Going through the motions of separation and divorce after being married can be a very stressful process. There are decisions to be made about property and assets, spousal support and child custody as well as financial support for any children. In some cases, decisions can be quite amicable and there is no need for an attorney’s help or the court to intervene and make a ruling of its own. However, some divorces are accompanied by acrimony and there may be disagreements between the two people who are divorcing about the divorce itself, or any other decision which has to be made.
When a couple cannot come to a joint agreement about the details of the divorce, it is best to talk to an experienced divorce attorney at the Law Offices of Pintar Albiston here in Las Vegas if you live in Nevada. It is quite likely that the Nevada Family Court will be involved in making a decision about any of the aspects involved in your divorce and it will certainly help if you have the best legal advice you can get before a court appearance.
Submitting an application for divorce
Every state in the country has different divorce laws and Nevada is no different. There is a residency rule that requires at least one person of the couple should have resided in the state for at least six weeks before the application for divorce is filed.
The application should be filed with the District Clerk at the District Law Office in the county where one or another or both people were residing or where the reasons for the divorce became apparent.
The person filing the “complaint for divorce” is the plaintiff and the other person who receives the complaint is the defendant. These are legal terms and are used even if the two people agree to the reasons for divorce.
In the application, the reasons for divorce must be stated. The most common type of divorce is called a “no fault” divorce. If the court decides that the reasons given match the criteria for no fault divorce then an absolute divorce decree will be granted. The usual reasons are:
- a) not cohabiting while living apart for at least 12 months before the divorce is applied for;
- b) incompatibility.
The court may also grant a “fault” divorce if it can be proved that one person has been declared insane for at least 2 years before divorce has been applied for.
The couple divorcing may decide to make their own arrangements about shared property or there may be disagreement about how it should be divided up. If the latter is the case, then the Family Court may be involved. Nevada is a “community property” state when it comes to deciding who gets what after a divorce. Generally, any property that has been acquired during the marriage will be divided up on a 50/50 basis. Property that was acquired before the marriage may be considered the property of that person after divorce.
Alimony, or spousal support, must be requested by the spouse at the time of filing an application for divorce giving reasons why alimony is needed. The court will make a decision about whether alimony must be paid by one or other of the two spouses based on an appraisal of several different factors. These include things like:
- How much each spouse is likely to earn after divorce;
- How a spouse required to pay alimony acquired the financial resources to be able to afford to make payments;
- Whether alimony is required to help pay for education or training for the other spouse.
Each case will be determined on an individual basis by the court.
Where an agreement cannot be made amicably between the two parents, custody arrangements will be determined by the curt in the best interests of the child(ren). Various factors will be taken into consideration, including the wishes of the children if they are mature enough for their wishes to be considered and whether there has been any history of domestic violence.
Nevada regards child support of minors as being a joint responsibility, i.e. both parents must contribute to the cost of raising their children including food, housing, transportation, health insurance and education. The court will make a decision about the percentage of the income of the parent who does not have the main role in child custody to be paid in child support. The guidelines are quite complicated and it is best to discuss all these aspects of divorce with an experienced and sympathetic family law attorney.
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