Nevada Uncontested Divorce
This information is an overview of the uncontested Nevada divorce filing process and a summary of the divorce papers that are typically filed with the family law or domestic relations clerk. This overview is not intended to be an exact step-by-step guide for those "do it yourself divorce" filers, due to the fact that many cases are unique and the overview presented here is often not the only method of obtaining an uncontested divorce in Nevada.
To file for a divorce in Nevada, one of the spouses must have been a resident of the state at least six weeks before the filing. In Nevada, a divorce may be filed in the county where a) either spouse resides, b) where the spouses last lived together, c) where the cause of the divorce happened, or d) where the plaintiff lived six weeks prior to the filing.
Grounds for divorce are No-Fault, which means 1) incompatibility, or 2) living separate and apart without cohabitation for a year, and general, which means insanity that existed for at least two years before the filing.
Actions are filed in the District Court of the county. The filing spouse is called the Plaintiff; the responding spouse is called the Defendant.
Legal separations are granted on the same grounds as divorce, or when a spouse has been deserted for 90 days. There is no residency requirement for this.
Nevada offers two routes to a summary divorce. One is begun when the spouses file a joint petition, under oath, as well as an Affidavit of Corroboration of Residency by a witness. This is an uncontested action. Following this route, a summary divorce may be granted when these conditions are met:
> Either spouse has been a resident of Nevada for six weeks;
> The spouses are incompatible and have lived separate and apart without cohabitation for a year;
> There are no minor children and the wife is not pregnant, or the couple have negotiated an agreement about custody and support for any such children;
> There is no community property, or the couple have negotiated an agreement regarding the division of assets and the distribution of liabilities, "and have signed any deeds, titles, or other evidences of transfer of property";
> Both spouses waive their right to support, or have negotiated an agreement stipulating the amount of such payment;
> Both spouses waive: a) the right of notice of entry of the final decree of divorce; b) their rights to appeal the divorce; c) their rights to request findings of fact and conclusions of law at a divorce hearing; d) their rights to a new trial;
> Both spouses want the court to enter the divorce.
In this regime, the couple file a notarized Joint Petition for Summary Decree of Divorce with Children or a notarized Joint Petition for Summary Decree of Divorce without Children, depending upon the situation, and a notarized Affidavit of Resident Witness, which authenticates the residency of the party.
Nevada also provides for a summary default divorce by affidavit. In this routine, any marital settlement is attached to the affidavit when it is filed. The affidavit states the following:
> That the residency requirements have been met;
> That all the information in the affidavit is "correct and true" on the personal knowledge of the affiant;
> That the affidavit contains only facts which would be admissible;
> That there are facts to support every allegation in the affidavit;`
> That the person signing the affidavit is competent.
In addition, each of routes also requires the following forms:
> A Civil Cover Sheet, which identifies the parties and the type of action;
> A Verification of Pleadings, which authenticate the claims;
> A Request for Submission, which routes the action;
> An Affidavit of Residency, which authenticates that the parties meet the residency requirement.
If the couple do not file jointly, the Plaintiff must file a verified Complaint for Divorce (with Children) or a verified Complaint for Divorce (No Children), depending upon the situation. This must be served upon the Defendant, either personally or by publication, when he or she cannot be located or will not accept service, or by mailing.
Depending upon the circumstances, the Plaintiff may also file a Joint Preliminary Injunction, which enjoins the parties from dissipating marital assets, harassing each other, and in the case of marriages with children, from removing these minors from Nevada.
If there are children, the Plaintiff may also file a Motion for Temporary Custody, Temporary Child Support and Appointment of a Casa
If the Defendant lives in Nevada, the Summons and Complaint must be served personally in one of four ways:
> Direct delivery to the defendant;
> Delivery at his or her residence with someone of suitable age and discretion who also resides there;
> Delivery to an authorized agent, which as the Defendantís attorney, who in turn signs an Acceptance of Service, which verifies that the delivery happened;
> Delivery by a sheriff/constable of the county where the Defendant is found and/or any citizen of the United States who is over 18 and not an interested party in the action.
In any event, after the divorce papers have been delivered, an Affidavit of Service must be completed, proving that the Defendent was properly served.
If the Defendant cannot be located, the Plaintiff may petition the court to permit Service by Publication, which means that the Summons and Complaint are published in a newspaper designated by the court and proof of publication is submitted to the court.
The Defendant then has 20 days to file one of these three forms, depending upon the situation:
> An Answer to Complaint for Divorce (no Counterclaim), in which the Defendant admits and/or denies allegations in the Complaint;
> An Answer to the Complaint for Divorce and Counterclaim (With Children), in which the Defendant admits and/or denies allegations in the Complaint and makes any counterclaims about the action; or if there are no children;
> An Answer to Complaint for Divorce and Counterclaim (With No Children), in which the Defendant admits and/or denies allegations in the Complaint and makes any counterclaims about the action;
An uncontested divorce may result if the Defendant agrees to all of the allegations made in the Complaint. If the Defendant does not file an Answer within the time period, the Plaintiff may file a Motion and Order for a Default, by which the court grants the Plaintiff everything he or she asks for.
An Answer to the Complaint in any one of these three forms must be filed in 20 days, either personally or by mail. When a Defendant files an Answer to the Complaint for Divorce and Counterclaim, he or she may be preparing for trial, which means a contested divorce.
If the Defendant fails to file an Answer within 20 days, the Plaintiff may win a default judgment against him or her. If the Plaintiff fails to answer a counterclaim within 20 days, the Defendant may win a default judgment against him or her.
When there is no Counterclaim, the Plaintiff or Defendant, depending upon the situation, may then file Request for Summary Disposition for Decree of Divorce and an Affidavit in Support for Summary Deposition. The action does not require a hearing.
If a counterclaim is filed, the action moves to mediation and a hearing. The Plaintiff then must file one these forms, depending upon his or her situation:
> A Decree of Divorce (with Children) or
> A Decree of Divorce (no Children).
In divorces where there are minor children, the spouses must also each submit proof of appearance of attendance at a TransParenting class for each parent listed on a Child Support and Welfare Party Identification Sheet.
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