What Kind of Divorce is Right for You?
Either you or your spouse has decided that you want to end your marriage. But what type of divorce is best for you? There are two main types of divorce: uncontested and contested divorce. Your choice can determine whether your divorce will be simple and cheap or difficult and expensive. It is possible to complete an uncontested divorce without the use of a divorce attorney, but if you and your spouse must file a contested divorce it is likely that you will need to find a skilled lawyer to represent your interests.
Uncontested divorces are cases in which both spouses agree on all decisions on how to divide assets and debt. Both parties must also agree on potential child support and alimony payments. Spouses who wish to have an uncontested divorce are able to end their marriage much sooner than those who file uncontested divorces.
It is in your best interest to convince your spouse to agree to these terms. Uncontested divorces happen most often with couples who do not have children, who have few assets or debts to divide, and who seek to end the marriage quickly, cheaply, and amicably. This is one of the key advantages of seeking an uncontested divorce.
If you would like more details regarding uncontested divorces, please contact one of our knowledgeable divorce attorneys to schedule a consultation and begin the process of your divorce.
You and your spouse have agreed that you both want your divorce to be civil. So what are your next steps? You need to agree to the terms of your divorce. In Nevada you can file a document called a Joint Petition. The document discusses how the assets and debts, are going to be divided. What to do with house, and cars. Whether anyone is paying spousal support. If your marriage produced any children, your joint petition must contain agreements regarding custody and child support.
Your divorce lawyer can help:
- Review all aspects of your marriage in order to determine what needs to be in the joint petition
- Advise you if any proposed agreements are not in your best interest.
- Communicate your wishes to your soon-to-be ex-spouse and their attorney.
- Ensure that all aspects of the agreement conform to Nevada state law.
- Facilitate any paperwork that needs to be filed with the court.
It is not uncommon for couples who believed that they would be able to obtain an uncontested divorce to suddenly find themselves disagreeing over key issues. By obtaining the services of one of the divorce attorneys at RIGHT Lawyers, we can guide you on how best to proceed if this happens.
Contested divorce refers to a situation where a couple that wishes to divorce cannot come to an agreement. One, or both, of the members of the couple then “contests,” or disputes, at least one decision that needs to be made. Even if the couple agrees on everything except one issue, the divorce will be considered contested. Because they cannot agree, couples who seek this type of divorce must rely on a judge to decide the outcome of the contested decisions. However, this can sometimes be an unattractive solution since the judge may not rule the way you wish they would.
Some issues that are frequently contested are:
- allocation of debt (e.g., credit card, student loan, mortgage)
- custody of children
- child support payments
- spousal support/alimony
- division of assets (e.g., property, investments, retirement funds)
Additionally, some couples may find that they are not willing to even agree on whether or not to get a divorce. A contested divorce is the most complicated type of divorce. They can cost a significant amount of money, time, and stress. It is always a good idea to consult with a divorce attorney prior to starting the process. The divorce lawyers in our firm have seen it all when it comes to divorces and are ready and willing to help you.
The process of gaining a contested divorce is:
- Establishing residency. Either you or your spouse must provide proof that one of you has lived in the state of Nevada for at least 6 weeks prior to filing the divorce papers.
- Filing the complaint. A divorce complaint must be drafted by a divorce lawyer and filed with the court in either the county you currently live in, the county your spouse lives in, the county in which you were married, or the county where you last lived together. If you are the one filing divorce papers, you will be known as the “plaintiff” and your spouse as the “defendant” in all legal proceedings.
- Service of process. A copy of this divorce petition is delivered, or “served,” to the defendant along with a summons to court and a joint preliminary injunction. This prohibits both spouses from engaging in any behavior to cause a nuisance and orders a temporary status quo of roles to preserve the assets. This must be filed within 120 days of the divorce filing.
- Defendant answer. The spouse who was served with the divorce papers must respond within 20 days as ordered by the court. This is called an “answer.” Learn more about the the defendant response in this informative article.
- First court appearance. Within 90 days of the defendant’s answer, the judge will order a temporary motions hearing, a hearing to discuss mediation, or a case management conference where discovery and a date for the trail is set. Both parties must be present at this hearing as the judge will inquire about the status of the contested issues. The plaintiff’s lawyer may ask the court to enter a “default” against the defendant should they not appear. If the court agrees, the plaintiff may enter a final divorce decree without the defendant’s signature.
- Divorce discovery. Your lawyer will begin to collect information to prove why your case is more valid. This can include collecting evidence, holding depositions with witnesses, and obtaining information from your spouse through interrogatories.
- Temporary orders. Either party can request that the judge enact temporary orders regarding child support or alimony.
- Settlement conference. A settlement conference provides the opportunity for both parties to compromise on the contested issues and settle the divorce without going to trial.
- Trial. If a settlement is not reached, the divorce will proceed to trial. At this point, both sides will have the opportunity to present their evidence uncovered during discovery. A final judgment will be handed down by the judge. Either party will have 30 days from the date of this final judgment to appeal the decision.
It is common for couples who began a contested divorce to settle their differences prior to going to a trial. The cost of a contested divorce, and the time requirement can cause parties to reach a settlement. A settled divorce occurs when both parties draft a Decree of Divorce detailing the agreements that they have made regarding the contested issues. Once both parties have signed and their divorce attorneys can present it to a judge for review and approval.