Saturday, March 22, 2008

Nevada Divorce Laws

Nevada Divorce Laws

Residency Requirements for Divorce in Nevada
The divorce may be filed in the county: (1) where either spouse resides; (2) where the spouses last lived together; (3) where the cause of the divorce took place; or (4) where the plaintiff resided for 6 weeks immediately prior to filing for divorce. One of the spouses must have been a resident of Nevada for at least 6 weeks prior to filing for divorce, unless the cause for the divorce took place in the county in Nevada where the spouses actually lived at the time of the happening of the cause.
[Nevada Revised Statutes; Chapter 125, Section 020].

Legal Grounds for Divorce in Nevada

1. No-Fault:
1. Incompatibility (or)
2. Living separate and apart without cohabitation for 1 year
[Nevada Revised Statutes; Chapter 125, Section 010].
2. General: Insanity which existed for at least 2 years before filing for the divorce.
[Nevada Revised Statutes; Chapter 125, Section 010].

Legal Separation in Nevada
If a spouse has any of the grounds for divorce or if he or she has been deserted for over 90 days, a suit for separate maintenance of himself or herself and any children may be filed. In addition, the spouses may agree to an immediate separation and make appropriate provisions for spousal and child support. There is no residency requirement specified in the statute.
[Nevada Revised Statutes; Chapter 125, Section 190].

Simplified/Special Divorce Procedures in Nevada

There are 2 provisions for summary divorce in Nevada. First, a summary divorce may be granted if the following conditions are met:

1. Either spouse has been a resident of the state for at least 6 weeks
2. The spouses are incompatible or have lived separate and apart without cohabitation for 1 year
3. There are no minor children (born or adopted) and the wife is not pregnant, or the spouses have signed an agreement specifying the custody and support of the children
4. There is no community or joint property, or the spouses have signed an agreement regarding the division of their property and the assumption of their liabilities, and have signed any deeds, titles, or other evidences of transfer of property
5. Both spouses waive their rights to spousal support (maintenance) or the spouses have signed an agreement specifying the amount of spousal support
6. Both spouses waive:
1. Their rights to notice of entry of the final decree of divorce
2. Their rights to appeal the divorce
3. Their rights to request findings of fact and conclusions of law in the divorce proceeding
4. Their rights to a new trial
7. Both spouses want the court to enter the decree of divorce

A Summary Proceeding for Divorce is begun by filing a joint petition, signed under oath, together with an Affidavit of Corroboration of Residency by a witness.

In addition, a spouse may apply for a divorce by default by affidavit. In such situations, oral testimony will not normally be required. If there is a marital settlement agreement, it should be identified in the affidavit and attached to it when filed. The affidavit should:

1. State that the residency requirements have been met
2. State that all of the information in the petition is correct and true on the personal knowledge of the person signing the affidavit
3. State that the affidavit contains only facts that would be admissible into evidence
4. Give factual support for each allegation in the application
5. Establish that the person signing the affidavit is competent to testify.

Each divorce filed must also contain a Civil Cover sheet, a Verification of Pleadings, a Request for Submission, and an Affidavit of Residency. Finally, there are specific provisions authorizing separation agreements and marital settlement agreements.
[Nevada Revised Statutes; Chapter 123, Sections 020 and 090 and Chapter 125; Sections 181 to 184].

Divorce Mediation or Counseling Requirements
There are no legal provisions in Nevada for divorce mediation.

Divorce Property Distribution

Nevada is a "community property" state. The spouses retain all of their separate property, acquired prior to the marriage or by gift or inheritance. The court will divide all of the spouse's community property and all of the property held jointly by the spouses, including any military retirement benefits. The following factors are considered:

1. The economic circumstances of each spouse at the time the division of property is to become effective
2. How and by whom the property was acquired
3. The merits of each spouse;
4. The burdens imposed upon either spouse for the benefit of the children

Marital fault is not mentioned as a factor. Either spouse's property is also then subject to distribution for alimony or child support. Separate property which 1 spouse contributed to purchase or improve community property may be returned to the contributing spouse.
[Nevada Revised Statutes; Chapter 125, Section 150].

Alimony and Spousal Support
Unless there is a premarital agreement otherwise, either spouse may be awarded alimony, without regard to marital fault. The alimony may be a lump-sum or periodic payments. The award of alimony must be just and equitable and consider:

1. The respective merits of the spouses
2. The condition in which they will be left by the divorce
3. Who acquired the property to be used for alimony
4. If there are burdens imposed upon the property for the benefit of any children

In addition, the court shall consider a spouse's need for alimony for the purpose of obtaining training or education relating to a job, profession, or career. Other factors which the court is to consider are:

1. Whether the spouse who would pay the alimony has obtained greater job skills or education during the marriage
2. Whether the spouse who would receive alimony provided financial support while the other spouse obtained job skills or education

Alimony may be provided for a limited time period for job training, career testing, and education.
[Nevada Revised Statutes; Chapter 125, Section 150].

Spouse's Name After Divorce
For a reasonable cause, the court will restore the wife's former name.
[Nevada Revised Statutes; Chapter 125, Section 130].

Child Custody After Divorce
Joint or sole custody is awarded based on the best interests of the child and upon the following factors:

1. The preference of the child, if the child is of sufficient age and capacity
2. The wishes of the parents (no preference is to be given because of parent's sex)
3. Whether either parent has committed domestic violence
4. Other relevant factors

There is a presumption of joint custody if both parents have signed an agreement for joint custody or both agree to joint custody in open court. There is also a presumption that it is not in the best interests of a child to have custody awarded to a parent who has committed domestic violence.
[Nevada Revised Statutes; Chapter 125, Sections 480 and 490].

Child Support After Divorce
Temporary (during the divorce proceeding) and permanent child support may be granted. There are official Child Support percentages contained in Nevada Revised Statutes; Chapter 125B, Section 070. There are changes to the guidelines which are due to take effect on July 1, 2002. These guidelines are presumed to be correct unless there is a showing that the needs of the child would not be met under the particular circumstances in a case. Factors for deviation from the guideline percentages are:

1. The cost of health insurance
2. The cost of childcare
3. Any special educational needs of the child
4. The age of the child
5. The responsibility of the parents for the support of others
6. The value of services contributed by the parents
7. Any public aid paid to the child
8. Any pregnancy expenses; (9) any visitation travel expenses
9. The amount of time the child spends with each parent
10. The relative income of each parent
11. Any other necessary expenses.
[Nevada Revised Statutes; Chapter 125, Section 230 and Chapter 125B, Section 070, 080, and 090].

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