The court in a Nevada divorce case is empowered to award alimony – also known as spousal support. Alimony payments in Nevada can be temporary or last for an indefinite period of time.
In determining whether a spouse is required to pay alimony, a Nevada divorce court considers a wide variety of factors including:
- Income inequality,
- The length of the marriage, and
- The age and health of the divorcing couple.
To help you better understand when a spouse is entitled to alimony in a Nevada divorce case, our Las Vegas family law attorneys discuss the following, below:
- 1. How does a court determine alimony in a Nevada divorce?
- 2. Is alimony always awarded as a monthly payment?
- 3. Can alimony ever be reduced in Nevada?
- 4. What if my spouse or I get remarried?
- 5. What if my spouse dies?
- 6. What if my spouse and I had a prenuptial agreement?
- 7. Temporary spousal support during Nevada divorce proceedings
- 8. Alimony for job training or education
- 9. Can I force a sale of my spouse's property to ensure payment of alimony?
- 10. Can my spouse levy my veteran's benefits for alimony?
- 11. Can I get spousal support in Nevada without a divorce?
- 12. What happens if I fail to make alimony payments in Nevada?
Section 125.150 of the Nevada Revised Statutes is Nevada's main alimony law. Under NRS 125.150 a court may award alimony to a wife or husband “as appears just and equitable.”
In deciding whether to award alimony, the court may consider the following factors:
- The financial condition of each spouse,
- The nature and value of the property owned by each spouse,
- The contribution of each spouse to the marriage's community property,
- The length of the marriage,
- The income, earning capacity, age and health of both spouses,
- The standard of living to which the spouses were accustomed during marriage,
- The career, before the marriage, of the spouse receiving alimony,
- Any specialized education or training or marketable skills obtained by either spouse during the marriage,
- The contribution of either spouse as a homemaker,
- Any property granted by the court to each spouse in the divorce,
- The physical and mental condition of each party as it relates their financial condition and ability to work, and
- Any other relevant factors.
In a Nevada divorce, alimony can be awarded as a one-time payment or in specified periodic payments.
Monthly payments are most common but a court has discretion to impose whatever payment schedule appears fair.
The Nevada court retains the power to modify alimony order. It can do so when due to “changed circumstances” the paying spouse is no longer able to pay the amount of alimony required by the order.
A change of 20% or more in the gross monthly income of a spouse paying alimony is automatically deemed to constitute changed circumstances justifying review of an alimony order.
Modification of a spousal support award only applies to payments that have not yet accrued. The court will not reduce past due alimony payments. However, the spouse receiving the alimony may “stipulate” that prior payments have been satisfied.
If the spouse receiving alimony remarries, spousal support payments normally cease.
An exception is if the original alimony award or a prenuptial agreement provides otherwise.
Alimony payments in Nevada normally cease upon the death of either the person paying or the person receiving the spousal support.
The exception is if other provision is made in a valid, enforceable premarital agreement. However, even then, payments cease once both spouses are deceased.
The court in a Nevada divorce will not order alimony if it goes against a valid, enforceable Nevada premarital agreement. The prenuptial agreement may be amended or revoked only by a written agreement signed by the parties.
During a divorce proceeding, a judge may require one spouse to pay for the temporary financial support of the other spouse for the duration of the divorce proceeding.
The temporary support order requires either spouse to pay money in order to:
- Provide for the temporary maintenance of the other spouse;
- Provide temporary child support for the couple's children; or
- To enable the other spouse to continue the divorce proceeding.
When determining whether to order temporary spousal support, the court will consider the relative financial situations of the spouses.
A Nevada court may award alimony to a spouse for the purpose of obtaining training or education relating to a job, career or profession. Such training may include a high school diploma, college courses or training in skills desirable for employment.
In addition to any other factors the court considers relevant in determining whether such alimony should be granted, the court shall consider:
- Whether the spouse who would pay such alimony has obtained greater job skills or education during the marriage; and
- Whether the spouse who would receive such alimony provided financial support while the other spouse obtained job skills or education.
While divorce actions are proceeding, the court has the right to prevent either party from disposing of any property.
After a divorce has become final, the judgment of the court may be enforced by any order the court deems necessary. Such order may include:
- Appointment of a receiver, or
- Sale of any personal or real property, including separate property..
Unless a valid, enforceable premarital agreement provided otherwise, a court will not levy, seize or attach any federal disability benefits awarded to a veteran for a service-connected disability.
Nevada law permits a spouse apply to a court for the permanent support and maintenance of himself or herself and their children without applying for divorce when:
- The spouse has any grounds for divorce, or
- The spouse has been deserted and the desertion has continued for 90 days.
While such an action is pending, the court may require either spouse to pay:
- Temporary spousal or child support, and/or
- The costs of maintaining the action for permanent support.
If a spouse fails to make spousal support payments in Nevada the other spouse can get a court order.
A court order allows the spouse receiving the alimony to enforce the judgment through seizure and possibly sale of the defaulting spouse's assets. The defaulting spouse will also be liable for the attorney's fee of his or her ex-spouse.
Defaulting on spousal support is also a crime under NRS 201.020, Nevada's law against failing to make alimony payments. However, criminal charges are usually not brought if the reason for the failure to pay alimony was the inability to find work.
Otherwise, if less than $10,000 is owed, failure to pay alimony in Nevada is a misdemeanor that can be punished by up to 6 months in jail.
Owing $10,000 or more carries in spousal support is a felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
Additionally, family court judges may take a conviction into account when determining child custody.
Getting a divorce in Las Vegas? Call us for help…
If you are considering a divorce in Las Vegas, we invite you to call us at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) to schedule a free consultation.
Whether you are required to pay alimony or entitled to receive alimony depends upon a complex variety of factors.
An experienced Las Vegas divorce attorney can help ensure that your alimony arrangement is fair and equitable and that your needs are adequately represented.
- NRS 125.150(1)(a).
- NRS 125.150 (9).
- NRS 125.150 (1)(a).
- NRS 125.150 (8).
- NRS 125.150 (12).
- NRS 125.270.
- NRS 125.150 (6).
- NRS 125.210 (5).
- NRS 123A.050 (1)(d).
- NRS 123A.070.
- NRS 125.040 (1).
- NRS 125.040 (2).
- NRS 125.150 (10).
- NRS 125.220.
- NRS 125.150 (5); NRS 125.240.
- NRS 125.210 (3).
- NRS 125.190.
- NRS 125.200.
- NRS 125.180.