Estimating Time to Divorce

Have you ever wondered why divorce proceedings take so much time?

On average for a family divorce case with traditional disputes over child custody, child support and financial assets, can take up to five months to one year to resolve in Clark County Nevada Family Courts. However, this is a relative term, depending on both parties willingness to work together coupled with the availability of the Court’s calendar. Clark County Nevada Family Court judges see roughly 400,000 new and repeat divorce and family-related cases a year, so as you can imagine the process will take some time.

We recognize and understand the urgency for resolution and finding answers clients during this time of upheaval to the family. Understanding this, there are some actions we can take immediately for example once retained, setting emergency motions in such instances of abuse, a parent not honoring visitation orders or fleeing with the children to another state. We will set a plan of action for each of our clients in contacting your attorney for updates and circumstance changes to your case.

A General Timeline to Settle Your Divorce/Custody Case:

0 – 3 Weeks:

Setting the initial motion hearing in Clark County Family Court will take about three weeks once your attorney has filed the initial divorce and custody motion. Most of the work will take place during the initial phases of your case before you even set foot into a courtroom. During this time, you and your attorney will set an action plan on how to proceed. You will assist your attorney in understanding your marital history, concerns and needs for the future. Before the initial motion hearing, attorneys and their clients will work to settle as many of the disputes outside of court through mediation and settlement conferences. If issues can be settled outside of court between attorneys, this saves you time and money once the hearing occurs.

3 Weeks – 6 Weeks:

Prior to the initial hearing your attorney will prepare you for court. Please see our blog on the Etiquette and Dress for Court. During the initial motion hearing, the judge and attorneys will decide what outstanding issues need to be settled. If the terms of the divorce cannot be settled amongst the parties and their attorneys in this initial hearing, the family court judge will set what is called an evidentiary hearing. Before the initial hearing is closed, the terms for temporary custody, financial requirements, or any mediation or expert evaluations of the parents or children will be ordered until the evidentiary hearing decides permanent conditions.

6 Weeks to 4 Months:

The court judge will set the evidentiary hearing about three months from the initial hearing. During this time prior to the hearing, additional motions and rebuttal motions, evidence, documents, and witness lists will be filed with the court. An evidentiary hearing can last several hours to several days, depending on the complexity of the disputes, witness testimony and evidence that is needed to make your case.

4 Months and Beyond:

The determination to co-parent, work together with your former spouse, and follow the court’s orders will set the tone for future litigation after the evidentiary hearing has set permanent conditions for you and your children. However, unforeseen issues or lifestyle changes may arise and you may need to return for a modification to current orders or parenting plans.

In Nevada, you will be assigned the same judge throughout the life of your case until the children are 18 years old. An attorney can only opt-out of a judge assignment before the first hearing by filing a motion for cause to do so. The court will only grant a new judge one time.

If you have been satisfied with your initial divorce attorney, it is beneficial to remain with the same attorney because they will have invested the most time and have the best historical knowledge of your case to continue fighting for you.

If you have any questions about the best way to settle your divorce case please contact us.