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In order to understand the steps to obtaining a divorce in Nevada, it is necessary to walk through the analysis step-by-step:
- File a complaint for divorce (alleges what the Plaintiff wants to receive from the divorce including but not limited to property and debt distribution, custody, child support, attorney fees, etc.)
- Have a Summons issued by the Clerk of the Court
- Have a Joint Preliminary Injunction issued by the Clerk of the Court (in a simplified explanation, a JPI stops either Party from depleting the community assets or incurring debts on behalf of the community)
- Have the Summons, JPI and Complaint served on the opposing Party by a non-Party, these documents must be personally served unless the opposing Party is willing to sign an acceptance of service. Generally once personal service is accomplished, all remaining service may be accomplished by regular, first class mail (everything requires service)
- After serving the opposing Party, file an Affidavit of Service with the Clerk (everything which is served must be filed with the Clerk)
- File an affidavit of residence witness (someone who can attest to the fact that the Plaintiff is a residence of Nevada and the person has seen the Plaintiff in the State of Nevada four (4) or more times per week since six (6) weeks before filing the Complaint)
- If the opposing Party does not agree to all terms, an Answer and Counterclaim will be filed (essentially this is a response to the Complaint and request for what the Defendant wants to receive in the divorce)
- The Plaintiff will then file a Reply to Defendant’s Counterclaim which admits or denies the requests made by the Defendant
- If children are involved and the Parties cannot resolve the issue of custody, the Court may set an evidentiary hearing to determine custody. If children are not an issue or the issue of custody has been resolved, the Court will set a trial date to resolve all financial matters.
- After the evidentiary hearing, an order will be prepared which outlines the ruling made by the Court. The order is signed by the Judge and filed with the Clerk. After filing, a Notice of Entry of Order is required. After trial, a Decree of Divorce will be prepared which outlines all the terms of the divorce. Like an order, a Decree of Divorce is signed by the Judge and filed withe the Clerk. After filing, a Notice of Entry of Decree of Divorce is required.
- At any point throughout the process a Motion may be filed which requests the Court make a specific order. The purpose of a Motion will vary based upon the specific type of case but may deal with issues related to children, child support, payment of community bills, or temporary support. When filing a Motion a hearing date is assigned and the Motion must be served on the opposing Party. As with a Complaint, the opposing Party may file an Opposition and Counter motion which requires a Reply.
- At any time, a settlement can be reached through stipulation and submitted to the Court through a Request for Summary Disposition. Hanratty Law Group is active in attempting to resolve cases. We believe settlement is advantageous because it reduces the time and cost associated with divorce. Hanratty Law Group actively encourages clients to participate in mediation as an alternative to an evidentiary hearing or trial. In the event settlement cannot be reached, Hanratty Law Group is ready, willing and able to aggressively litigate at the evidentiary hearing or trial.
Disputes involving children require each Party to complete a co-parenting class called COPE (information on the class is available in the section entitled Download Forms). We suggest completing COPE early in the procedure to help deal with co-parenting issues that may arise throughout the divorce. In addition, Parties who cannot reach a resolution on custody are required to complete mediation through a Court sponsored program referred to as FMC (Family Mediation Center). Before the Court will make a final order regarding property, custody must be resolved.