Don’t Get Lost in the Maze of Divorce Court

Divorce overview

Step 1: What Type of Divorce Will You Have?

Divorce is the legal process of ending your marriage, dividing your property and debt, and deciding when your children will spend time with you. This can be very difficult – not only are emotional ties being severed, but property and children can be the topics of bitter disagreement. The first thing you will want to know is whether you agree with the other party or not on all issues.

There are two types of divorce: Uncontested and contested. Uncontested is when the parties agree on every single issue. This is a relatively quick, easy, and inexpensive process. Contested divorce is when the parties do not agree and we have to argue to the court to get what you want.

Step 2: If You Agree on All Issues

We will meet with you and draft the Joint Petition and associated documents and attend any necessary hearings (sometimes this is not necessary).

Step 3: If You Do Not Agree on All Issues for the Divorce

We will meet with you and draft the initial pleadings for a contested divorce. The Plaintiff typically files a Divorce Complaint to start the process (see sample below) and a Motion for Temporary Orders to obtain rulings from the court such as where the children will live and how much child support will be. The defendant then has 20 days to answer the Complaint (see sample below) and 10 days to oppose the Motion. Generally within 30 days, a hearing will be held and the Judge will make temporary decisions.

Child custody overview

Step 4: If The Other Side Will Not Settle the Divorce

Hopefully the other spouse will be made to see the merits of your case and you will be able to settle getting what you want. If they insist on taking you to trial then the following may occur:

Discovery: The process by which the gathering or “discovering” of evidence occurs is called “discovery.” This is used to prepare for trial and also has the powerful effect of motivating people to settle their case. During this process the lawyer must gather witnesses and exhibits, and develop questions and write opening and closing statements. During this phase, your lawyer will send questions to the other side called “interrogatories,” and demand documents “request for production of documents.” Your lawyer may also send Request for Admissions and subpoena both people and records.

Trial: A family court trial is much like what people see on television courtroom dramas, except there is no jury. There are opening statements, witnesses, exhibits, cross examination, objections, and closing statements.

Divorce overview

Why is an Experienced Divorce Lawyer Important to My Case?

Family law is full of traps and pitfalls for the unwary. This is especially true because Family Court has its unique way of processing cases. In addition, each Judge has their own way of doing things. For example, some Judges will refuse to allow one side to speak in a motion hearing if no opposition was filed while others will allow this. Some Judges allow oral motions while others do not. In addition, Nevada divorce law is very complicated and is mainly comprised of the Nevada Revised Statutes, hundreds of cases, Nevada Rules of Appellate Procedure, Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure, and, in Las Vegas, the Eighth District Court Rules court.

Can’t I Just Use One of Those “Paralegal” Services for Divorce?

Nevada has no certification or licensing for “paralegals.” Anyone can call themselves a “paralegal.” “Paralegals” cannot give legal advice and cannot represent anyone in court. Paralegals who operate under the supervision of an attorney are very valuable but they cannot give legal advice.

What many “independent paralegals” do is provide standard forms that are used for many different people no matter their circumstances. This would be analogous to a hospital clerk operating on a patient. If money is the reason you are considering using a “paralegal,” then be aware that we offer a low price guarantee and payment plans.

How Do I Get a Free Divorce Consultation?

Call our office at 702-476-9629 to set up your free consultation.


An Unsolicited Comment from a Client

“My case was very complex and The lawyer was very helpful. The staff was so kind to me even though I was a little edgy because i was stressed about my case. they calmed me down and always stay professional so thanks for that and thanks for taking my case when it was so complex. I’ve never been happier than I am now.” Kristen M. – 10/9/2014.


Divorce Sample Documents (PDFs)

Divorce Complaint with Children Sample

Divorce Answer Sample


Other Resources

Divorce article

Divorce Overview

Read Nevada Litigation Group’s overview of divorce to learn about the differences between contested and uncontested divorce, the divorce process, and the laws regarding your case.
Read the Divorce Overview

Divorce process article

The Divorce Process

Read Nevada Litigation Group’s outline of the Nevada divorce process. We go over a divorce from start to finish to help you understand the entire process, and what your case may be like.
Read about the Divorce Process

Affordable divorce article

Affordable Divorce

Nevada Litigation Group works hard to make divorce affordable, with payment plans and low down payments. We will work with you to get your case started at a reasonable price.
Read about Affordable Divorce



Divorce is comprised of many sub-issues such as child custody, child support, property division, debt division, and alimony. These are all addressed elsewhere on our website. In this short explanation, we will look at the legal areas common to all divorce i.e., subject matter jurisdiction, venue, personal jurisdiction. A quick legal analysis of these three areas will help determine if you can get divorced in Nevada and where.

Subject Matter Jurisdiction

In order to hear a case a Court must have what is called “Subject Matter Jurisdiction” or “SMJ.” This is just what it sounds like. A Court must have the jurisdiction over the subject matter, in this case, divorce. SMJ is reflected in NRS 125.010 and states that the Courts of Nevada have jurisdiction for divorce if any of these three causes exist:

1. Insanity existing for two years prior to commencement of the action.

2. Separation for one year or longer without cohabitation.

3. Incompatibility.

In practice, almost all divorces are based on incompatibility. Nevada is a “no fault” state and one does not need a reason beyond “incompatibility.”


This basically means where the case will be heard. Under NRS 125.020(1), a district court for a county has jurisdiction over a case if the complaint is brought in the county:

1. In which the cause of action accrued;

2. Where the defendant resides or can be found;

3. Where the plaintiff resides;

4. Where the parties last cohabited; or

5. Where the plaintiff has resided for at least six weeks prior to the filing of the complaint.

In practice, the case is heard in the County where the Plaintiff lives.

Personal Jurisdiction

The Court must have authority over a personal or have “personal jurisdiction” in order to make orders for that person. NRS 10.155 reflects in part: “Unless otherwise provided by specific statute, the legal residence of a person with reference to the person’s right of naturalization, right to maintain or defend any suit at law or in equity, or any other right dependent on residence, is that place where the person has been physically present within the State or county, as the case may be, during all of the period for which residence is claimed by the person.”

In practice, this generally means the person has to “really” live in Nevada. Based on Nevada’s liberal history regarding divorces, some think that they can come from adjoining states and/or countries, falsely claim they live in Nevada, and obtain a divorce. This is not lawful.

If you would like a free legal analysis

Call our office at 702-476-9629 to set up your free consultation.

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