Guide to the Divorce Process in Nevada
Nevada is known for its casinos, its all-you-can-eat-buffets, and its sometimes ill-advised marriages. If you are contemplating divorce in the state, you need to know about the divorce process in Nevada. In general, Nevada makes divorces almost as easy as marriages, but you will need to understand some basic terminology and procedure in order to start the divorce process.
Complaint and Answer
The divorce process in Nevada legally begins when one spouse files a “complaint” against the other. In almost every case, there is no specific fault alleged against the other spouse. Instead, separation or incompatibilities are the ordinarily used grounds for obtaining a Nevada divorce, which are considered “no-fault” grounds.
The complaint will also ask for “relief,” which means the specific terms of divorce being requested. In addition to the divorce itself (which is also considered a form of legal relief), the plaintiff spouse (the spouse filing the complaint) can request child custody or child support, health insurance, alimony, or a particular division of property.
Couples who can agree on everything in their divorce can have a much faster divorce process in Nevada. Couples who have already separated for a year and have already divided up their property are allowed to use a joint petition for divorce.
You are also allowed to have a summary divorce “by affidavit” if you are able to agree upon a marital settlement. These ways of dealing with the divorce process in Nevada are ideal for divorcing couples who can still communicate and negotiate a deal that is acceptable to both people.
Settlement and Mediation
Settlement is not always easy to achieve, especially because emotions can get in the way of the legal divorce process in Nevada. Divorcing couples who are finding it difficult to negotiate an agreement may find themselves placed in mediation by the court.
Mediation is non-binding, and basically allows the divorcing couple to try to work out a deal themselves, with a trained mediator to keep the conversation focused and help both people through tense or emotional moments. Hiring a mediator can be a significantly cheaper option for completing the divorce process in Nevada than carrying a contested divorce all the way to trial.
Discovery and Trial
Couples who cannot figure out any agreement will go to the final stage of the divorce process in Nevada: a civil trial. This will include a process of investigation into finances and parenting by one or both spouses, and even the calling of expert witnesses. This part of the divorce process in Nevada is extremely expensive and can also be emotionally difficult for couples and their children, which is why very few divorce cases go all the way to trial.
After the trial is finished and both sides have made their final arguments, the judge will determine how your property will be divided and the exact terms of your divorce. You will have an opportunity to appeal, but for the vast majority of cases, the judge's opinion will be final. Once the judge has made the final determination in your case and a divorce order has been signed, your divorce will be complete.