Including Prenuptual Agreements, Divorce and Child Custody Law Cases
When contemplating a marriage, it is important to evaluate the need for a prenuptial (pre-marital) agreement. These agreements can define the rights of the spouses in the event of divorce, death or disability. Such agreements can prevent the comingling of separate assets & incomes and provide for specific distributions of specific assets upon the happening of certain events. Most importantly, these agreements can save substantial time and expense during an emotionally difficult period, because the parties rights and obligations have been agreed to in advance.
In Nevada, any adult can file for divorce if they have been a resident for at least six (6) weeks prior to the commencement of the divorce. Nevada is a “no-fault divorce” state. This means that the conduct of either spouse is generally not a relevant consideration to the granting of the divorce. (It may be considered in very limited circumstances). The parties simply need to be incompatible in their marriage. Nevada is a community property state. This generally means that any assets acquired during the marriage, except gifts, inheritances and personal injury recoveries, are subject to being evenly (equitably) divided by the court.
Child custody is based upon the best interests of the children. While the court will endeavor to make sure that each parent spends as much time as possible with their children, the needs of the children always come first. The court has established extensive resources for assisting parents in the evaluation and negotiation of parenting agreements. These resources can be used to develop a parenting agreement uniquely designed for each family. Only if the parents are unable to create their own parenting agreement, will the court make a decision regarding the custodial issues involving the children.
Child support is set by Nevada law. It is generally 18% of a non-custodial parents gross monthly income for one (1) child, 25% for two (2) children, 29% for three (3) children… there is a monthly cap per child. That cap can be modified upward or downward depending on the particular circumstances of the parents and children.
Domestic violence is the non-justified use of force or violence between family members or between people who live together or between people in a dating relationship, it can involve slight force. The Nevada Supreme Court has held that spitting on another person can constitute enough for a battery charge, as well as pushing a person or tearing their clothes. It can be between a father and a daughter/son, mother and daughter/son, an adult child, an elderly parent, but it most often occurs between a man and a woman living together, married or not. Once police officers arrive at the scene of the disturbance, if the police officers believe that a battery has been committed they must make a police report for the incident. If possible, the officer must also arrest the person who they believe committed the battery, within 24 hours of the battery. That person must spend a minimum of 12 hours in jail before he or she can be released. Generally if the battery did not involve a weapon or the injuries did not result in physical damage or involve strangulation, then the crime is classified as a misdemeanor. The maximum possible penalty for a misdemeanor is a $1,000.00 fine and/or up to six (6) months in jail. If misdemeanors occur within the City of Las Vegas they are prosecuted by the City Attorney’s Office. Batteries with weapons or serious injury or strangulation are felonies and they are prosecuted by the Clark County District Attorney’s Office.
Restraining orders are issued by the court to prevent abuse or harassment by one person against another for a specified period of time. There are three basic types of restraining orders:
- Domestic violence – for protection from abusive spouse or partner;
- Civil harassment – for protection from neighbors or associates;
- Dependent adult – to protect the elderly from abuse.
A restraining order requires completion of several forms and affidavits, the service of a copy of the order to the harasser, and a court hearing. The restraining order goes into effect once they are signed by a judge.