Divorce – State FAQ – Nevada
Residency requirements, venue and procedures
Q: How long must I have lived in Nevada prior to filing for divorce in an Nevada court?
A: At least one of the parties to the divorce action must have resided in Nevada for at least six weeks prior to the filing of the action, or the cause of the divorce must have arose in the county in Nevada where the parties actually lived at the time of the happening of the cause.
Q: What are the terms used to identify the parties in a divorce proceeding?
A: The party filing the action is called the Plaintiff, while the other party to the divorce is referred to as the Defendant.
Q: What is “venue,” and what is the proper venue for a divorce case?
A: “Venue” refers to which type of court and in what locality the case is filed. In Nevada, proper venue for the divorce action is the District Court. The divorce action may be filed in any county where: the cause for divorce arose; where the defendant resides or may be found; where the plaintiff resides, or; where the parties last cohabited.
Q: What is the title of the document initiating the action for divorce? The order granting the divorce?
A: The title of the document initiating the divorce proceeding is a Complaint for Divorce, while the title of the order granting the divorce is referred to as the Decree of Divorce.
Grounds for Divorce
Q: What is meant by “grounds for divorce”?
A: A “ground” for divorce is a “reason” for divorce. A set of judicially recognized reasons for divorce exist in Nevada. You must use one or more of these reasons to justify your divorce.
Q: What are the recognized grounds for divorce in Nevada?
A: The State of Nevada permits divorces to be granted on several grounds, including: Incompatibility; Living separate and apart for one year without cohabitation; and Insanity of a party which existed for at least two years prior to filing for divorce.
Simplified divorce procedure
Q: Does Nevada law provide for a simplified divorce procedure?
A: Yes. A summary proceeding for divorce may be commenced by the filing of a joint petition the parties meet certain conditions. These conditions are discussed in the Divorce Information section of the Nevada Divorce Main Page
Q: What does the term “spousal support” (or, “alimony”) mean?
A: “Spousal support” (sometimes called “alimony”) is money paid by one spouse to the other due to the payee spouse’s loss of the benefit of the payor spouse’s income due to the divorce.
Q: Is spousal support available while the divorce is pending in court, or only after the divorce has become final?
A: The court may order that one spouse support the other during the pendancy of the divorce action and/or after the divorce has become final. Support awarded pending the final decree of divorce is not to extend beyond the period of time necessary for the prosecution of the divorce action.
Q: What factors will the court consider when determining how much alimony to award to a party?
A: In granting a divorce, the courts in Nevada may award alimony to either party in lump sum or in periodic payments as the court deems equitable and just. Factors the court will consider in granting alimony include:
1. Whether the payor spouse has obtained greater job skills or education during the marriage; or,
2. Whether the payee spouse provided financial support to the payor spouse while the payor obtained job skills or education.
Q: When does the duty to pay alimony end?
A: The order to pay alimony to a spouse terminates upon the death of either spouse or the remarriage of the spouse receiving alimony.
Division of Property
Q: On what basis will the court divide property between the divorcing spouses?
A: Nevada is a “community property” state in which the court will divide all property of the marriage equally, unless the court finds a compelling reason to not do so. The reasons for not equally dividing the community property must be in writing.
Child custody and visitation
Q: What is child custody and visitation?
A: “Child custody” refers to which parent will have legal custody of the child(ren), i.e. with whom the child(ren) will live. “Visitation” is the topic of the non-custodial parent’s ability to visit/spend time with the child(ren).
Q: Can grandparents be granted visitation rights?
A: Yes. Grandparent visitation shall be permitted if it is within the best interest of the child.
Q: If the parents cannot agree on child custody and visitation issues, on what basis will the court decide?
A: The court may award custody to either parent, regardless of sex, subject to the best interests of the child. There is a presumption that joint custody would be in the best interests of the child. Among the factors the court will consider in determining the best interests of the child are:
1. The wishes of the child;
2. The wishes of the parents; and,
3. Whether either parent has engaged in acts of domestic violence against the child, other parent, or any other person residing with the child.
Q: What is “child support”?
A: Child support is money paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent in order to meet the needs of the child(ren).
Q: To what should the parties look for guidance regarding amount of child support to be paid? What standard will the court use if the parties cannot agree?
A: Nevada has established child support guidelines which are presumed to be the correct amount of child support due unless there is a showing that the needs of the child would not be met by the application of the guidelines. In such cases the court shall set forth the reasons for deviating from the guidelines and include in its ruling the amount that would have been awarded under the guidelines. The factors to be considered by the court when adjusting the amount of support are listed in the Information section of the Nevada Divorce Main Page