The fastest way for a married couple to get divorced in Nevada is for both spouses to file a joint petition for divorce. Another term for this is an
- “uncontested divorce” or
- “two-signature divorce.”
If everything goes smoothly, a Nevada divorce may be granted in as little as 10 days. (Though it may take longer depending on the court’s schedule.)
Meanwhile, contested divorces can drag on for months or sometimes longer. You need to ask yourself whether the assets you are fighting over are really worth the time and expense of fighting over them.
Definition of Joint Petitions in Nevada
When you and your spouse agree on every aspect of your divorce, you can file a joint petition that spells out your terms regarding:
- division of community property
- division of liabilities and debts
- child custody and visitation
- child support
- pet custody
- responsibility for paying various expenses for children, including health insurance
- legal name changes (such as reclaiming a maiden name)
Family Court judges usually prefer uncontested divorces to contested ones. They generally believe that you are in a better position to make decisions about your money and property, and they would rather not get involved in your private affairs.
Joint petitions are common in cases where there was already a detailed premarital agreement that addressed all the above issues. One of the advantages of having a good prenup is that it increases the chances that you will be able to divorce via a joint petition; this is because all the terms were already agreed to in the prenup.
Residency Requirement to Get a Nevada Divorce
Nevada has a six (6) week residency requirement for divorce. So if you and your spouse live outside of Nevada and wish to file a joint petition in Nevada, you or your spouse will need to live in-state for six (6) weeks before proceeding with an uncontested divorce.
Note that it does not matter where in Nevada you reside. Living in Las Vegas, Reno, or any other location in Nevada suffices as long as the residency lasts at least six (6) weeks.
Also note that if you have minor children, Nevada law requires you to take a parenting class prior to filing for divorce.
Drawbacks of Quick Divorces in Nevada
Even if you are anxious to divorce and qualify for a joint petition, you are still encouraged to consult with separate attorneys first. An attorney can
- review your case and
- see if it is truly in your best interest to pursue a “quickie divorce.”
Sometimes, you may be legally entitled to far more money and property than what the other party would agree to. Sometimes, your estate is just too complicated to parse out in a joint petition.
Another consideration is that entering a joint petition is the equivalent of taking a plea in a criminal case–you lose the right to appeal. That is fine if the joint petition is truly in your best interest. Though if not, filing the joint petition could prevent you from getting what is legally yours.