A Summary of Nevada Divorce Laws

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Grounds for Divorce Under Nevada Divorce Laws

Divorce Laws Specifically for the State of Nevada

The State of Nevada has two grounds for divorce. The first is the no-fault grounds. A couple may file for divorce under the grounds of (1) incompatibility or (2) living separate and apart for one year without cohabitation.

The other grounds for divorce is the fault ground; a divorce may be granted on the grounds of insanity of one spouse which existed for at least two years prior to filing for divorce.  

Residency Requirements

If your marriage did not work out, you may file for divorce in Nevada only if you and/or your spouse has been a resident of the state for at least six weeks prior to the filing of the action, or the cause of the divorce must have arose in the county in Nevada where the parties actually lived.

You may file for divorce in any county where: 

  • The cause for divorce arose
  • The defendant resides or may be found
  • The plaintiff resides
  • Both spouses last cohabited

Name of Court and Title of Action/Parties

The one who files for divorce is called the Plaintiff and the other spouse is the Defendant. The divorce must be filed in the District Court.  The action initiating the divorce is called a Complaint for Divorce, while the title of the action granting the divorce is called the Decree of Divorce.

Legal Separation

If you’re not ready or able to go through with the final step of a divorce, Nevada divorce laws provide you with another option. You may file for legal separation from your spouse. While a legal separation does not terminate the marriage, you must still meet the same grounds as for divorce. Alternatively, if one spouse has deserted the other for a period of ninety days, the deserted spouse may file an action for separate maintenance and support for himself and any children of the marriage.  

Simplified Divorce Procedure

To make things easier for yourself, you and your spouse may file jointly as long as you meet the following requirements:

  • At least one spouse meets the jurisdictional requirements of Nevada
  • You and your spouse have lived separate and apart for one year without cohabitation or you are incompatible
  • You have no minor children and the wife is not pregnant; or you are able to come to an agreement covering all issues of custody and support
  • There is no community or joint property/debts of the marriage, or you are able to come to an agreement which sets forth the terms of the division of any community property/debts
  • Both spouses waive any rights to alimony, or have executed an agreement which sets forth the terms of any such alimony
  • Both spouses waive their rights to written notice of entry of the Decree of Divorce, to appeal, to request Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, and to move for a new trial; and
  • Both spouses wish to get divorced


Alimony, or spousal support, is determined on a case-by-case basis and not all cases require alimony to be paid. In granting a divorce, the courts in Nevada may award alimony to either party in lump sum or in periodic payments, as the court deems equitable and just. Factors the court will consider in granting alimony include:

  • Whether the paying spouse has obtained greater job skills or education during the marriage and
  • Whether the receiving spouse provided financial support to the paying spouse while the paying spouse obtained job skills or education.

Alimony payments shall cease when one spouse dies or if the receiving spouse gets remarried.

Distribution of Property

Nevada divorce laws define the state as a community property state. This means that the court will divide all property of the marriage equally (50-50) between the spouses, unless the court finds a compelling reason to not do so. If you are able to come to an agreement on the division of property, the court will not be required to step in and make the decision for you.

Child Custody

If your marriage involves minor children, the Nevada courts will do everything possible to help minimize the emotional trauma the children may be experiencing during the divorce. As previously mentioned, you have the option of coming to an agreement with your spouse regarding the matters of custody and support for your children.

If you are unable to come to an agreement regarding these issue, the court will establish the custody order at its discretion. In determining the custody of a child of the marriage, the best interests of the child is the court’s sole consideration. In most cases, joint custody is usually best for the children. When making a decision regarding child custody, the court will consider several factors including:

  • The wishes of the child
  • The wishes of the parents
  • Whether either parent has engaged in acts of domestic violence against the child, other parent, or any other person residing with the child

The court shall not give preference to either parent based on the sex of the parents or children. That’s good news for you fathers, because many places do consider the mother to be the key player in raising a child. Of course, we all know that is not true and a good parent is a good parent regardless.

Child Support

Child support guidelines, which are presumed to be the correct amount of child support due unless there is a showing that the needs of the child would not be met by the application of the guidelines. In such cases the court shall set forth the reasons for deviating from the guidelines and include in its ruling the amount that would have been awarded under the guidelines. The court shall consider the following factors when adjusting the amount of support:

  • The cost of health insurance (every support order must include provisions for health insurance of the child)
  • The cost of child care
  • Special educational needs of the child
  • The age of the child
  • The responsibility of the parents for the support of others
  • The value of services contributed by either parent
  • Any public assistance paid to support the child
  • Any reasonable expense relating to the mother’s pregnancy
  • The cost of transportation relating to visitation
  • The amount of time the child spends with each parent
  • Necessary expenses for the child’s benefit
  • The relative income of each parent

Unless determined otherwise by the court, both parents shall have equal rights to access any records and other information relating to the child regardless of custody arrangements.

Name Change

Upon the granting of the divorce, the wife may restore her name to any name previously used before the marriage.


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