Time Requirements for Divorce in Las Vegas

Posted: 17 September, 2019

So the honeymoon is over. Now you want a divorce as quick as possible. Every state has a requirement that you must be living in the state at the time you file your divorce petition. Some require you to live in the state for a year or more prior to filing while others allow you to petition for a divorce after being a resident of the state for just a few weeks or, possibly, even days.

Alaska: You can file a divorce petition on the day you arrive as long as you intend to stay in the state. You can also file if you and your spouse lived in Alaska for six consecutive months anytime within the previous six years. The process can be quickly concluded and you can be single again within about 30 days of the filing date.

South Dakota: These laws are similar to Alaska’s. If your intent is to stay in South Dakota, you can file your divorce petition on the day you arrive. Your divorce can be final 60 days later.

Washington State: As long as you are residing in the state on the day you file your petition, you have met the residency requirements. There is a longer waiting period after filing and your divorce will not be final for a minimum of 90 days after your filing date.

Nevada: The Place to Go for That “Quickie Divorce”. Nevada has long been known as the place to go for a “quickie divorce” and people often want to know how to file for a quick divorce. Currently, only one of the parties must live in Nevada for six weeks prior to filing for a divorce. Residency begins on the first day the person is in the state. It is a “no-fault” state so you do not have to state any reasons why you are getting a divorce. If you and your spouse agree on all issues, including division of property, you can file a joint petition and your divorce will be granted without a hearing. There is no waiting period after the filing date.

In the early 1900s, divorces were uncommon and many states did not allow for them at all. Most of those that did recognized adultery as the only grounds. A few states, like Nevada, Wyoming, Arkansas and Idaho had more lenient laws and those who wanted a divorce went to one of those states to establish residency.

Between 1927 and 1931, the Nevada Legislature came up with the idea of lowering the residency requirement for divorce as a way to attract more folks to Nevada and draw them away from the competing states. The goal was to help the economy so the residency requirement was dropped to only six weeks. At the time, it was the shortest waiting period in the U.S. There were also seven grounds for divorce, making it much easier to divorce in Nevada than any other state.

According to Nevada historian, Melia Harmon, “Divorce sort of carried Nevada through the Depression.” Between 1931 and 1970, more than 325,000 divorces were granted in Nevada. In just one year, 1940, approximately 19,000 marriages came to an end in the state.

Nevada is still considered a great place to get that quick divorce with as little stress as possible. Not only because of time, but because of the way Nevada laws divide the assets.

States laws vary with how property is divided. For example, several states, including Nevada and Washington, recognize that all property accumulated by a married couple is community property. This means that the property will be likely be divided in equal halves, each party receiving their share. Alaska is an opt-in community property. The parties choose whether or not their property is community property.

The rest of the states divide property according to an equitable division method. That does not mean it is divided equally, but fairly. In some states, if one party is at fault for the divorce, a court can give the “victim” spouse more of a share of the assets as a way to punish the adulterer. So, for those interested in a quick divorce, without the added baggage of proving one party was at fault, or stressing over property division, Nevada is the pick.