Here Are Some Answers To Your Most Frequently Asked Questions About Uncontested Divorce In Las Vegas
It is hard to know whether or not to file an uncontested divorce.
Even if you know your divorce will be uncontested, we still get lots of questions about the process and procedure.
Here are answers to some of your Frequently Asked Questions about Las Vegas Uncontested Divorces:
How long does will it take for my uncontested divorce to be finalized in Las Vegas?
If you do it right or have a lawyer do it right, it generally takes anywhere from 2 days to 4 weeks to receive a decree of divorce from the time the initial paperwork is filed.
Why 4 weeks you might ask?
Well most of the family court judges in Las Vegas will sign off on your paperwork in 2 to 10 days.
But . . . there are a few judges the really scrutinize the uncontested divorce filings and those judges can take anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks to process your paperwork.
Unfortunately, there is no way to pick the judge for your uncontested divorce so it is really just luck of the draw.
Does my spouse need to hire a lawyer if we are filing an uncontested divorce?
Cant we just use one attorney?
While it is not required that your spouse have a lawyer, we usually recommend that both parties have lawyers even when filing for an uncontested divorce.
As lawyers, our goal is to the decree is clear and ensure there are no hidden items so that both parties stay out of court after the divorce is final. Think of it this way - the lawyers are there to make sure the agreements are fair for both sides and to make sure all of it i's are dotted and t's are crossed.
Going back to court to litigate an undisclosed asset or renegotiate child support can be time consuming and very expensive. When both sides have lawyers, in most cases, these issues are resolved in the initial paperwork avoiding the need to return to Court.
And, most lawyers handling uncontested divorces will only represent one spouse, not both, as this could be a conflict of interest.
So again, while it is not required that both spouses have their own lawyers, we do recommend it.
What happens if I signed a joint petition, but change my mind about the divorce terms?
If you have signed a joint petition but change your mind and your decree has not been signed and filed by the judge, you can file a Notice to Withdraw Signature with the family court. At this point, you and your spouse will be in contested divorce litigation. You will probably also need to file a motion to explain to the Court why you no longer agree with the terms of the joint petition and to ask for alternative relief.
For example, if you signed a joint petition saying no alimony, but you change your mind and say you now want alimony, you will need to withdraw your signature from the joint petition by filing a notice with the Court. You should then file a motion explaining to the judge what has changed or why agreeing to no alimony in the first place was not fair. Again this must be done before your divorce decree is final.
If your divorce decree has already been finalized, signed by the judge and filed into your case, you will need to file a motion to modify the decree or have it set aside. Making changes to an already finalized decree can be difficult and there are strict time frames to make changes, so we strongly suggest you consult with an attorney.
Is there any reason the judge will not grant my uncontested divorce?
There are many reasons a judge may not sign off on an uncontested divorce. First, if your judge thinks you are not a Nevada resident, the judge can refuse the divorce.
For example, we had a case where the divorce was uncontested, but the judge didn't believe our client was a Nevada resident. The judge denied the divorce and asked our client to refile the divorce after she had lived in Las Vegas for more than six weeks. The second time around, our client obtained a job in Las Vegas and had a Nevada driver's license when she filed. The judge immediately granted her divorce.
Second, if the judge feels your paperwork is incomplete, the judge may ask for more clarification or ask for additional terms to be added to your paperwork.
For example, if you file a decree of divorce that says your spouse will get the marital residence but you don't list the address or your spouse gets the car but you don't identify the car, the judge may return the decree and ask you to clarify these assets with more details like an address or VIN number. We also see decrees returned because child support is not properly calculated. If you are divorcing with children, the law requires child support calculations be included in your divorce decree.
Finally, the judge may not agree with certain provisions of your divorce and may reject your decree.
For example, if you divorce with children and you say the you are getting sole legal and sole physical custody of your children, chances are the judge will not sign off on the decree of divorce without you going into court and explaining why you are getting sole custody.
This is why we strongly suggest you hire an attorney for your uncontested divorce.