Las Vegas Divorce Attorneys
Getting a Divorce in Nevada – The Legal Process
To get a divorce in Las Vegas, the person filing (“Plaintiff”) must file a Complaint for Divorce with the Clerk of Court and pay the requisite filing fee. In the Complaint, the general allegations must be made (custody, asset/debt distribution, support obligations, etc.). After the Complaint is filed, the Clerk will sign a summons and then the Plaintiff must have these legal documents served on the Opposing Party (“Defendant”). If applicable, in lieu of personal service of these documents, an Acceptance of Service form can be signed and filed with the Court. Our Las Vegas divorce lawyers are experienced in successfully handling all types of divorce and family law cases. Call (702) 474-7007 and schedule a free consultation today!
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Once the Complaint is filed, the Defendant has twenty (20) calendar days to file an Answer and Counterclaim. In this document, the Defendant will admit or deny the allegations contained in the Complaint. Moreover, the filing of the Answer triggers additional deadlines, as set forth in the Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 16.2, that is only applicable to Family Law Cases.
At any time, either Party can file a Motion with the Court, which will set a hearing for temporary orders, usually involving spousal support, child support, request for attorney’s fees, etc. The responding Party may then file an Opposition and Countermotion so that the Court may consider all facts and apply the relevant law when making a decision on the date of the hearing.
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Divorce and Children
If there are children, all custody issues must be resolved before the Court can grant an absolute Decree of Divorce. The Court must send the Plaintiff and Defendant to the Family Mediation Center (“FMC”), at Family Court, to attempt to resolve custody and visitation issues. If this process is not successful, and there is no mutual agreement by the Parties, the Court is required to set the matter for an Evidentiary Hearing. At this hearing, evidence is taken, there is testimony of the Parties and any witnesses, and the Judge rules accordingly at the conclusion of the hearing.
The Parties are required to attend the COPE class and file a Certificate of Completion with the Court. This COPE class is offered by various organizations throughout the Las Vegas Valley and is mandatory for parents with children. This is a three (3) hour course that focuses on relationships of the Parties and remind the Parties that although the marriage may be over, the Parties still need to communicate and cooperate with one another for the sake of the children. This class should be taken early on in the case when the Parties need the information obtained from this class the most.
Once custody is settled and the only remaining issues are financial issues related to the divorce, the Court will then set the matter for a non-jury Trial. At the conclusion of Trial, the Judge will grant an absolute Decree of Divorce and restore the Parties to the status of single, unmarried persons.
Finalizing the Process
The good news is that your family law case can settle at any time. An agreement (“Stipulation and Order”) can be submitted to the appropriate Judicial Department and the Court can then sign off on the paperwork and your Family Law Case is resolved without the need for a formal hearing. There is always “peace of mind” settling a case sooner than later and our attorneys will do what is necessary to meet client goals and expectations.
There is no “waiting period” in Nevada for a Judge to sign a Decree of Divorce. In most states, there is a period that the case will sit idle before a Judge can legally sign the documents. In Clark County, Nevada, typically the Judge will sign the Decree within two (2) weeks of presentation of the documents and then the case is “over.”
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The importance of a professional and experienced family law lawyer can mean the difference in you getting a favorable resolution of your case.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce
My ex isn’t paying child support. Can I cut off all child visitation?
A: No. Visitation and child support have nothing to do with the other. If you are not getting child support, you can take your order (or to establish an order) to the District Attorney’s office at 1900 E. Flamingo here in Las Vegas. You could be held in contempt of court if you are willfully withholding contact with the other parent. It is best to consult an attorney at Roberts Stoffel Family Law Group to go over all options and see what needs to be done including filing the appropriate motion with the district court.
How long does it take to get divorced?
A: It depends on whether the other side is going to cooperate on all issues and sign a final Decree. If that is the case, then the matter can be handled start to finish in less than 30 days. If the matter will be contested, there will be a hearing or two before a Trial date is set. A trial date is typically given 4-6 months from the first or second hearing and therefore the process could take 10-12 months to get completed depending on other facts, length of trial needed, preparing the final Decree, etc.