1. Consult with your own divorce attorney
Even if you do not end up hiring an attorney, you are strongly advised to at least consult with a divorce attorney to discuss your rights and how to safeguard them.
The divorce process is emotionally depleting. You may be tempted to give in to your ex’s demands just to “get it over with.”
By retaining your own divorce lawyer, you have a zealous advocate who will fight for everything you are entitled to under Nevada law. In the meantime, you can concentrate on getting on with your life.
2. Fill out the proper forms
If you and your ex agree on every detail of your separation, then you can file a joint divorce petition – called an “uncontested divorce.” Specifically, you need to agree on:
- alimony (spousal support)
- child support
- legal custody and physical custody of minor children
- property division of marital assets
- separate property
To pursue an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse would need to fill out these forms:
- cover sheet
- affidavit of resident witness – filled out by someone who knows you lived in Nevada for at least six weeks (the residency requirement for divorcing in Nevada)
- joint petition for divorce (no children) or joint petition for divorce (with children)
- joint petition divorce decree (no children) or joint petition divorce decree (with children)
- confidential information sheet (no children) or confidential information sheet (with children)
If you and your spouse do not agree on every detail of your separation (which is the majority of divorce cases), then you would file your own divorce petition separately – called a “contested divorce.” The forms you alone need to fill out are:
- Family Court cover sheet
- complaint for divorce (no children) or complaint for divorce (with children)
In the forms you will need to check one of the grounds for divorce. The most common one is “incompatibility.” Another one is that there has been no cohabitation with your spouse for at least one year.1
3. File the forms
File the completed divorce forms with your local district court in Nevada. You can pay the filing fee with
- credit cards
- debit cards
- money orders
If you cannot afford the filing fee (which is $299 in Clark County), you can file an Application to Proceed in Forma Pauperis. If the court approves it, you can file without pay.
Alternatively, you can
- file in person at your local district courthouse during business hours or
- mail in the documents (ATTN: “Clerk of the Court”).
If you live in Clark County, the Family Court is located at 601 North Pecos Road, Las Vegas, NV 89101. The clerk’s office is open from 9AM to 4PM, Monday through Friday. The phone number is (702) 455-5200.
Note that if you are filing a joint petition, you need to deliver the decree to the judge. Ask the clerk in your particular court for instructions on how to do this.
4. Have your spouse served with the divorce papers
Once you file for a contested divorce, it is your responsibility to get a neutral third party adult to serve the summons and divorce complaint on your spouse (the defendant). You can always hire a private process service or the sheriff to accomplish the service.3
(This step is unnecessary if you and your spouse have an uncontested divorce.)
5. Follow court orders
If you and your spouse filed for an uncontested divorce, the judge may sign your decree of divorce and file it in as little as 10 days. Once you receive it in the mail, mail a copy to your ex-spouse. Then fill out a certificate of mailing and file it with the court.
If you are in a contested divorce, your spouse has 21 days after being served to respond and make counterclaims (or risk having a default judgment against them).4 Once they respond, you have 30 days to file a financial disclosure form.
Meanwhile, the judge will schedule a case management conference (usually within three months of your spouse filing an answer).5 If you and your spouse disagree on child custody or visitation, you will be required to try mediation.
In most cases, divorcing spouse eventually resolve their disputes through a negotiated settlement agreement. Otherwise, the matter will go to trial, where the judge will make the final determination and issue the final decree.
- NRS 125.010.
- How to eFile Documents in Odyssey File & Serve, Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada (January, 2022)
- Nevada Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 4.2.
- Nevada Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 12.
- Nevada Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 16.2. See, for example, Martin v. Martin (2022) 138 Nev. Adv. Rep. 78. See also Mueller v. Hinds (2022) No. 83412.