Joint petitions in Nevada are the quickest way that a couple can pursue an uncontested Nevada divorce.
As long as the two people agree on every detail of their separation, they may be able to get divorced in as early as ten (10) days from filing the petition. And the judge will typically sign off on it without requiring a hearing.
Joint petitions are especially suited for couples without children or Nevada community property.
In this article, our Las Vegas family law attorneys discuss joint petitions in Nevada divorce cases.
A joint petition is when a separating couple that agrees on all the terms of their split file the same divorce paperwork (“petition”). Joint petitions also go by the names “uncontested divorce,” “joint divorce,” “two-signature divorce”, and “collaborative divorce.”
Because everything is agreed upon ahead of time, joint petitions are the quickest, easiest, and cheapest options for couples in an uncontested divorce. Divorces drag out much longer whenever a judge is required to make decisions about issues the separating couple cannot agree upon.
Two-signature divorces may be appropriate if the separating couple agrees on all of the following terms:
- division of assets (including pets custody in Nevada);
- division of debts;
- Nevada child support payments;
- child custody in Nevada (legal and physical) and Nevada child visitation schedules;
- Nevada alimony payments and how long spousal support will last;
- health insurance for children; and
- name changes in Nevada (such as reclaiming a maiden name)
In most cases, judges will sign off on an uncontested divorce without requiring a court hearing. People who choose to divorce through joint petition can often be divorced within 10 to 15 days. Though sometimes it may take up to two months.1
Advantages of uncontested divorces are that they are:
- cheap – just the cost of court filing, which varies by jurisdiction;
- easy – there is minimal paperwork to complete;
- autonomous – the divorcing parties and not judges call all the shots; and
- quick – divorces can be completed in as little as 10 days (see our article, How fast can I get a divorce in Nevada?
Disadvantages of uncontested divorces are the following:
- the parties give up their right to file an appeal;
- the parties give up their right to have a judge make findings (such as what is a fair division of assets); and
- if the parties have complicated estates, it may be difficult to articulate all the terms of divorce in a fill-in-the-blank joint petition
Anyone considering divorce is advised to consult with an attorney to help him/her decide whether an uncontested divorce is in his/her best interest. It is always recommended that divorcing couples hire an attorney to compose or at least review their paperwork. However, an attorney is not necessary to achieve a joint divorce.2
There are three main steps to filing a two-signature divorce petition:
- Fill out the paperwork. It varies by court, but it typically includes the petition itself as well as:
- an affidavit of resident witness
- a decree of divorce
- a cover sheet
- a confidential information sheet
- a certificate for COPE (“Seminar for Separating Parents) if the couple has minor children
- File the paperwork with the court. The procedure varies by court, but it can typically be done online, through the mail, or in person. There is also a filing fee that varies by court. In Clark County, the fee is $299.
- Submit the decree to the judge after the clerk files the petition. The divorce will be final once this decree gets filed with the court.
Several Nevada counties provide online detailed step-by-step instructions and court forms for filing joint petitions:
Remember that it is always advised that people consult with an attorney before filing any paperwork.3
Separating couples who wish to avoid a contested divorce but cannot agree on every detail might consider trying mediation. Experienced mediators have the skills to help parties iron out their differences and help them see the big picture.
A mediation session can be costly but is still usually cheaper than a drawn-out contested divorce. And mediation still affords the parties more control as opposed to a divorce trial, where the judge’s decision is final.
Call a Nevada family law attorney…
Are you considering filing for divorce in Nevada? We understand how taxing it can be emotionally and financially. We are here to help you through this transition as painlessly as possible.
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- NRS 125.182; NRS 125.183.
- Vaile v. Eighth Judicial Dist. Court, 118 Nev. 262, 270, 44 P.3d 506, 512 (2002)(“The district court may grant a divorce upon affidavit and without a hearing when the defendant has defaulted or when the parties have filed a joint petition for divorce that complies with the summary proceedings for divorce set forth at NRS 125.181 to NRS 125.184. In no other circumstances do the domestic relations statutes permit the court to enter a decree of without a hearing.”); Rebecca Clifford-Cruz, Delen Goldberg, “Why Sin City is the wedding mecca and divorce capital of the country“, Las Vegas Review-Journal (June 15, 2015)(“Joint petitions are the easier method, as they are used when both spouses agree on all issues, including custody of children, child support, alimony and how to divide property and debts. Both spouses must sign the joint petition, then file it in Family Court. Judges typically sign the decree without a hearing because nothing is disputed.”)
- Filing for Divorce Together, Family Law Help Center, Legal Aid of Southern Nevada.