Understanding Stipulated Divorce Laws In Nevada
Want to move forward with the divorce as soon as possible?
There are two specific options available to those filing for divorce – uncontested divorce and contested divorce. With the uncontested divorce, both parties agree to the process and set up terms beforehand in the form of a legally binding agreement (once approved). On the other hand, a contested divorce does the opposite and leaves everything to the judge.
To move forward with a contested divorce, the divorce papers need to be filed and served to your spouse. From the moment these papers are served, the spouse has 3 weeks to respond through legal means. If there is a response, the court proceedings will be set and the judge will decide at the end.
With an uncontested divorce, there is a joint agreement put in front of the judge. This is faster, simpler, and ideal when handling matters such as child support, legal custody, alimony, and/or splitting marital assets. This only moves forward when both parties agree on the features of the agreement and sign it.
Due to the nature of an uncontested divorce, it moves along briskly because there’s nothing to argue about. Both parties have already agreed upon the significant details beforehand. This can save quite a bit of money in legal fees and reduces the conflict too.
What is a Stipulated Divorce?
Keeping this in mind, it’s time to look at the third type of divorce in Nevada. This is called a stipulated divorce.
This divorce is invoked when one spouse refuses to sign on a legal agreement to finalize the divorce. This is when a stipulated divorce has to be used by legal professionals. This can even happen if both spouses agree to an uncontested divorce, but one refuses to sign anything. The idea of doing this is to legally bind the other spouse into signing the papers and moving forward with the divorce.
The only situation where this tends to happen is when one spouse is willing to get a divorce and the other isn’t. This can involve still loving the spouse or being content with the arrangements even if it makes the other person unhappy. There can also be religious reasons behind not wanting to finalize the divorce. Regardless of the reason, it often leads to not signing on the dotted line. Since no one can forcefully stop the divorce nor can they forcefully make someone sign, it leaves the entire situation in limbo with one party dragging things out.
For an uncontested divorce to happen, both parties need to sign on the agreement. This is why it’s important to understand what happens one party refuses to do so.
If the spouse isn’t going to sign it, drawing up an uncontested divorce agreement doesn’t make sense. It won’t work. The agreement doesn’t have a deadline, which means a response isn’t necessary at all. The spouse simply won’t sign it. On the other hand, a contested divorce forces the other person’s hand because they need to legally respond within 3 weeks or they will get into legal trouble. It also means the other spouse will get nothing in terms of the assets and/or anything else that would naturally be requested during a contested divorce.
To push things alone, our law firm will often use the strategy of adding a settlement letter into the mix. This stipulates what the divorce terms are. This gives the spouse a chance to make a choice. Do they want to hire a legal professional and pay thousands in fees? Would they rather just start going through the terms and save a bit of money? It gives them a real option.
The settlement papers are a good way to drive home the point and make them take action. It allows us to set the standards and terms before pushing for a divorce. Yes, they can fight, but they can also decide to negotiate the terms once they are in front of them on paper.
In a lot of cases, the spouse is going to settle and move forward with the divorce. There are also times where everything is okay and the settlement is immediately approved by the spouse. This is going to vary, but we will make sure to move forward with the stipulated divorce and get both spouses to sign. Once it has been signed, we submit it to the court as required in Nevada.
In the end, the sole purpose of a stipulated divorce is to make sure both parties are on the same page and do move along towards a smooth divorce that is cost-efficient. It allows both to work through the terms, sign the agreement, and have it filed in court promptly.
Legal Acceptance of a Stipulated Divorce
For a stipulated divorce agreement to go through, it has to be accepted by the court. This means getting a judge to agree to the listed details and “bind” the agreement. Based on legal precedents, most stipulated divorce agreements pass through this phase, but there is a provision in the regulations stating an agreement can be rejected if it doesn’t follow established legal standards in Nevada.
For the agreement to be viable, it needs to clearly and fairly divide relevant assets/debts. This also includes mentioning children and the associated expenses/decisions such as visitation, child support, and/or legal custody. After the stipulated agreement has been agreed upon by both parties, it needs to be signed and filed.
There are also additional standards that apply for a divorce to go through.
* The agreement splits the property in line with Nevada law and treats both parties fairly.
* The agreement helps resolve all pertinent issues involving visitation, custody, and child support in line with Nevada law.
* Both parties agree to waive the legal right to alimony and/or create a separate alimony agreement beforehand.
* Both parties agree to waive the legal right to appeal the decision or contest it later on.
* Both parties accept the decision once it’s approved.
The reason for moving forward with a stipulated divorce can vary but it comes down to simplicity. It streamlines the process and makes it less costly in comparison to a contested divorce. With a contested divorce, you can up paying a large sum in legal fees and those costs do add up. Plus, you are going to waste a significant amount of time (months) to resolve the situation. In comparison, a stipulated divorce can take less than a month in many cases. Along with saving time, a stipulated divorce also helps save money.
Donn W. Prokopius, Chtd.
3407 W Charleston Blvd Las Vegas, NV 89102