Understanding How No Fault Divorces Work

ripped piece of paper with divorce written on it

To put things mildly, the end of a marriage is an emotional time. Whatever brought this significant relationship to its endgame can drive people to fight, act impulsively, and make regrettable mistakes. With all of this nastiness under the surface, Nevada is a no-fault jurisdiction, which greatly simplifies the process.

Nevada is a No-Fault Divorce State

Nevada is a “no-fault” divorce state. This means that in order to obtain a divorce, the party seeking the divorce need not demonstrate why the marriage ended. Instead, if a spouse has lived in Nevada for at least six uninterrupted weeks, he or she can file for divorce and need only show that:

1. The couple has been separated for at least a full year; or,

2. The couple was “incompatible”.

In other words, a spouse does not have to prove that the marriage ended as a result of the other spouse’s marital misconduct.  In fact, except in extraordinary circumstances, fault is not even relevant in divorce court in Nevada.

Why Is “Fault” Significant?

This is starkly different from some other states, which allow for a divorce upon grounds like adultery abandonment, or cruelty by a spouse. Put simply, the divorce in those states is the other spouse’s “fault” and they should be held responsible. As you can probably guess, proving any of these grounds can be a real source of conflict and escalates an already bad situation.

In Nevada, evidence of fault, or marital misconduct, does not play a role in the critical issues of: (1) the grounds for divorce; or (2) alimony or spousal support or (3) custody. As you can imagine, this means that ugly finger pointing is significantly reduced since the law has preemptively poured water on that fire. Consequently, no-fault divorces are designed to be far less drawn-out and expensive than if fault was a factor.

Notably, marital misconduct might factor into the division of community property, insofar as one spouse has misused marital property to fund an extramarital affair. In such a scenario, the court may consider the actual amount of marital property that was used when dividing property, but will cannot use the information to punish the spouse who had the affair.

Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P.

Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman, L.L.P. is a full service law firm that provides individuals with professional, effective representation. Not only is divorce a major life event, but it also involves life-altering legal issues. Our lawyers appreciate the gravity of this moment in your life and will work tirelessly toward your best outcome. Call Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P. today at (775) 227-2280 to schedule an appointment or contact our office through our website.

Related Posts
  • Can You Keep a Divorce Private in Nevada? Read More
  • Postnuptial Agreements for Nevada Couples Read More
  • Tax Implications of Divorce in Nevada Read More