Filing an Uncontested Divorce in Las Vegas

An uncontested divorce is the easiest (as well as the cheapest) way to divorce your spouse. If you agree on everything, you can file your own papers and save yourselves time, grief, and money.

It is still wise to consult with a divorce lawyer even on an uncontested divorce, but you can file the documents on your own if money is a concern. If you plan on filing yourself, take a the uncontested forms at the bottom of this article.

Uncontested Divorce Definition

In Las Vegas, an “Uncontested Divorce” is where both you and your spouse agree on all the issues of the divorce. “All” is the key word. You don’t have to be holding hands while completing the documents, but you do need to agree on everything. If you disagree on a single issue, then you have a contested divorce.   An uncontested filing (also called a Joint Petition, or Joint Divorce) must have all the T’s crossed. Any missing terms could lead to problems down the road.  A divorce attorney can help you cross these T’s, by mediating or negotiating the terms.

As an example, let’s say you don’t mention in the decree who is taking the 1960 vintage Cadillac. It’s your car. You owned it before the marriage. So it should be a no-brainer. Two years later your ex sees you driving your new girlfriend around town and gets angry. She then files a motion in court claiming you did not divide the property equally.  Now you have to deal with the courts again and possibly spend more money hiring divorce attorneys. It might surprise you how often this happens.

Uncontested Divorce Process

The process is pretty straightforward since Nevada is one of the easiest states in which to file for divorce.     There are two ways to file an uncontested;  1) complete joint petition papers,  or 2) file a complaint for divorce, and then stipulate to the decree of divorce.  Filing a Complaint typically means you need the help of a divorce lawyer, but either form can be filed without a divorce attorney.

Joint Petitions are perfect if you have a simple divorce, do not require any legal analysis or special terms in the divorce papers.  Filing a joint petition is easier because both you and your spouse agree to the terms of the divorce and file forms which mirror this agreement.   What if you don’t know the terms to your divorce.   Review our joint divorce worksheet.  This worksheet helps you review all the issues which need to be resolved.  You and your spouse must agree on everything to move forward with the uncontested divorce.  A properly filed Joint Petition needs to include child support amounts, child visitation schedules, detailed property division, and spousal support.

Once you have that accomplished and everything filled out, one spouse files the papers with the county clerk.  There will be a filing fee.  Then the judge must approve the joint petition.   Once the judge signs the decree of divorce, you are divorce.

An alternative to a Joint Petition is one spouse filing a Complaint for Divorce.   The filing spouse must then serve the other spouse.  After the service, your spouse has 20 days to reply with an Answer to the Complaint.   This is used when you need to force the issue a little.   You know you spouse will agree to the divorce, but they won’t sign a joint petition.   By filing a Complaint for Divorce your spouse must respond or you could be given a default divorce.    During the 20 days you and your spouse can reach an agreement to the terms of divorce.  If an agreement is reached, the divorce decree is filed and approved by the judge.

How Long Does an Uncontested Divorce Take?

Joint petitions are fast. When you complete everything properly, your divorce will be final in 30 to 45 days. We have completed them in a few as 10 days. Divorce attorneys can help speed up the process if you’re in a hurry.

How Much Does an Uncontested Divorce Cost?

The most cost effective way to dissolve your marriage is to file an uncontested divorce. On average, the cost for divorce attorney fees, court costs, and other related fees is around $2,000. Compare that with the tens of thousands some couples spend on divorce attorney fees alone in a contested divorce.

What About an Uncontested Divorce with a Child?

Just like everything else in an uncontested divorce, you need to agree upon this in advance. The amount of child support and custody schedules as well.  Make sure that everything related to your agreement is in writing on the paperwork.

The Downside of an Uncontested Divorce

While the purpose of this process is to make the legal process of divorce as painless as possible, there are a few drawbacks to be aware of.  The downside of a Joint Petition is you waive the right to have a judge make any findings. You also lose the ability to file an appeal. Plus, the form is fill-in-the blank and doesn’t allow too much flexibility.

Uncontested Divorce Forms

When filing yourself, make sure please feel free to use our Joint Filing Checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything and need to refile. The five forms needed in a Joint Petition submission are the following:

Family Court Cover Sheet – Asks for basic information about you and your spouse.

Joint Petition Application – Opens the case with the court and applies for a divorce.

Resident Witness Affidavit – Is the proof one spouse has lived in Nevada for at least 6 weeks before filing for divorce in Las Vegas. Not completed by you or your spouse. It is the sworn statement of a friend, co-worker, or neighbor who knows you.

COPE Certificate (if children) – Verifies you took a class about co-parenting and learned about the negative effects divorce can have on children.

Joint Petition Decree of Divorce – Is the agreement detailing everything in the divorce such as child custody, visitation, child support, division of property and debts, alimony, and more.

Other Forms You Might Need

If your marriage has complicated financial layers, then your divorce decree will require more details. Many couples will still use uncontested papers in this case. With this option your divorce lawyers will draft a divorce decree containing special terms which are unique to your divorce.

You and your spouse will both need divorce lawyers to assist with this type of filing. Divorce attorneys help with any legal analysis, draft special language, and ensure essential details, like dividing the aren’t overlooked. Because of the custom language costs of an uncontested are a little more than a joint petition. Time frame for completion is comparable.

The uncontested divorce package uses seven forms:

Complaint – Opens a divorce filing and asks the court for certain terms to the divorce. Filing spouse is called the Plaintiff.

Answer – The official response to a Complaint. Typically agreeing or disagreeing to the points raised in the Complaint. Spouse filling an Answer is referred to as the defendant.

Resident Witness Affidavit – Is the proof one spouse has lived in Nevada for at least 6 weeks before filing. Not completed by you or your spouse. It is the sworn statement of a friend, co-worker or neighbor who knows you.

COPE Certificate (if children) – Verifies you took a class about co-parenting and learned about the negative effects divorce can have on children.

Request for Summary Disposition – The plaintiff files an affidavit declaring the facts are undisputed and the judge should sign the divorce decree.

Consent of Self-Representation – Most law firms like the defendant to sign a document acknowledging they are willfully signing the divorce decree without the presence of any divorce lawyers.

Decree of Divorce – Is the agreement detailing everything in the divorce; child custody, visitation, child support, division of property and debts, alimony, and more.

Filing an uncontested divorce in Las Vegas? Speak with a divorce lawyer today at (702) 914-0400.