Getting a Divorce in Nevada

The words divorce and easy are hardly found in the same sentence, and quite understandably so—well, unless you live in Nevada. Nevada divorce laws seem to understand the pain that comes with the decision to leave your partner and are dedicated to alleviating it as soon as possible. 

This guide will help ensure your divorce papers comply with the legal requirements for leaving a marriage in Nevada.

Divorce in Nevada Summary

Here is a brief breakdown of everything you need to know to get a divorce in Nevada.

Divorce Petition Requirements

Divorce Filing Eligibility

The only requirement to file for divorce in Nevada is that either spouse has lived in the state for a minimum of six weeks.

Grounds for a divorce in Nevada

The grounds on which you may file for divorce in Nevada are:

Incompatibility: This mostly applies when you and your spouse simply no longer want to stay together.

Insanity: If your spouse becomes mentally incapacitated, the law allows you to leave the marriage.

Separation: If you and your spouse have lived separately and apart for a year or more.

How to File A Divorce in Nevada

Step 1. Filing the divorce petition

The first step to leaving your marriage is filing for divorce. This may be a sole or joint petition, depending on the circumstances of your marriage.

Step 2. Serving your spouse

The next step is to serve your spouse the divorce papers if they aren’t already aware of the divorce case. There are multiple ways in which you can do this.

Step 3. Wait for your spouse’s response

Upon receiving the documents, your partner has 20 days to issue a response to your divorce complaint. This response is their opportunity to agree or disagree with your complaints and file complaints or counterclaims of their own.

Step 4. The marital separation agreement

The law requires parties filing a joint petition for divorce to submit a marital separation agreement alongside their divorce forms. You may do this independently with your spouse or consult a neutral third party.

Step 5. The divorce trial

If your spouse objects to the divorce or you’re unable to reach an amicable settlement on child custody, spousal maintenance, and division of marital property, the matter goes to trial.

Step 5. The divorce decree

After the conclusion of the trial, the judge may enter a decree of divorce if satisfied that the marriage is irretrievably broken and all the necessary terms have been resolved.


What Are the Requirements to Get a Divorce in Nevada?

Nevada has some of the friendliest divorce requirements in the country. You may file for a divorce in Nevada if either you or your spouse has lived there for a minimum of six weeks before the divorce. Divorce is considered a practical issue, and a prolonged residency requirement shouldn’t keep you from being happy.

The six weeks residency requirement may be waived where the cause of action or reason for the divorce occurred in Nevada. Though Nevada is a no-fault divorce state, you may file for divorce on the ground of spousal rape if the incident happened while you were resident in the state.

What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Nevada?

In addition to the six weeks requirement, there are three grounds on which you may file for divorce under Nevada laws:

  • Incompatibility: This mostly applies when you and your spouse simply no longer want to stay together. All you need to do is file for a divorce citing irreconcilable differences. This is particularly useful because you don’t have to disclose either party’s shortcomings on your divorce forms.
  • Insanity: If your spouse becomes mentally incapacitated, the law allows you to leave the marriage. However, there must be medical proof of such insanity, and your spouse must have been suffering from this condition no less than two years before the filing date of your divorce petition.
  • Separation: If you and your spouse have lived separately and apart for a year or more, either of you can file for a divorce on the grounds of separation.

When filing for divorce, you’ll be required to state the grounds for divorce and provide proof of your residency.

How to File for Divorce in Nevada

The filing process may involve contacting your partner, which can be uncomfortable given the circumstances. Luckily, several trustworthy online services are willing to bear the stress of filing for a divorce on your behalf. Nonetheless, if you’re a hands-on person, the following are the necessary steps to take when filing for a divorce in Nevada.

Step 1: Filing the divorce petition

The first step to leaving your marriage is filing for divorce. This may be a sole or joint petition, depending on the circumstances of your marriage. The applicable forms include a cover sheet that contains basic information about your marriage, including both spouses’ social security numbers, number of children, and date of the union.

This complaint form should contain the grounds for the divorce, property division claims, child custody arrangements, and spousal support. You may file the divorce forms in the county district court where either you or your spouse lives. You’ll also need to file an affidavit of resident witness to prove that at least one spouse is a Nevada resident. 

Suppose you’re filing a petition for a summary or uncontested divorce. In that case, the application should include a certificate of waiver, letting the court know that your soon-to-be ex is aware of the divorce case. If the divorce is contested, you’ll need to file a summons (to bring your partner to court) and an affidavit stating that the information you provided is accurate. In either case, you have to pay a filing fee to the district court clerk to proceed.

Step 2: Serving your spouse

The next step is to serve your spouse the divorce papers if they aren’t already aware of the divorce case. Service can be done personally, by email, or via third-party processes, such as the court sheriff. 

If you’re unable to locate your spouse, Nevada divorce laws allow you to file a notice of the divorce process in a local newspaper. If you have filed a joint petition, attaching a certificate of waiver is sufficient compliance with this requirement.

Step 3: Wait for your spouse’s response

Upon receiving the documents, your partner has 20 days to issue a response to your divorce complaint. This response is their opportunity to agree or disagree with your complaints and file complaints or counterclaims of their own. 

Once your spouse responds, you’ll both be required to fill out a financial disclosure form detailing your income, assets, liabilities, and tax information.

This stage is specific to contested divorces. In an uncontested divorce process, couples usually file a joint petition. In an uncontested divorce, spouses must draw up a settlement agreement addressing custody and property division issues.

Step 4: The marital settlement/separation agreement

The law requires parties filing a joint petition for divorce to submit a marital separation agreement alongside their divorce forms. You and your spouse may develop this independently or consult a neutral third party for some objectivity. The settlement agreement contains the parties’ wishes regarding property division, child custody, visitation, spousal support, and life after marriage.

Step 5: The divorce trial

If your spouse objects to the divorce or you’re unable to reach an amicable settlement on child custody, spousal maintenance, and division of marital property, the matter goes to trial. At trial, the judge will invite you and your spouse to give evidence relating to the claims made in your divorce forms. 

Nevada divorce laws permit the trial to take place in private upon the request of either spouse. This allows you to freely express your feelings away from the prying eyes of the public. It’s important to note that there is no divorce trial in a summary divorce process.

Step 6: The divorce decree

After the conclusion of the trial, the judge may enter a decree of divorce if satisfied that the marriage is irretrievably broken and all the necessary terms have been resolved. In a summary divorce process, the court adopts the separation agreement drawn up by the parties in Step 3 and grants a divorce decree signaling the end of the marriage.

NOTE: Both types of divorce require filing an affidavit of resident witness as proof that either spouse lives in Nevada. 

If You Need Help with Your Divorce . . . 

I’ve reviewed some online divorce services in Nevada and ranked them according to quality assurance and compliance of divorce papers to the legal requirements. You can check out my list of Nevada’s top online divorce services here.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to get a divorce in Nevada?

Divorce proceedings in Nevada are relatively short, lasting anywhere between a few weeks and several months. The primary determinant is the type of divorce you are filing for.

If the dissolution is a summary or joint petition, it may take as little as three weeks to move on with your life. On the other hand, a formal divorce may take several months to conclude, depending on the issues between the parties.

There is no waiting period required under Nevada divorce laws, meaning the judge approves your final decree of divorce once all necessary conditions are met.

What are the different types of divorce in Nevada?

There are two basic types of divorce in Nevada, a formal divorce and a summary or joint petition for divorce. 

A formal or contested divorce process refers to cases where one spouse either objects to dissolving the marriage or disagrees with the other spouse’s claims regarding alimony, division of property, or child support.

A summary petition is an uncontested divorce process where the spouses agree on the divorce terms. Here, spouses agree that it is better to be apart and draw up a separation agreement to govern the dissolution of their marriage. This type of divorce is usually faster and can be concluded in less than a month.

Nevada divorce laws prescribe certain conditions for spouses looking to file a joint petition for a summary divorce:

  • Either party has met the residency requirements.
  • You and your spouse have lived separately and apart for one year without cohabitation, or are incompatible.
  • You don’t have minor children together, born either before or during the marriage or adopted together during the marriage, and neither of you is pregnant, to your knowledge, or you have executed an agreement regarding the custody of any children and the details of their support.
  • There is no community or joint property, or you and your spouse have executed an agreement on the division of community property and the assumption of liabilities of the community, if any, and have executed any deeds, certificates of title, bills of sale, or other evidence of transfer necessary to give effect to the agreement.
  • You both waive any rights to spousal support, or have executed an agreement setting forth the amount and manner of spousal support.
  • You and your spouse waive your respective rights to written notice of entry of the decree of divorce, to appeal, to request findings of fact and conclusions of law, and to move for a new trial.
  • You both desire that the court enter a decree of divorce.

You must meet all these requirements at the filing date to qualify for a summary divorce. It is advisable to wait until the conditions are met before filing for divorce to reduce the time spent in court. 

Do I need an attorney to get a divorce in Nevada?

No, you don’t need an attorney to file for divorce in Nevada. Nevada has an online self-help portal that guides you through the entire process, from filing to serving your spouse. In addition to this, there are also online services willing to bear the legal stress of your divorce at a fee.

While it’s great to get some legal advice when filing for divorce, the self-help portal and handy online services ensure the divorce process is smoother than usual.

Do I have to prove separation to get a divorce In Nevada?

This depends on the grounds of your divorce claim. If you’re filing for divorce on the grounds of insanity or incompatibility with your spouse, you may not need to prove separation to dissolve your marriage. However, if the grounds for the divorce border on separation, the court will require you to prove this. In that case, the law requires you to have lived separately and apart from your spouse without cohabitation for a minimum of one year.

Can I get a divorce in Nevada if I was married in another state?

Absolutely! You can get divorced in Nevada regardless of what part of the country you got married in. Once either you or your spouse has lived in Nevada for at least six weeks, and you can prove any of the legal grounds for divorce, voilà, you’re good to go!

Is spousal fault necessary for the dissolution of marriage in Nevada?

No, spousal fault is not necessary under Nevada divorce laws. Nevada is a no-fault state, meaning you don’t have to point accusatory fingers at your spouse in court. It is enough for your divorce papers to state that you’re no longer compatible with each other or have been living apart without cohabitation for a year.

What factors influence alimony payments in Nevada?

Nevada divorce law places a premium on the separation agreement drawn by parties. If the separation agreement provides a fixed alimony amount, the court will not modify it unless it is contrary to law.

Where there’s no agreement on alimony payments between the about-to-be divorced couple, the court may grant an alimony order upon application by either spouse. In granting an order for spousal support, the court considers several factors: 

  • The financial condition of you and your spouse
  • The nature and value of the respective property of your and your spouse
  • The contribution of both of you to any property held by the spouses
  • The duration of the marriage
  • The income, earning capacity, age, and health of you and your spouse
  • The standard of living during the marriage
  • The career before the marriage of the spouse who would receive alimony
  • The existence of specialized education or training or the level of marketable skills attained by you and your spouse during the marriage
  • The contribution of either of you as homemaker
  • The award of property granted by the court in the divorce, other than child support and alimony, to whichever of you would receive the alimony
  • You and your spouse’s physical and mental condition in connection to finances, health, and ability to work

Nevada divorce law further mandates the court to consider granting alimony to a spouse to obtain job training or education relating to a career or profession. In addition to any other factors the court considers relevant in determining spousal support, the judge shall consider the following:

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

If the judge approves alimony to the applying spouse, the order will stipulate the length of payments and when the receiving spouse must begin professional training or education. The alimony amount will generally not exceed 20% of the paying spouse’s income.

Who gets child custody in Nevada?

The overriding factor in determining child custody issues in Nevada is the child’s best interests. If you and your spouse have minor children, you must resolve child custody before the judge can grant a final decree of divorce. 

In addition to considering the child’s best interests, the judge may also consider the child’s relationship with either parent, the physical, mental, and financial status of each parent, and the child’s emotional needs.

Other relevant factors may include a history of domestic violence and the likelihood of one parent letting the child visit the noncustodial parent. Sometimes the court grants both legal and physical custody to the same spouse or adopts a custody sharing formula in the parties’ divorce settlement agreement.

Finally, child support remains a joint responsibility regardless of who has physical custody. Nevada divorce laws seek to ensure any minor children of the marriage are well catered for by the parents even after the judge signs your divorce decree. In doing this, the court may order the higher-earning spouse to make child support payments to the spouse who has custody of the child. If a spouse defaults in making payments towards their child’s upbringing, the other spouse may file for child support enforcement at the district court.

Is Nevada a 50-50 state when it comes to divorce?

Yes, Nevada is a 50-50 state when it comes to the division of marital property. This simply means that marital assets and liabilities acquired during the marriage are treated as community property and shared equally between the spouses. 

The only exception is if one spouse proves the asset as their separate property. Separate property includes assets acquired by one spouse before the date of the marriage or during separation, as well as gifts and properties inherited during the marriage.

Consequently, the court will divide community property equally between spouses unless it finds a compelling reason not to do so. An example of such a reason may be where one spouse has contributed their separate property towards acquiring an asset now jointly held by the couple. This contribution may be in the form of down payments, deposits, or cash donations. 

If a spouse has made such contributions, the court may order the other spouse to reimburse them to the tune of their contribution. This means you won’t get an amount exceeding the monetary value of the contribution you made, notwithstanding any accumulation in the worth of the jointly held property.

The court considers the following factors when determining the reimbursement order:

  • The intention of the parties in placing the property in joint tenancy
  • The length of the marriage
  • Any other factor that the court deems relevant in making a just and equitable disposition of that property

In Summary

The divorce laws in Nevada are relatively less stress-inducing than in most US states. The laws are easier to comply with and allow you to dissolve your marriage in the shortest time possible so you can focus on healing and moving on.

Divorce information around the United States

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