This is the next post on filing for divorce in Nevada when one of the parties is a non-resident. My last article discussed handling a divorce case if you reside outside of Nevada. While going through the end of a marriage, when residing elsewhere, may sound intimidating, the fact of the matter is that it need not be. A case may consist of certain routine hearings which you may not need to personally attend. Most matters, except for a trial, can be handled virtually. With that said, there are procedures which must be followed. It is, therefore, important that you retain an experienced attorney to assist you. In this article I will discuss the handling of matters when your spouse is the party who lives out of state. If you are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.
Nevada divorces can proceed if your spouse does not reside in the state
If you have been a resident of Nevada for at least six weeks then you may file for a divorce in our state. The matter will typically be relatively straightforward from your perspective. A Complaint for Divorce will be filed with the Court. The Complaint will need to be served on your spouse. Your attorney will typically retain a process server, in the area where your spouse resides, to effectuate service. Once the Complaint has been served then your spouse will have twenty days to respond. Quite often they will retain a Nevada attorney to handle the matter on their behalf. Once they have filed an Answer to the Complaint then the case will proceed as any other divorce.
In a typical matter your spouse will be able to virtually attend most hearings and will handle the matter through their attorney. This means that the fact that they are out of state will present little complication as far as the legal process. Other complications can arise in regard to the practical aspect of living your life, however. If, for example, the Nevada Court is able to enter an Order regarding child custody (more on this below), then this means that interstate visitation will take place. If you fail to comply with an Order that you send the child out of state to see their other parent, then the Judge may hold you in Contempt of Court. This is just one example of how the rights and obligations stemming from interstate divorces can quickly become complicated. It will be important to have an experienced attorney to assist you in order to ensure that you are following the Court’s mandates.
The Nevada Court may lack important jurisdiction in your divorce if your spouse lives out of state
I have previously discussed Nevada’s residency requirement for one who wishes to obtain a divorce. While one can file for divorce in our state after only residing here for six weeks, this does not mean that the Court will choose to exercise jurisdiction over your matter. If you have children and they have resided in another state for the last six months or more then the Court will likely defer the matter to the state in which they are residing. Moreover, if your spouse has never lived in Nevada then it is likely that the Court will not have jurisdiction to enter a ruling regarding spousal support. Finally, there can be further jurisdictional issues if you or your spouse own real property in another state. I make these points to stress the fact that, while you may be able to file for a divorce in Nevada, there may be reasons why you should file in the state where your spouse resides. The best course of action will always depend on the specifics of your situation and it is, therefore, important to discuss your matter with an attorney.
If you or a family member are going through an interstate divorce then contact my office today to speak with a Las Vegas family law lawyer. I have dealt with many matters which cross state lines and my office will give your case the attention it deserves. Contact us online or by telephone today to schedule an initial consultation.