Contemplating divorce is always difficult. Whether you are sure you want to end your marriage or are still considering your options, it helps to learn the basics of divorce law and process. Should you conclude that divorce is necessary, it is very important that you seek the assistance of an experienced family law attorney. Involving a knowledgeable family law attorney as soon as possible in the divorce process is one of the best ways to preserve your own long-term financial and emotional health. Trying to navigate the legal process during such a stressful time makes the situation even more frustrating. The prospect of divorce invariably creates a wide range of emotions. Losing what once seemed to be a source of unconditional support is never easy. It is compounded by the frustration of the seemingly hostile legal proceedings that you are left with in its place.Grounds For Divorce
A divorce is a method of terminating a marriage contract between two individuals. From a legal standpoint, a divorce will give each person the legal right to marry someone else, divide the couple’s assets and debts and determine the future care and custody of their children. While each state has individual statutes that address these issues differently, the basic principles the courts follow when considering requests for divorce are relatively uniform.
Nevada is a no fault state, either party may obtain a divorce, even if the other spouse does not consent to the divorce.We Understand And We Want To Help You.
Many people with very complex property divisions look to Las Vegas divorce lawyer, Attorney Bradley J. Hofland, to file for a divorce, litigate their divorce at trial, keep their property, get custody of their minor children, minimize their financial loss due to divorce, alimony, support, division of property, loss of their home, loss of cars, or to later appeal a divorce. The majority of clients reside in Nevada or California; we are licensed to practice law in both states.Do I Need An Attorney For A Las Vegas Divorce?
As an experienced Nevada divorce attorney, Attorney Brad Hofland has handled hundreds of contested divorces with competence, compassion and personalized attention. Hiring an attorney early in the process often prevents the mistakes that occur when parties to divorce represent themselves before the court. We know this because we handle many cases where individuals have tried to handle their divorce themselves and later came to us when they could no longer navigate their way through the legal system or became far too overwhelmed by the tremendous emotional burden upon them in conjunction with the anxiety of dealing with the courts.
Getting legal help early in the process will help to avoid a lot of common errors and the stresses that accompany those mistakes.The Divorce Process
In order to file a divorce in Nevada, a party must have resided in the State of Nevada for at least 6 weeks. The filing of a Petition for Divorce culminates to a termination in the marital relationship between a husband and wife. In addition to restoring the parties to single status, orders may be obtained to resolve issues of custody and visitation of the minor children of the marriage, child support, spousal support, and to confirm or divide community and separate property assets and debts.
When a spouse files a Petition for Marital Dissolution (Divorce Petition), the other spouse, must be personally served with the Petition and the Summons. The spouse then has 20 days from the date of service to respond. If the spouse fails to respond within the time period, the Petitioner may move for a default. Once a default is entered, the spouse’s rights to participate in the litigation are cut off.
If the spouse responds before a default is entered, the case then becomes contested. The parties then go through an evidence gathering stage called “Discovery” where the parties gather information and evidence necessary to prepare for trial. As part of the discovery process and a requirement under Nevada Law, the parties are to exchange both preliminary and final declarations of disclosures where parties disclose accurately their income, expenses, assets, and debts. In more complex cases, experts are retained to make opinions on certain issues such as child custody, valuation of businesses, and earning ability of a spouse.
It is in this process that parties attempt to determine the nature and characterization of their assets and debts. Usually, assets and debts acquired during marriage are characterized as community. Assets and debts acquired prior to marriage are separate property.
All throughout this process, either party may seek temporary orders from the Court while the case is pending. Temporary orders are usually requested for spousal support, child support, custody, visitation, attorney’s fees, and certain injunctions. Cases are ultimately resolved by trial, mediation or stipulated judgment.Property Division
Community property is everything that a husband and wife own together from the start of their marriage until the date they separate. In community property states, both husband and wife are deemed to own all the money either one of them earns as well as all property acquired during the course of the marriage, regardless of who purchased it. Similarly, any debt acquired during the course of the marriage will be deemed to be community debt without consideration of which spouse actually incurred it.
Separate property is anything the husband or wife owns separately. Spouses can indicate that something is separate property giving it up in writing. Individual spouses may also incur separate debt through a showing that the creditor was only looking to one spouse or their property for repayment. Otherwise, separate property is usually limited to:Property Owned Before The Marriage
Gifts or inheritances received during the marriage and maintained as separate property; and/or Post separation earnings.
There may be instances where couples mix separate and community property. When distinct separate property assets can be shown they will honored. Otherwise, the separate property will be deemed to have become community property subject to equal division. Because classification of property and its division can become one of the most contentious issues in a divorce, you need the advice and assistance of an experienced family law attorney familiar with the family laws and procedure. Reaching the decision to end a marriage is enormously difficult. Once you do make the decision it is in your best interest to approach the divorce process from a rational, businesslike perspective, which is extraordinarily difficult given the emotional issues with which you must also cope. Working with an attorney who is experienced in family law will ease your stress and help you get through the process to begin your new life.
In practice, however, the distribution of community assets and debts does not have to always result in an equal distribution. At Hofland & Tomsheck, we aggressively assert your community property rights, either through settlement negotiations or trial, so that you get to keep and preserve as much of your assets as you can when you go through divorce.
The lawyers of Hofland & Tomsheck are committed to offering practical legal advice and trial advocacy without sacrificing results. Working with the firm’s experienced family law attorneys eases your stress and helps you get through the process to begin your new life.Contact UsFor experienced legal representation, contact Hofland & Tomsheck. We offer free initial consultations and are available for evening and weekend appointments. We also charge reasonable rates and accept credit cards. We handle all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. Our offices are conveniently located in downtown Las Vegas, just steps away from the federal and state courthouses. To contact our Las Vegas law firm, call (702) 895-6760 or e-mail our office.