Divorce in Nevada is a relatively straightforward process. The State of Nevada has an online Self-Help Center for residents seeking divorce. To ensure your case runs smoothly, it's important to comply with state rules and requirements. This article provides an overview of obtaining a divorce in Nevada and identifies the documents you'll need to begin.
Nevada is exclusively a no-fault divorce state, which means that you don't address the reasons behind the divorce in your complaint. Instead of assigning blame to either side, you can choose from one of two no-fault grounds: incompatibility or living apart for at least one year.
Before you can file, either you or your spouse must have lived in the state for at least six weeks. As the filing party, you can choose to file in one of three counties: the county where you currently reside, the county where the other person resides, or the county where the parties last lived as a married couple.
There are three routes to divorce in Nevada. If you and your spouse agree on all the issues surrounding your divorce, you can file a Joint Petition. Sometimes, however, you just can't agree right off the bat. In that case, you must file a regular Complaint for Divorce.
If you file a joint petition, you will also need the following documents:
If you and your spouse cannot agree and you end up filing a complaint, you must also file the following in addition to the documents above:
Depending on the issues involved in your particular case, your county might require additional documents. Common documents include a Family Court Cover Sheet and Joint Preliminary Injunction.
Many states now require the filing party to include some sort of court-generated cover sheet in domestic relations cases. An injunction can prevent a spouse from selling, hiding, or transferring jointly owned assets while the divorce is pending.
Nevada also offers a third type of divorce known as a "summary divorce" or "summary default divorce by affidavit." This method is by far the fastest, most inexpensive form of divorce. To qualify, both parties must be in complete agreement regarding all issues surrounding the divorce. Both sides must also waive their right to spousal support or agree to an amount in writing. You must also forego the right to appeal, the right to a new trial, and the right to receive notice of the final decree of divorce.
To file a summary divorce, you must file a special kind of affidavit with the court and attach a copy of your settlement agreement. The affidavit must state:
If the court accepts the affidavit and approves the settlement agreement, it will grant the divorce without holding a hearing.
Once you have determined which type of divorce to file, assemble all the appropriate forms and take them to the clerk of court's office in the county where you wish to file. Each county requires a different number of copies, but keep at least one copy for your personal records.
Nevada law requires the filing party to "serve" the documents on the non-filing spouse. "Service of process" can be accomplished through a third-party process server, sheriff's service, or mail. You can also publish notice in a local newspaper as a last resort, however, you must be able to show the court that you are unable to locate your spouse.
Upon receiving the documents, the responding spouse (referred to as the "defendant") has 20 days under Nevada law to file one of the following responses:
If you and your spouse reach an agreement before the case moves forward, you can file a settlement agreement and present it to the court. In most cases, divorcing couples find they prefer deciding how to split up their property instead of having a judge decide how to divide property on their behalf. Nevada has a formula to help calculate child support. Settlement typically saves you money and allows you more control over your case.
Under Nevada law, anyone filing for divorce, annulment, custody, or separate maintenance must complete a Financial Disclosure Form, which lists your income, expenses, assets, and debts. The form must be filed within 45 after service of the original complaint and served on the other party.
See our topic area on Nevada Divorce & Family Laws for more information on the divorce process and related legal issues. Additionally, Nevada Legal Services and the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada offer free online divorce forms and legal representation to those who qualify for services. See also NRS §§ 125.010 through 125.520 (2019).