Family law or domestic law, is a pervasive area of law that can touch people of all demographics in Nevada—especially in Las Vegas, Pahrump, or Henderson. Dealing with a family law issue can be devastating and life altering to say the least. Nevada family law extends to individuals who are located in Nevada and are (or their spouse or child resides in Nevada) married, plan to get married, have been divorced in Nevada, or have a child or children in common who reside in Nevada.
Our Las Vegas family law attorneys are here to assist with Las Vegas divorces, Las Vegas Annulments, Las Vegas marital property rights, Las Vegas alimony, Las Vegas Spousal Support, Las Vegas Child custody and Las Vegas Child Support cases If you are getting divorced in las Vegas or have a Las Vegas child custody case (or Las Vegas child custody battle, in many cases) or a Las Vegas child support case, our Las Vegas family law attorneys can assist.
Any family law matter is emotional and stressful. Adding the complexities of the legal system, court hearings, filing motions, and family law trials and evidentiary hearings, can make the strongest person nervous. Las Vegas Family law legal matters that need to be handled with sensitivity and care, especially since property rights and child custody are often on the line.
A Las Vegas Law Firm with the Experience You Can Trust
Stovall & Associates has been taking family law cases since 1987. We are not a new firm with new lawyers. Our firm is a pillar in the Southen Nevada and Las Vegas community. In addition to handling Las Vegas family law cases since 1987, founding attorney, Leslie Mark Stovall was appointed a hearing master when the family courts were established in Clark County in 198__. He, along with the lawyers at Stovall and Associates have experience in every aspect of Las Vegas family Law.
If you are facing a family law matter whether it be a Las Vegas divorces, Las Vegas Annulment, Las Vegas marital property rights dispute, a Las Vegas alimony case, Las Vegas Spousal Support issue, Las Vegas Child custody and Las Vegas Child Support cases. If you are getting divorced in Las Vegas or have a Las Vegas child custody case (or Las Vegas child custody battle, in many cases) or a Las Vegas child support case, our Las Vegas family law attorneys can assist, and offer a free consultation. Please fill out the contact form
Las Vegas, Henderson and Nevada DIVORCE INFORAMTION
Can I change my last name if I get divorced?
Traditional and non-traditional/gay couples can use divorce proceedings to dissolve a marriage or domestic partnership in Nevada.
A key requirement for a divorce case to be heard in Nevada, is that at least one or both of the spouses (litigants) must have resided in the state for at least 6 weeks prior to filing for divorce and intend to remain in Nevada indefinately.1. The Clark County District Court requires an Affidavit of Resident Witness be filed, and filled out by afriend, family member, or co-worker will have to sign an affidavit stating under penalty of perjury stating that the spouse in fact a Nevada resident and they are familiar with the spouses residency history.
Contested divorce proceedings occur when:
- One spouse is not willing to get divorced or the spouses cannot come to an agreement regarding the terms of their divorce, or
- The couple is fighting about issues within the divorce negotiations such as alimony/ community property/ community debts , child custody or child support and a joint petition for divorce isn't practicable.
If parties can agree to ALL terms of their divorce then the process is expedited and usually referred to as a uncontested divorce or “summary divorce." In this scenario a Joint Petition for Divorce is filed with the court, in addition to several other documents. An affidavit of resident witness is still required to be filled and filed with the court.
Nevada is a “no-fault” divorce state. So no specific reasons need to be proven to get a divorce but the divorce pleadings should generally state:
The spouses are incompatible, and request that “the marriage between the parties be dissolved and that parties be granted an absolute Decree of Divorce and parties be restored to the status of single unmarried persons”
In Nevada, a judge determines all items relating to the divorce including questions of law and fact in what is called an “evidentiary hearing”.
A judge will grant a divorce in Nevada as long as the party(ies) have followed all the required procedural steps to obtaining a divorce.
A person seeking a divorce must file a complaint for divorce or a joint petition for divorce with the Clark County District Court. This can be done in person or via electronic filing online. A divorce complaint is filed if the spouses are not in agreement on the terms of the divorce. If the spouses are in agreement on the terms of the divorce a joint petition for divorce can be filled by both of the parties. The other spouse then has the opportunity to file an answer and counterclaim. If the other spouse fails to do so, the divorce is considered uncontested. This is true even if only one party signed the documents.
Only one party to the divorce needs to live in Nevada for at least six weeks prior to filing for divorce and throughout the divorce proceedings. The other spouse can file any necessary forms electronically or hire a lawyer in Nevada to represent him or her.
It should be noted that a spouse who has not filed a 1. joint petition or 2. complaint for divorce has to be served with the Summons and Complaint that were filed into the case, or can fill out and file a Waiver of formal summons and complaint.
In order to serve a spouse with a summons and complaint for divorce, a spouse must take reasonable steps to find him or her.
If a litigant cannot locate a spouse, Nevada law allows “service by publication”.
A special notarized affidavit must be filed by the Plaintiff with the court to serve a spouse by publication.
Once this is filed and approved, the court then allows the spouse to “serve” the summons and complaint by publication in a newspaper in Clark County.5 Publication must be made at least once a week for 4 weeks. Once the publication has been made by the newspaper, the newspaper files its own affidavit with the court stating the affidavit the Plaintiff filed was published for the required time period.
The defendant then has 20 days in which to file a response to the divorce complaint with the Clark County District Court. If the defendant does not respond, the court will consider the divorce uncontested. At that point the Plaintiff can take a default judgment and get the divorce granted based on the allegations in the complaint for divorce.
In Nevada a divorce can be handled in two ways: contested, or uncontested, which were discussed above.
Once the court has granted either type of divorce and a Decree of Divorce has been entered, the divorce is final, and marriage is dissolved and parities are “restored to the status of single, unmarried persons”.
CLICK HERE FOR A DIVORCE PROCESS FLOW CHART
Many people fear that a divorce will have devastating financial effects, and do not understand how the court divides community or marital property.
Nevada is a community property state.
Community property consists of:
- Real estate
- Bank accounts
- Houses and mortgages
- Household items and furniture
- Cars and car loans
- Credit card balances
- Tax debts
- Pensions and retirement accounts
- A business owned by a spouse
Which was acquired during the marriage. This means it has to be earned or acquired AFTER the parties were married. Courts usually divide these community or marital property equally between the spouses unless there was a valid prenuptial agreement.
Spouses may come up with their own agreement on how to divide their marital assets and a Nevada court will honor their arrangement as long as no dishonorable motives are found on the part of either spouse or no fraud existed at the time of the agreement.
Generally, any property a spouse owned before marriage "separate property" and belongs solely to that spouse. By stature in Nevada inheritances, personal injury awards, and gifts are considered separate property and are not divided during a divorce.
Alimony awards are considered on a case-by-case basis by a judge. A party must request alimony in their court pleadings in order to have the judge consider awarding alimony. To determine alimony or spousal support parties must have been married for a long period of time and there must be a large gap in earning and income potential between the spouses.
Judges consider the following issues when considering alimony:
- How long the marriage lasted and the lifestyle shared by the parties during the marriage.
- Each spouse's age, health, education, career, and earning ability.
- One spouse's need for financial support versus the other spouse's ability to pay.
- The relative earning capacity of each spouse,
- The possibility of education or training to increase the earning capacity of a spouse,
- The amount of property owned by each spouse, and
- The length of the marriage.
Awards of spousal support can be temporary or permanent. One type of temporary alimony is called “Rehabilitative alimony” and is granted to help a person obtain job-related education or training. This type of alimony is meant to increase a person's job skills and earning power so they will be able to support themselves after the divorce. Permanent alimony typically ends when the person receiving alimony remarries or when either of the spouses dies. Parties can petition the court from time to time to reduce or increase alimony.