Divorce FAQs

How long will it take for my divorce to be granted?
If both parties sign the documents, it takes approximately 1-3 weeks for a Nevada divorce to be granted – if there are no children or property division involved, it’s about two weeks. If only one party signs, it takes 6-8 weeks when the Defendant can be served in person, and approximately 16-18 weeks when the Defendant must be served by Publication (when he or she cannot be found).
How long do I have to be a resident of Nevada before I can file a divorce in Nevada?
One of the parties to a Nevada divorce must have resided in Nevada a minimum of six weeks before filing a Nevada divorce.
Am I eligible to file a Nevada Divorce?

The following parties are eligible to file a divorce in Nevada:
 one (or both) Joint Petitioner(s) is a current Nevada resident having lived in Nevada for six (6) weeks preceding the filing of the divorce
 Nevada was the last marital place of residence for the parties.
 the Plaintiff, if he or she has resided in Nevada a minimum of six (6) weeks immediately before filing the divorce.
 the non-resident Plaintiff may file in Nevada if the Defendant has resided in Nevada a minimum of six (6) weeks and Plaintiff files in the Nevada county of residence for the Defendant.

What is a valid reason for a Nevada divorce?

The most-often used valid reason used in a divorce in Nevada is incompatibility.
Also valid, but used infrequently because incompatibility simplifies the process, are:

      • the parties have lived separate and apart for 1 year without cohabitation
      • insanity existing for 2 years prior to the commencement of the action
How soon after my Nevada divorce becomes final may I get re-married?

You may remarry as early as the day after your Nevada divorce becomes final.

I can't find my spouse. Can I file for a Nevada divorce anyway?

Yes, you may, provided you are a Nevada resident. When the Defendant cannot be found, a skip/trace must be peformed to try and find the Defendant. When this search fails to find the whereabouts of the Defendant, an Affidavit of Due Diligence is obtained and the Summons is then published in a newspaper once a week for five (5) weeks (service by Publication), and also sent by first class mail to the Defendant’s last-known address. If the Defendant fails to respond to the mail service or the Publication service, a Default is filed 21 days after the last date of publication, and your divorce is granted by Default.

Are there additional fees in addition to the attorney fees?

Yes. There are court filing fees and costs associated with filing your Nevada divorce case. These change periodically. At the time of this writing, the total of the divorce filing fess and costs are $326 for a Joint Petition divorce, and $364 for a Complaint for Divorce.

How do I get custody of my child(ren)?

Please visit the Child Custody Statutes page of our website.

Do I have to take the C.O.P.E. class if I have children?

If you live in Las Vegas (Clark County) The short answer is “yes.” This class IS required of all divorcing parties who have children together and who file a divorce in Clark County, Nevada. Though some online typing services advertise that you can avoid the C.O.P.E. class fee when you live in Las Vegas by using their services, it’s because they file your case in a different county that does not require parents to take the C.O.P.E. class. This might sound like a good deal for you up front, but it’s not and this is why. Chances are high in a divorce with children that you will return to court at some point to at least adjust your child support before your children turn 18 – you are entitled to review child support amounts every three years. If your divorce was filed in a county outside Las Vegas, it means you’ll have to pay filing costs in Nevada (currently $301) to move your case to Clark County before addressing the court to modify your child support, or you’ll have to travel to the other county to address the court. Both are costly choices. So, it’s best to you to file in Las Vegas if you live in Las Vegas.

My spouse moved into my house that I purchased prior to marriage. Does my spouse have any interest in this house?

If the parties do not have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement and the house has a mortgage that was paid down with the “owner” spouse’s earnings, then the spouse that moved in has an interest in the house.  Earnings during the marriage are community property and the paying down of a mortgage creates a community property interest in the property which is split pursuant to a complicated formula with the “owner” spouse’s separate property interest.

Do I have any interest in a house/car for which I am not on title?

The name under which the asset is held does not determine who has an interest in that asset.  What is important is whether that asset was purchased during marriage and what source of funds were used to purchase that asset.

Can I get a free information consultation?

Yes. A paralegal well-versed in Nevada divorce matters and trained by James E. Smith, Esq. is available able to answer your questions on procedure and cost for an uncontested Nevada divorce. Just call us at 702.420.7052. If we feel that your divorce might escalate into a contested matter, this paralegal will quickly refer you to the attorney for a free 10 minute consultation.

Can I move out of the State of Nevada with my children?

To leave the State of Nevada once you have filed a divorce, you must either get the written consent of your spouse or a court order. If you leave the state before a divorce action has been filed, it is assumed that the permission of the other spouse was obtained. That said, if the child(ren)’s habitual residence has been Nevada and you do leave the state with your child(ren) before a divorce action has been filed and your spouse then files a Complaint for Divorce asking for physical custody, a judge might well order the children back to Nevada, especially if it appears that the intent behind the move was malicious towards your spouse rather than moving because of work or to be nearer to family for help with the child(ren).

The jurisdiction of children under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act is the state where the children have lived for the majority of the last 6 months before court proceedings.

Do I have to pay Child Support?

In many cases, even when parents share physical custody, one parent will pay some child support. In Nevada, child support is calculated according to a specific formula which you’ll find on our Child Support page.

Can I be on my spouse's health insurance after our divorce?

The short answer is no.  Health insurance providers typically do not cover a spouse after a divorce. HOWEVER, that spouse can reach out to C.O.B.R.A. to extend coverage at the current rate for up to 18 months until he or she can find suitable coverage elsewhere.



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I met Mr. Smith several years ago. Not only is he a great attorney, but now a good friend. I initially had him help me with family law matters and corporate matters and he always did an excellent job. One of the very few good attorneys left out there. R.E. Las Vegas, Nevada

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