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Divorce laws vary from state to state, with different statutes governing alimony, division of property, and other matters dealt with in family court. Knowing the quirks of your state’s divorce laws can help you work with your legal team to obtain a satisfactory outcome in divorce court. Before consulting a divorce attorney in Las Vegas or another Nevada city, take the time to learn a few of Nevada’s laws regarding the dissolution of a marriage.

If you’re considering divorce or have been served with papers, here are five aspects of Nevada divorce law you’ll want to keep in mind while you prepare to take action.

  • Residency – Nevada has pretty lenient laws regarding residency when it comes to divorce. To file for divorce in Nevada, all a person must do is reside in the state for at least six weeks before filing. A person desiring a divorce can file where he or she lives, in the county of Nevada where the cause of the divorce occurred, or in a county where the spouses last cohabited.
  • Property division – Nevada is a community property state. This means that if the divorcing spouses can’t agree to a division of property, the court will split all marital assets and liabilities equally, with a few exceptions.
  • Alimony – With regard to alimony, Nevada law provides judges with the discretion to award alimony. If alimony is awarded, judges will analyze spouses’ need and ability to pay to set an amount. Permanent lifetime alimony is extremely rare, but, in some cases, spouses with greater incomes may have to pay former spouses alimony for a set period of time.
  • Name change – Divorcing spouses have the option of changing their last name at the time of a divorce. This is commonly used by females to return to using their maiden name, but among some couples who took on a hyphenated name at the time of their marriage, males may want to revert to their original name after a divorce.
  • Child support – In Nevada, courts use the income shares method to set child support. This means that the amount of child support is based on the idea that the child should get the same proportion of parental income that the child would have received if his or her parents stayed together.

Men and women considering divorce should approach it just as they would any other major life decision—buying a house, picking a college degree program, or choosing a school for their child—by studying the situation so they can make informed decisions. By becoming more knowledgeable about Nevada’s divorce laws, spouses seeking a divorce will be better able to describe their circumstances to their divorce attorney, and work with their attorney to obtain a fair and equitable outcome in court.

The McFarling Law Group is a Las Vegas firm specializing in contested divorce and child custody cases. Emily McFarling is an experienced Las Vegas family law attorney who is a Board Certified Family Law Specialist and a recipient of the Pre-eminent AV Rating. To learn more, call 702 766 6671.