War is hell and divorce is ugly. They're clichés because they're true. But there is such a thing as a kinder, gentler divorce. It's called an uncontested divorce, and if you and your spouse are reasonable people who are willing to negotiate, you might be able to get one. Uncontested divorces are for people who can come to a total agreement about the issues involved in ending a marriage.
This article will explain uncontested divorces in Nevada. If you still have questions after reading this article, you should consult with an experienced family law attorney.
In Nevada, some uncontested divorces are known as "summary divorce." Basically, if you and your spouse agree on all the key issues in the divorce from the get-go, then you have the option to get a summary divorce, which will be quicker and cheaper than a regular divorce. If you get a summary divorce, you won't even have to go to court. You'll just file your documents at the courthouse and a judge will sign them.
You can only get a summary divorce if all of the following are true:
You can get a summary divorce whether or not you and your spouse have children together. If you have children, you'll just need to provide some extra papers that memorialize your agreement, like the child support guidelines worksheet.
One of the most important things you’ll need to understand about getting divorced in Nevada is how the courts work. The Nevada District Courts are the state's trial courts and they're responsible for all divorce and other kinds of family proceedings. Each district contains one or more counties. There are 17 county courts in Nevada, and they're divided into 10 different districts. You will be responsible for filing your paperwork in the correct location, which you can locate here.
Essentially, you and your spouse will work through your summary divorce together. You may be able to find some of the forms you'll need online, although the requirements vary from courthouse to courthouse. The forms available and the processes described at the Clark County Courts website are representative of what you can expect. The Nevada Judiciary: Self-Help Resources and Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada: Divorce Help are also helpful resources, especially if you plan to represent yourself.
Again, processes may vary, but generally speaking, the first thing you'll need to do is prepare, sign and file a joint petition. You'll both need to sign this under oath, in the presence of a notary public.
The joint petition has to explain that the spouses have lived in Nevada for at least six weeks and also indicate whether the divorce is happening because the spouses are incompatible or because they've been separated for a year. Finally, the joint petition must contain the following information:
You'll also need to include an "affidavit of corroboration of residency." This is a sworn statement, sometimes called a resident affidavit, which verifies that you have lived in Nevada for at least six weeks. Finally, you must attach the marital settlement agreement (a written agreement dividing your property and debts, resolving alimony, establishing child support, custody and visitation, and settling any other issues in the marriage) as an exhibit to the petition.
Take all the required paperwork to the office of the clerk of court for your county. The clerk will ask you to pay some filing fees, which vary from courthouse to courthouse. If you can't afford to pay them, ask the clerk to give you fee waiver forms. These forms will require you to provide some basic financial information, and if a judge agrees that you meet the requirements, all fees will be eliminated.
The clerk of court will then give the paperwork to the judge. If you've done everything correctly, you should have a signed divorce decree in a matter of weeks.
It’s critical that you obtain the correct forms, instructions, and checklists and follow them precisely. Don't be afraid to ask the court clerks for help, but understand that they can't give you legal advice. Take your time and work carefully. Uncontested divorce only allows you to avoid going to court if you do everything right. If you rush through the process and make mistakes, your divorce will be delayed.
Nevada Revised Statutes, Chapter 125 (divorce)