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Nevada Divorce Frequently Asked Questions

This list of frequently asked questions and answers on issues of separation and divorce has been developed by Divorce Headquarters in conjunction with our professional members in response to the numerous requests for information we have received from our site visitors.

The answers to the questions provided in this section are general in nature and are not intended to create an attorney-client relationship or to replace specific legal advice.

Alimony / Spousal Support

The authors and creators and any and all persons or entities involved in any way in preparation of the website known as Divorce Headquarters and/or divorcehq.com disclaim all responsibility for the legal effects or consequences of the interpretation of the information provided. Individuals intending to use divorcehq.com as an information resource should seek advice from family law professionals and experts familiar with the laws of their state. This website is not intended to provide legal advice and should not be relied on for that purpose.


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Return I am supposed to foster the relationship between the children and my spouse. How can I do this when I can't stand my spouse?
If there are no Protective Orders or other limits on contact, let your spouse know about your child's school activities, special events and other aspects of your child's life. Your children feel proud when parents attend their activities. If you can't have a civil telephone conversation, use e-mail. Don't speak negatively about your spouse in front of the children. Don't ask the children to relay messages and don't make the children feel as if they need to take sides. Make sure your children know it is acceptable to love your spouse as well.

This answer supplied by: Jennifer V. Abrams, Esq. of The Abrams Law Firm , LLC     (702)222-4021  

Return I want to divorce my spouse, but I am intimidated by his/her reaction when I bring the subject up. What should I do?
Before, during, and at times, after a divorce, spouses often say things that are meant to hurt, annoy, scare, intimidate, or upset the other spouse. Some examples include:
  • I'll make sure you end up penniless.
  • I'll get the kids and you'll never see them again.
  • I've got the best lawyer in town and he/she is going to destroy your lawyer.
  • I am going to drag this case out forever.
  • I am ready to give you a fair settlement but if you hire a lawyer, I will play hardball and you will end up with much less.
  • If you try to divorce me, I'll file bankruptcy.
  • I am going to tell the children that you are responsible for this mess.
  • If you don't settle on my terms, I'll .......
  • I'll tell the judge that you .....
Divorce is a unique experience for those that are going through it. Because of this, many people do not recognize the common tendencies of bullying spouses. There is no point in adding to, or refuting each of the above because they all fall into the same category. It is critical that you understand that your spouse is now on the opposite team.

If you listen to, or even worse, actually believe what they are telling you, you will have joined your opponent. We often suggest counseling for our clients that would like assistance in recognizing and dealing with bullying spouses.

An experienced Las Vegas divorce attorney is not intimidated by this behavior. The behavior is viewed as a sign of a person's immaturity, inability to control emotions, and often times, delusional expectations of what is going to happen in the divorce proceedings.

We face the top Las Vegas divorce attorneys as opponents on a regular basis. We fear no one. Your attitude should be the same.

Regardless of gender, there is nothing more important than the safety of our clients. If any form of Domestic Violence has been committed against you, Las Vegas divorce attorney, Jennifer V. Abrams can immediately file for a Temporary Protective Order (TPO). If the TPO is granted, a court hearing will be scheduled to determine if the Temporary Order should be extended into a permanent one.

This answer supplied by: Jennifer V. Abrams, Esq. of The Abrams Law Firm , LLC     (702)222-4021  

Return My children are my biggest concern. How can I protect them during this process?
As a divorced mother of two children, I fully understand your concern. There are many protections available based on your unique situation, however there is one overriding rule: Do not, under any circumstances, try to get your children to take sides. Any parent that tries to alienate the other in the eyes of their children should not be surprised when it produces the opposite effect. Assure your children that both you and your spouse love them and will take care of them.

This answer supplied by: Jennifer V. Abrams, Esq. of The Abrams Law Firm , LLC     (702)222-4021  

Return My spouse and I have discussed our divorce and agree on the terms. Can one divorce attorney represent both of us?
Legally, yes. This is often done in Joint Petition divorces. However, most experienced Las Vegas divorce attorneys will not represent both spouses in a divorce action. There are several reasons for this. Most importantly, an attorney owes a duty of loyalty to each and every client. The divorce attorney who represents both parties simultaneously would be prohibited from giving either party beneficial legal advice, if such advice would be in conflict with one spouse's interests. This is because both spouses are clients, and therefore, are entitled to equal representation.

This conflict paralyzes an attorney's ability to guide you and give you beneficial legal advice. Most importantly, in the event one spouse backs out of the agreement or a conflict arises, (which is common in divorce cases) the divorce attorney representing both parties is prohibited from representing either party against the other. Any legal fees would be wasted and both parties would then have to select, and pay, two new divorce lawyers.

It is also possible, under certain circumstances, that one spouse can have the Decree of Divorce overturned or "set aside" at a later date, due to a lack of independent legal counsel when they entered into the agreement.

This answer supplied by: Jennifer V. Abrams, Esq. of The Abrams Law Firm , LLC     (702)222-4021  

Return My spouse controls all the money. How can I afford to hire a divorce attorney?
Each person going through a divorce in Nevada has the right to an attorney. You have as much right to the marital assets as your spouse does, regardless of who has historically controlled the money during the marriage.

This answer supplied by: Jennifer V. Abrams, Esq. of The Abrams Law Firm , LLC     (702)222-4021  

Return What is the difference between a contested and an uncontested divorce?
A contested divorce simply means that both parties cannot come to an agreement on all issues by themselves. It does not necessarily mean that the matter will get ugly and mean-spirited, though we often handle such cases. Most divorces start out as contested and are then resolved through negotiations and/or court hearings between the two Las Vegas divorce attorneys on behalf of the parties.

This answer supplied by: Jennifer V. Abrams, Esq. of The Abrams Law Firm , LLC     (702)222-4021  

Return Can I change lawyers after my divorce case is filed?
Yes. Each client has the right to be represented by whomever they choose. When you hire a divorce attorney, you are giving that attorney your trust and confidence to resolve an extremely important issue. The manner in which your case is handled can impact the rest of your life. If your initial trust and confidence has wavered because your attorney has exhibited a pattern of behavior that is not in your best interest, you can, and should, find counsel properly dedicated to your cause.

We are often asked to take over an on-going divorce case because the client is dissatisfied with their current attorney. If you have an active case, you always have the right to change the divorce attorney representing you.

This answer supplied by: Jennifer V. Abrams, Esq. of The Abrams Law Firm , LLC     (702)222-4021  

Return Can I change the judge assigned to my case?
When a Complaint for divorce is filed, the case is randomly assigned to one of the Family Court judges, in a blind lottery pool. Once filed, you and your spouse each have one limited opportunity to move the case to a different judge.

This is known as a Peremptory Challenge. A Peremptory Challenge must be properly and timely filed. You cannot wait for the judge to make decisions in your case and then decide you want a different judge. It also does not allow you to select the new judge, only to exclude the one that was first assigned.

If your Las Vegas divorce attorney believes the judge first randomly selected is desirable for your case, there is unfortunately nothing you can do to prevent your spouse's attorney from moving your case to another judge.

Since you are not allowed to select the new judge, excluding the one first assigned is a risky proposition. There are no assurances that the new judge will be more appropriate for your case. You could possibly be assigned to a judge even less desirable than the first.

This answer supplied by: Jennifer V. Abrams, Esq. of The Abrams Law Firm , LLC     (702)222-4021  

Return Do I have a right to alimony?
In Nevada, alimony is based on many factors including, the length of the marriage, the relative ages, health and earning capacities of the parties, and the relative financial condition each party will be left in after the divorce. Situations vary and there is no one mathematical formula that is used in all Nevada divorce cases

This answer supplied by: Jennifer V. Abrams, Esq. of The Abrams Law Firm , LLC     (702)222-4021  

Return How will a "professional practice" business be valued during divorce proceedings?
Many professionals, such as doctors, lawyers, accountants, real estate brokers, chiropractors, etc. own and operate their own professional practice. These professional practices require an experienced Business Valuator and, are often valued differently than many other business types.

Absent any real estate holdings, a professional practice business typically does not have significant hard assets. Therefore, a large portion of the business value may be based on "goodwill". Goodwill has several definitions, but for purposes of brevity, it is the value assigned to the probability of the business continuing to generate income based on past performance. It can also be defined as the value of the reputation the business has earned, in the community in which it provides services.

In professional practice businesses, goodwill can often be closely tied to the owner of the professional practice. This is especially true in the case of a sole practitioner.

When a sole practitioner runs a professional practice, any goodwill attaching to the professional practice is specifically dependent on the continued labor of the professional who provides the services and manages the business.

Like any other asset, the value of the professional practice, including its goodwill, is subject to division between the parties at the time of divorce. An experienced Las Vegas divorce attorney knows how to handle these situations to the financial benefit of their client, whether the client is the sole practitioner, or the spouse of one.

This answer supplied by: Jennifer V. Abrams, Esq. of The Abrams Law Firm , LLC     (702)222-4021  

Return I received an inheritance. Is my spouse entitled to any portion of it?
Generally, inheritances are sole and separate property. However, sole and separate property can be converted into community property. For example, if you add your spouse's name to the title, or commingle any of the inherited assets, your spouse may argue that the assets then became community property.

In the first scenario, your spouse may claim that you intended to make a gift of your sole and separate inheritance property to the community, by adding their name to the title.

In the second scenario, your spouse may make a claim that the assets became at least partially community in nature because the funds were commingled. Commingling, in this scenario, is when you combine the inherited assets with other community assets

This answer supplied by: Jennifer V. Abrams, Esq. of The Abrams Law Firm , LLC     (702)222-4021  

Return My spouse has hidden money (or other assets) throughout our marriage. How can I get my fair share of the community property?
This is not an uncommon event in the divorce cases we handle. It tends to be more prevalent if your spouse is repeatedly dishonest, the marriage is lengthy, and there have been years to formulate a plan to hide the assets. There are various methods we employ to identify and locate hidden assets. Some efforts reveal the assets immediately, some require more effort, and some do not really exist or cannot be located. Because this is a public forum, we will not disclose the details of our methods here. Once the assets, if any, are located, the process of holding your spouse accountable for their actions immediately begins.

This answer supplied by: Jennifer V. Abrams, Esq. of The Abrams Law Firm , LLC     (702)222-4021  

Return My spouse owns a business. Do I have any rights to it?
A business started during the course of the marriage, funded with community dollars or enhanced with community efforts may be regarded in whole or in part as community property. In this case both spouses have a right to a portion of the business value. We often retain Business Valuators and/or Forensic Accountants for Las Vegas divorce cases that require an independent expert's opinion.

This answer supplied by: Jennifer V. Abrams, Esq. of The Abrams Law Firm , LLC     (702)222-4021  

Return My spouse, out of spite, says that I will be forced to sell the house if we divorce. I want to keep the house. What can I do?
One spouse cannot force the other to sell the house for purely spiteful reasons. More often, there are financial realities that determine what happens to the house. There are three possible scenarios governing the division of real estate during a divorce:
  1. Only one party wants to keep the house. In this scenario, the party wanting to keep the house must buy out the equity share of the other party. Often this involves qualifying for a mortgage, solely in one party's name.
  2. Both parties want to keep, and can afford, the house. In this scenario, numerous factors are considered. Examples include: Whether the children are to live there, or will they have to relocate and attend a different school?; Did one party own the house prior to marriage?; Is one party willing to "bid" higher to keep the house?; etc.
  3. Neither party wants, nor can afford the house alone. In this case, the house is sold and the proceeds are divided according to what has been negotiated between the parties' Las Vegas divorce attorneys.

This answer supplied by: Jennifer V. Abrams, Esq. of The Abrams Law Firm , LLC     (702)222-4021  

Return Only my spouse's name is on the title (or mortgage) to our house. Do I have any rights to it?
This is one of the most commonly misunderstood aspects of divorce. In short, Nevada is a community property state. Just because your name is not on the title or mortgage, does not, by itself, mean that you have no rights to a portion of the equity of the house.

This answer supplied by: Jennifer V. Abrams, Esq. of The Abrams Law Firm , LLC     (702)222-4021  

Return My Prenuptial Agreement was signed many years ago, and in another state. Is it still enforceable?
A Prenuptial Agreement (also referred to as a Premarital Agreement or Ante Nuptial Agreement) is enforceable despite its age or the state in which it was entered, so long as it was properly drafted and implemented. The same is true for Postnuptial Agreements which are agreements signed after the date of marriage.

There are many factors to consider in determining whether an agreement was properly drafted and implemented. Therefore, each case must be evaluated individually. However, in general terms, a valid agreement is one where:
  1. Each party either was represented by an independent attorney or had the opportunity to obtain independent legal representation but voluntarily and expressly declined such representation.
  2. Each party received a reasonable disclosure from the other party regarding assets and debts, and each party waived any disclosure from the other party beyond the disclosure provided.
  3. The agreement does not adversely affect a party's right to child support.
  4. The agreement is not so one-sided that it is regarded as being grossly unfair.
  5. There are also certain limited requirements regarding the modification or elimination of alimony that should be properly addressed.
Generally, a Prenuptial or Post-Nuptial Agreement will not be enforced against a party who proves any of the following:
  1. They did not sign the agreement voluntarily.
  2. They were not provided a fair or reasonable disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party, and; they did not voluntarily and expressly waive any right to disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party beyond the disclosure provided, and; they did not have, or reasonably could not have had, adequate knowledge of the property or financial obligations of the other party.
  3. The agreement was unconscionable. This means that the agreement favors one party so much that it shocks the conscience as unfair.

This answer supplied by: Jennifer V. Abrams, Esq. of The Abrams Law Firm , LLC     (702)222-4021