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.
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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.
Divorce & 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.
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