Although a divorce can take place in many ways in Nevada, there are certain steps and procedures common to most all filings. To ensure that you don’t make a costly mistake along the way, we encourage you to prepare for the divorce process by having a general understanding of how to file.
Here’s some basic information for you to consider as you begin the process.
- Gathering Your Important Information
- Choosing Which Kind of Divorce is Right For You
- Necessary Forms to Complete
- Filing Your Divorce Papers in Nevada
- Serving Your Spouse with Divorce Papers
- Frequently Asked Questions
Important information you need to gather
There are many complicated issues in divorce that you will need to be prepared for. Getting organized early on and having the documents you need at your fingertips will make the entire process a little bit less daunting.
It will also save you time and money while helping to expedite the divorce process.
For a better understanding of what documents you’ll need, we’ve put together this Divorce Information Checklist. It’s a great resource as you begin the task of pulling together your financial documentation.
What divorce option is right for you?
Deciding on what divorce process to use (litigation, mediation, collaborative divorce, etc.) provides you with the framework to begin moving forward. That’s an important decision and not one that should be taken lightly.
It will drive how amicable or contentious your divorce will be and set the tone for your future co-parenting relationship if you have kids. With so much at stake, it’s imperative that you understand all of your options and how they will play upon your individual situation.
To learn more about your options and the pros and cons, be sure to check out our article on The Types of Divorce.
Determine What Forms You Will Need to Complete
If you and your spouse decide to file for divorce together, you can file a Joint Petition. Otherwise, if you are the one who is filing, you will be known as the Petitioner and your spouse will be known as the Defendant. Every divorce is different, but at a minimum, you will need to file the following forms:
You can double-check with an attorney or with the court where you intend to file to make sure you have completed all the forms you will need.
Filing Your Divorce Papers in Nevada
After you complete your paperwork, you must file them in person with the district court in your county. For locations of Nevada courts, go here.
When you file, you’ll need to pay a fee of $326 for a Joint Petition and $364 for a Complaint.
Serving Your Spouse with a Divorce Petition in Nevada
After you file your forms with the court, it is your responsibility to make sure your spouse receives a copy of the paperwork.
Documents must be served within 120 days of filing or your case will be dismissed and you will need to start over.
Papers must be served by a “disinterested person.” This means someone who is at least 18 years old and not a party in the divorce. This means family members and boyfriends or girlfriends cannot serve paperwork.
You can ask a neutral person or pay and fee and have a sheriff or a private process server complete proof of service by hand delivering the documents. A spouse can be served at home, at work or anywhere else they can be found.
If you have made several attempts to complete proof of service without avail, then you can file an Affidavit of Due Diligence and request permission to serve your spouse by publishing the summons in a local newspaper and by mailing a copy of the summons to the spouse’s last known address. To do so, you will need to complete an Order to Serve by Publication.
Once approved by the judge, you will need to contact a local newspaper and run a summons for four consecutive weeks. Upon completion, you will then file an Affidavit of Publication with the court.
Frequently Asked Questions About Filing for Divorce in Nevada
How much does it cost to file for a divorce in Nevada?
The filing fee to start the dissolution of marriage process in Nevada is $326 for a Joint Petition and $364 for a Complaint.
Fees may change from time to time, so you might want to check with your county courthouse to confirm what the exact costs are.
Read: Guide to Divorce Financial Planning.
Can divorce fees be waived in Nevada?
In some cases, yes.
If you can’t afford to pay fees associated with filing for a divorce in Nevada, it may be possible to have it waived through a request to the court.
Can I file for a divorce online in Nevada?
Yes! As a matter of fact, filing for divorce online can be a great way to save time and money.
Online divorce isn’t right for everyone. It doesn’t work if you have a contested divorce (you can’t reach agreements with your spouse and need a judge to make decisions).
If you have a dispute over child custody or particularly complicated finances, you should consult with a lawyer. There’s simply too much on the line to cut corners.
But if you have an amicable divorce, you might be able to do it yourself.
I won’t sugarcoat it. The legal system is confusing. There’s a ton of paperwork and mistakes can be costly.
Fortunately, there are tools that can help. That’s where 3StepDivorce comes in. 3StepDivorce makes it easy to complete all your divorce papers and gives you clear step-by-step filing instructions. All you need to do is answer a series of questions, which shouldn’t take more than an hour.
Not all online divorce companies are created equal. In fact, most fail to deliver on their promises. Here’s how 3StepDivorce stands out:
- A+ rating with the BBB
- 100% court approval guarantee or your money back
- Established in 1997 with over 750,000 customers
- Private and secure
- $299 flat-fee with no hidden charges
- Flexible monthly payment options (get started for as little as $84)
- Unlimited live support by phone and email
- Print your completed forms immediately or have them mailed to you at no additional cost
- Excellent customer reviews (4.6 stars on Trustpilot)
One of the things that really stands out to me is that only 4% of all reviews are 1- or 2-stars. In other words, virtually everyone has a good experience with 3StepDivorce.
Read our full 3StepDivorce review, or check out 3 Step Divorce to get started for as little as $84 >>
What are the residency requirements to file for a divorce in Nevada?
You must live in Nevada for a minimum of six weeks before you’re eligible to file for a divorce. If a Complaint by one party is filed, then the plaintiff must be a resident. If a Joint Petition is filed, then only one of the spouses must be a Nevada resident.
How long does it take to get a divorce in Nevada?
If both parties sign the documents in a Joint Petition, it takes about 1-3 weeks for a divorce to be granted, depending on a review of the petition and the backlog in the county court where you file. When a Complaint is filed by only one party, it takes 6-8 weeks when the Defendant can be served in person, and approximately 16-18 weeks when the Defendant must be served by Publication.
In contested divorces, especially those where there are several assets or debts to negotiate, or child custody and support issues are difficult to resolve, it could mean a divorce might take one to two years or more.
Can I file for divorce in Nevada without using a lawyer?
Yes, you can file for divorce on your own through a Complaint, or with your spouse by filing a Joint Petition. You are not required to use an attorney.
That said, if your divorce has any degree of complexity attached to it, or you and your spouse cannot agree on all the issues, your best bet is to protect your interests by consulting with an experienced family law attorney.
Are there any special rules regarding divorce in Nevada if I am pregnant?
You can still file for divorce in Nevada if you are pregnant, but the court will want to make sure paternity, support and custody issues are resolved prior to signing a final decree
When paternity is in doubt, the father will need to take a paternity test and petition a judge to declare him the baby’s father. The mother and father may also submit a joint stipulation to the court indicating the man is the baby’s father.
How is my divorce affected if I am a member of the military in Nevada?
To file for divorce in Nevada, you or your spouse must reside in or be stationed in Nevada
As part of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, a member of the military may be allowed to postpone a divorce while they are overseas or otherwise not able to adequately respond to the petition due to military service commitments. It prevents active duty military members from being held in default for failing to respond to a divorce action.
Child support and alimony payments may not exceed 60% of a servicemember’s pay and allowances. Otherwise, guidelines and forms used in civilian divorces are also used in military divorces.
Civilian community property and division of asset laws are followed. However, the federal government has enacted the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA) that governs how military retirement benefits are calculated and divided upon divorce.
The federal laws will not divide and distribute any of the military members retirement to the spouse unless they have been married 10 years or longer while the member has been active duty military.
Temporary plans are executed during military absences. As such, these absences require military parents to prepare a temporary plan for custody and visitation arrangements while they are gone. After the absence is over, the temporary plan ends and the parties return to the parenting plan that was in place before the military absence.
Looking for more great tips to help you get through divorce in Nevada? Here are a couple of our favorite guides: