Filing an Uncontested Divorce in Las Vegas

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.   You cannot file an uncontested divorce if you disagree on who is keeping the house.  If you disagree on a single issue then you have a contested divorce.  A divorce lawyer should help you with an uncontested divorce or if money is a concern you can file the documents on your own.

All T’s must be crossed in an uncontested filing (known as a Joint Petition).  Any missing terms could lead to problems down the road.  For example, if you don’t mention in the decree who is taking the 1960 vintage Cadillac.  It’s your car.  You owned it before the marriage.  This is common knowledge. Two years later your ex is irritated after seeing you and your new girlfriend driving around town.  She files a motion in court claiming the property was not properly divided.   Trust me, this happens.

There are two basic ways to accomplish an uncontested divorce; file Joint Petition papers or file divorce papers with a stipulated divorce decree attached.   Stipulated is a fancy legal word for agreeing on something. There are differences in the two options with the end result being basically the same.

Joint Petition

A properly filed Joint Petition needs to include child support amounts, child visitation schedules, detailed property division, and spousal support.   Joint Petitions are perfect if you have a simple divorce and do not require any legal analysis or special terms in the divorce papers.

Joint Petitions are cost effective and quick.  Costs range around $2,000.  We have completed joint petitions in as little as 10 days.  Typical time frame is 30 to 45 days.

The downside of a Joint Petition is you are waiving the right to have a judge make any findings and you lose the ability to file an appeal.  Plus, the form is fill-in-the blank and doesn’t allow too much flexibility.

The five forms needed in a Joint Petition submission are;

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; child custody, visitation, child support, division of property and debts, alimony, and more.

Uncontested Divorce

If your marriage has more layers then your divorce decree will require more details.  This is when uncontested papers are often used.   With this option we draft a divorce decree containing special terms which are unique to your divorce.

You will need a divorce attorney to assist with this type of filing.   We help with any legal analysis, draft special language, and ensure essential details, like dividing the 1960 Cadillac, 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.

Seven forms are used in an uncontested divorce package;

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 an attorney.

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

Default Divorce

Often confused with an uncontested divorce is a default.  This is where you file for the divorce and your spouse chooses to ignore the divorce papers.   If provided enough notice and time you could ask the court to grant you a divorce based solely on your terms.

What makes this type of divorce different is your spouse still has six months to ask the court to set aside the decree.  This request is almost always granted.  Based on Nevada’s Supreme Court, defaults when children are involved are even allowed more than the six month period.

Going Uncontested? Contact a Las Vegas Divorce Attorney. Call (702) 914-0400.