equal time since the parent who has them on the weekend spends all of those days with the child(ren) whereas the parent who has the child(ren) from Monday to Friday sees them somewhat less on a daily basis due to time spent in school.
If both of you agree that the children will live with you full-time and will spend two days a week with the other parent, the court won’t object. However, a new rule, as of January 2017, requires that an explanation be given as to why the children will spend a large majority of their time with one parent and a lesser amount of time with the other parent. The explanation can be as simple as the children’s school being located much closer to one parent than the other.
But, if the other parent objects to you having more time with the children, the court is not likely to grant you full physical custody of your children if you ask for it and your spouse is not willing to give it voluntarily. Unless, of course, there is a good reason as to why the children are not safe with their other parent.
Finally, think carefully before you ask for full physical custody if the other parent is not willing to grant that to you willingly. You will need a solid provable reason showing that your children would be endangered by their other parent. Nevada courts favor shared physical custody; if you push for full physical custody without a strong reason, you could be labeled as a trouble maker and might have issues getting anything granted in your favor in the future.
I heard I can get a divorce in Nevada in just one day.
Used to be, but not anymore. We do wish this misconception would go away. This hasn't been true for at least 10 years. In the 50's, divorces in Nevada became popular because of the short residency requirement. Back then, you could get a divorce in a day (after establishing residency). Even as recently as 15 years ago, it could get done in just a few days.
Fast forward to now. We have a higher population and many people moving here (especially from California where the court system is clogged beyond belief) to get a divorce in Nevada. Family courts are simply overwhelmed.
How long a divorce in Nevada takes depends in large part on how busy the court is at the time your divorce is filed. We do occasionally get final decrees back from the court in just a few days. However, it’s more likely that we’ll get them back in about 10 days to two weeks, sometimes three weeks.
Want to fast-track your way through all the information, misinformation, and misconceptions you read online about obtaining a divorce in Nevada? Talk to your attorney. Don't assume anything, and don't just accept for gospel what you heard from the friend of a friend who got a divorce five years ago. That person is not dealing with divorces regularly and he or she doesn’t know divorce law like your lawyer knows it.
The court may award alimony to either spouse. A spouse seeking to obtain alimony must specifically request it in the complaint. In determining the need, duration and amount of maintenance, the court considers the faults and merits of each spouse (Nevada is one of only a few states that consider the misconduct of a spouse), the financial condition of each spouse after the divorce, the actual ownership of property being used for spousal support, the need of support for schooling, training or education in order to get a job, career, or profession, and the career enhancements obtained during the marriage as a result of efforts by the spouse requesting support.
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