Joint Petition for Divorce

Not every divorce has to be riddled with conflict. In many situations, couples decide that a divorce is in both of their best interests. Then they can proceed with the process together. Cooperating with one another and using a divorce lawyer to draft joint divorce documents will make the divorce process easier, faster, and less expensive.

Technically there are two ways for an uncontested divorce to unfold. The first way both spouses complete and sign a joint petition. The major areas spouses need to agree to are child custody, child support, dividing assets, dividing debts, and alimony. Both spouses must fully agree to “all” the issues to file a joint petition divorce. If you agree on some, and not “all” then you cannot file a joint petition for divorce. The second method is one spouse files a divorce, and afterward, both spouses sign an uncontested divorce decree. In this article, we are going to discuss the joint petition method, also known as an “uncontested divorce” or a “joint divorce.”

Joint Divorce, or Uncontested Divorce

In Nevada, Joint Petition, Joint Divorce, and Uncontested Divorce mean the same thing. Couples can file a form called a Joint Petition for an uncontested divorce. If you agree on every aspect of your divorce, including property division, debts, spousal support, child support, and child custody, you can then file a joint petition.

How long does a Joint Petition take?

We like to give clients estimates of 2 to 3 weeks from the date they hire us. It takes about a week for us to draft all the appropriate documents. Some services may promise 24 hours, but they are typically using online template which is not reviewed by an attorney. We are not an online form service. Your documents will be drafted by a paralegal and reviewed by a licensed Nevada lawyer. After the forms are drafted and signed by both spouses it might take us another week to have the joint petition approved by a judge and to file the final divorce documents with the court.  Here is a detailed explanation and diagram of the Uncontested Divorce Diagram.

What does a Joint Petition cost?

We offer three different pricing packages for a joint petition. The fees are based on whether you have children, and whether you need to divide assets. If you don’t have property to divide, nor children the fee is $1,300. If you have property to divide, but no children the fee is $1,800. If you have property to divide, and children the fee is $2,200.  All fees include drafting all paperwork, filing all paperwork, and court fees. All fees can be split into two payments; 50% down, and 50% upon filing with the court.

Speaking to Your Spouse About Divorce

Many clients decide to file a divorce and feel their spouse will sign the documents, or feel there spouse should sign the documents. Nonetheless, bringing up the topic is rarely easy. How can you tell whether your spouse is ready or willing to file a Joint Petition for a divorce?

Picking an appropriate time to have the conversation will be extremely important to encourage a rational, adult discussion. During the actual conversation, it is essential to be calm and collected. Screaming at your spouse is rarely productive, and blame only makes the conversation worse. Be prepared for their reaction. Allow them a little bit of time for the idea to sink in. Here is an article on how to talk about divorce with your spouse.

Testing the Divorce Waters

The first conversation may not be the best time to discuss the details of the divorce. You can hammer out the details after you have both had some time to consider the ramifications. 

After you have broken the ice, you need to test the waters and see what terms your spouse is looking for in the divorce. We have found the best way to see what they want is to discuss a joint petition worksheet.

How to start a joint petition?

The first step to start is to complete a Joint Petition Worksheet. This worksheet  is helpful in finding out what areas you and your spouse agree on. After completing as much of the worksheet as you can contact, our office  to schedule a time to review the worksheet with us and to choose the right joint petition package for you.

The worksheet was initially created to gather information from clients about the terms they had already agreed on. Our clients quickly realized it was also a useful document to discuss divorce terms with their spouse. By reviewing the document together, you can tell what they want, what they aren’t sure about, what they wouldn’t agree to. The worksheet is a useful tool to test the waters.

Joint Petition Information

The main step with the worksheet is to itemize all of your income, assets, and debts. This includes community assets and assets which are in your name only. We see situations where couples have been physically separated for some time, who think that they do not have to list their separate bank accounts. Or couples who spent their whole marriage using separate bank accounts.

You need to list everything, and allow the divorce lawyer to explain what is community property and what is separate property. A good joint petition will list all the husband’s assets and all the wife’s assets. By listing all property, even items owned before the marriage, neither spouse can file a future lawsuit claiming the decree left something undecided.

Your list of assets may include:

  • House, and other real estate
  • Vehicles, recreational vehicles, and boats
  • Bank accounts
  • Investment accounts
  • Pension and retirement accounts
  • Personal property (usually anything sentimental or worth of $500 or more)

After you both have listed all the property and debts, then you can decide who gets what or who is responsible for which debts. Don’t worry if you can’t completely agree. A divorce lawyer can mediate a lot of property and debt disputes.

Figuring Out Spousal Support, Child Support, and Custody

Spousal support and decisions involving children are often more heated or passionate discussions compared to dividing assets or debts. Nonetheless, you and your spouse must agree on these issues as well to file an uncontested divorce.

Child support can be calculated using our child support calculator. You must also decide on legal custody and physical custody of the children. You should also establish visitation schedules as part of the joint petition.

Spousal support (also known as alimony) will generally be awarded if one spouse cannot maintain the lifestyle they had before the divorce without additional funds from the other spouse. Spousal support can have a specified duration, such as years, or until spouse finishes school. We have a spousal support calculator.

Not every spouse will agree to settle, and file an uncontested divorce. This is not unusual. Sometimes it based on a lack of information, and sometimes it is purely emotional. For some tips on getting your spouse to agree read Why Won’t My Spouse Settle.

Need help sorting out the details of your joint petition? Give RIGHT Lawyers a call today at (702) 914-0400 to ensure your agreement is fair.