Uncontested Divorce in Nevada

If your Nevada divorce is uncontested, consider filing a joint petition for divorce.

By , Attorney · UC Berkeley School of Law

Divorce can be stressful even under the best of circumstances. But it doesn't have to involve a drawn-out, expensive court battle. If you and your spouse can agree on how you'll deal with the legal, financial, and practical details involved in ending your marriage, you can save money and time by getting an uncontested divorce in Nevada.

How to Qualify for an Uncontested Divorce in Nevada

If you want to file for an uncontested divorce in Nevada, you must meet three basic requirements: state residency, agreement on the reason for your divorce, and agreement on the issues in your case.

Nevada's Residency Requirement for Divorce

Nevada has one of the most lenient residency requirements in the country. In order to get divorced in Nevada, one of the spouses must reside in the state for six weeks prior to filing the divorce "complaint" (the document that starts the divorce process). (Nev. Rev. Stat. § 125.020(1)(e) (2022).)

Agreement on the Legal Reason for Divorce

You must have a legally accepted reason (or "ground") to get divorced in any state. Nevada is a "no-fault" state, meaning that neither spouse has to accuse the other of wrongdoing. You can use any of the following grounds for divorce in Nevada:

  • you and your spouse are incompatible—meaning you can't get along, and there's no chance of reconciliation
  • you and your spouse have lived separate and apart for one year, without cohabitation (having marital relations), or
  • your spouse had severe mental illness for two years before you filed for divorce.

(Nev. Rev. Stat. § 125.010 (2022).)

Agreement on the Issues in Your Divorce

Before you file for an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse will need to work out agreements on all the issues in your case, including:

If you're having trouble agreeing about any of these issues—or any other matters you want to address in your divorce—mediation might help you find solutions that work for both you and your spouse. Most mediators will prepare a document that reflects any agreements you've reached during the process. You can use this document to prepare your written marital settlement agreement.

Preparing the Uncontested Divorce Forms

When your divorce is uncontested, you and your spouse can save steps and time by filing jointly. To get started, you'll file the following forms:

  • Family Court Cover Sheet
  • Affidavit of Resident Witness
  • Joint Petition for Divorce
  • Decree of Divorce
  • Confidential Information Sheet, and
  • Seminar for Separating Parents Certificate ("COPE" class) (if you and your spouse have minor children).

Both the Nevada Courts website and the Family Law Self-Help Center provide instructions and downloadable versions of the forms you'll need to file. Some forms are different depending on whether you have minor children, so be sure to choose the appropriate forms (for example, you'll need to choose whether to file a Joint Petition for Divorce—With Children or a Joint Petition for Divorce—No Children).

If you and your spouse agree on all the issues but are not willing to file jointly, one of you will have to file the initial paperwork and proceed in the same manner as you would with any other Nevada divorce. This will include having to file detailed financial disclosures. The filing spouse (the "plaintiff") will need to serve the divorce papers on the non-filing spouse (the "defendant"). The plaintiff spouse can avoid having to serve the defendant with the paperwork if the defendant agrees to sign and return a Waiver of Service. If the defendant refuses to sign a Waiver of Service without good reason, the court will require the defendant to pay the expenses of hiring a process server to deliver the documents. (Nev. Rules Civ. Proc., Rule 4.1 (2022).)

Filing Your Uncontested Divorce Paperwork

Most Nevada courts allow you to file your paperwork in person, by mail, or online. You'll need to check with the clerk of the court where you will file to make sure you file the paperwork according to the court's rules—if the paperwork isn't filed properly, the court might reject it and you'll be forced to start over.

You'll almost always need to pay a fee to file the divorce papers (more on that below).

You'll file your divorce in the district court of any county where the:

  • cause of the divorce occurred
  • defendant resides or can be found
  • plaintiff resides
  • parties last cohabitated, or
  • plaintiff has resided for six weeks within Nevada before filing suit.

(Nev. Rev. Stat. § 125.020 (2022).) The six-week residency requirement is mandatory even when the cause of the divorce occurred in the state or the parties last cohabitated in the state.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Uncontested Divorce in Nevada?

Unlike some other states, Nevada does not require spouses to live apart before granting a divorce, nor does it require a waiting period between when you file for divorce and when the court can sign the divorce decree.

Filing a joint petition will yield the fastest results: If everything is completed correctly and the judge approves the terms you and your spouse have agreed on, the judge will sign the proposed Decree of Divorce you filed with your initial paperwork. You won't have to attend a hearing unless the judge has questions. Your divorce will be final as of the filing date that is marked on the decree.

If you don't file a joint petition, the process will take longer. You can't file the final paperwork and request a hearing until the time for your spouse to file an answer has passed. At that point, the amount of time it will take to get a hearing depends on the court's divorce caseload. You can contact the clerk's office to get a better idea of waiting times.

How Much Does an Uncontested Divorce Cost in Nevada?

As a rule, uncontested divorce is a lot cheaper than a traditional, contested divorce. That's because many couples can get through the uncontested divorce process without hiring lawyers to represent them—which leads to big savings on the normal cost of divorce.

The basic expense for an uncontested divorce will be the court fee to file the divorce papers. Filing fees in Nevada vary by county. In general, they range from about $250 to $300. (There might be an additional fee to file your paperwork electronically.) To find out the exact fee in the court you will file in, ask the clerk of the court.

If you can't afford to pay the filing feel you can request a fee waiver. You'll fill out and file both an Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis and an Order to Waive Filing Fee. If the court grants your application, you won't have to pay any court costs or fees during your divorce.

Beyond the filing fee, your costs will depend on whether you get a "pure" do-it-yourself divorce or you need some help with the process.

  • Online divorce services typically charge between $150 and $500 for providing and completing the divorce forms and settlement agreement.
  • If you need help to reach a settlement, the cost of divorce mediation can vary widely, depending on the number and complexity of the issues to be decided. Typical costs range from $3,000 to $8,000, with each spouse paying half.
  • If you're splitting retirement accounts related to your employment (like a 401(k) or pension), you might need to pay a few hundred dollars to have an expert prepare a "qualified domestic relations order" (QDRO).
  • If possible, it's always a good idea to have an attorney review your settlement agreement to be sure that it's fair and protects your rights, in some cases, it might make sense to have a lawyer or other expert draft the agreement, particularly if you have complicated financial assets. The cost will depend on the lawyer's hourly rate and the amount of time involved. Regardless, it will usually cost significantly less than paying an attorney to handle all of the legal matters in your divorce.