Las Vegas Divorce Attorney
Filing For Divorce In Nevada
Divorce in Nevada is very unique compared to most other states, as Nevada is one of only seven community property states. The community property element can be quite complex in cases with assets. In many cases, even when the parties have assets prior to marriage, the parties can unintentionally cause the property to become partially or completely community property. This often happens because the spouses uses community assets to pay for or improve separate assets, or because the separate property is otherwise commingled with community property.
As a default, in Nevada under community property laws, the assets and debts of the parties are usually split equally between the parties. That means unless there is proof to show that the division should be unequal, each spouse will receive one half of the assets acquired during marriage and each spouse will be responsible for one half of the debt acquired during marriage. The court may make an unequal distribution of the community assets if it finds “compelling reason” to do so.
When the Divorce is initially filed, a Joint Preliminary Injunction is issued preventing the parties from disposing of any assets, creating new debt, essentially making any changes to the status quo. If the parties need the Court to make any orders for immediate relief while the Divorce is pending, the parties can request the court to issue temporary orders regarding possession of property, custody of children, and payment of temporary child or spousal support.
Additionally, alimony or spousal support is not guaranteed in Nevada, instead the court looks at certain factors to determine whether spousal support is appropriate, and then the judge uses his or her discretion to determine the amount and duration to allow any spousal support as the judge finds to be just and equitable. The court considers the following factors when determining whether to award spousal support:
• The financial condition of each spouse,
• The nature and value of the property owned by each spouse,
• The contribution of each spouse to the marriage’s community property,
• The length of the marriage,
• The income, earning capacity, age and health of both spouses,
• The standard of living to which the spouses were accustomed during marriage,
• The career, before the marriage, of the spouse receiving alimony,
• Any specialized education or training or marketable skills obtained by either spouse during the marriage,
• The contribution of either spouse as a homemaker,
• Any property granted by the court to each spouse in the divorce,
• The physical and mental condition of each party as it relates their financial condition and ability to work, and
• Any other relevant factors
When filing for Divorce in Nevada, you must prove that you have lived in Nevada for at least six weeks and intend to continue residing in Nevada by filing an Affidavit of Resident Witness by someone who knows you and has personal knowledge of your residency in Nevada.
If you are getting Divorced and have minor children together (either natural or adopted), then you will also deal with the child custody aspect of the case during the Divorce. There are two different aspects to the custody discussion, legal custody and physical custody.
Legal custody deals with the parents’ rights to be included in decisions regarding the children (specifically in religion, education and medical decisions) and to have the right to information regarding the children. Generally, there are two types of legal custody, either Joint Legal Custody or Sole Legal Custody. In Joint Legal Custody, the parents are expected to discuss and attempt to resolve any issues regarding the children’s education, religion or health. In Sole Legal Custody, one parent has unilateral decision making authority, and may or may not be required to inform the other parent of important information.
The second issue is physical custody, which deals with where the child will physically reside. There are three types of physical custody, Joint Physical Custody (child lives with each parent at least 40% of the time), Primary Physical Custody (child lives with one parent 61% or more of the time), or Sole Physical Custody (child lives with one parent who has complete discretion over whether the other parent has any visitation with the child). In Nevada, the law has a presumption that when the parents have been married and the children has been living with both, that it would be in the child or children’s best interest for the parents to have Joint Physical Custody. This presumption is rebuttable, and thus it is still possible in a Divorce for one of the parents to get either Primary Physical Custody or Sole Physical Custody. Sole Custody is fairly rare and left for extreme and/or unusual cases where it is unsafe for the other parent to have visitation.