Divorce is a considerable life event that can have a long-term impact on an individual’s emotional well-being, and financial health. Each divorce is unique and requires the knowledge of a lawyer in Las Vegas who can help navigate everything from property division to parental responsibilities. Cliff W. Marcek, PC understands that choosing a divorce lawyer in Las Vegas is a highly personal decision. For this reason, we invite you to contact us for a consultation and to learn more about the representation we provide to clients going through divorce.
Cliff Marcek has practiced law for over 25 years, and he has handled well over 100 divorce and custody cases. He teaches the Family Law and Guardianship Law classes as the part time Coordinator of Community Service and the law school at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Mr. Marcek is aware of the emotional and financial stress a divorce causes, and he works with his clients to make sure the cases are resolved as economically as possible.
Nevada is a community property state which means that any income earned or property acquired during the marriage is the property of both spouses. This means that any assets, as well as any debts/liabilities, will be divided equally between the divorcing parties. It is also possible to divide the assets and liabilities unequally via a written separation agreement agreed to by both parties, or by convincing the court that there are compelling reasons for not dividing these equally.
Property owned before marriage, gifts, inheritance, or personal injury awards are considered separate property. These are excluded from community property, however, they may be set aside and used to cover the costs of alimony, debts, or child support.
When dividing property, all assets must be itemized and their source determined. This includes personal property such as jewelry, real property, cash savings, artwork, business assets, etc. The only way to change the community property law is to execute a prenuptial agreement.
Nevada courts will seek to provide the best quality of life possible for children following divorce. This includes making considerations for their health care, education, and living expenses. Ultimately, it is the court’s objective to achieve the best standard of living for children after their parents go their separate ways.
In Nevada, child support payments depend on the number of children, the gross monthly income of the divorcing parents, and the terms of the custody arrangement. Nevada uses a graduated scale to determine the amount of child support the non-custodial parent will pay.
For one child, the non-custodial parent typically pays 18% of his/her gross monthly income in child support. For two children, it’s 25%. For three children, it’s 29%, and for four children it’s 31%.
In regard to insurance, medical, and educational expenses it is expected that both parents will cover these costs equally. However, this can also be adjusted depending on alimony arrangements or the way assets and liabilities are divided.
Other factors that can influence the amount of child support a non-custodial parent will be required to pay include the cost of childcare, special educational needs, public assistance used to support the child, the parent’s legal responsibility to support other dependents, and the amount of time that each parent spends with the child.
Custody, Parenting Plans, & Visitation
It is always best when parents can amicably agree on custody and visitation arrangements. However, if this is not possible, the courts will intervene and make this decision based on what will be in the best interests of the child. In Nevada, a temporary order will be issued during the divorce proceedings prior to the determination of a permanent custody arrangement.
Alimony or spousal support is usually reserved for marriages of 7 to 10 years minimum. Alimony is based on several factors and each case is different. The courts consider several factors including marketable skills acquired during the marriage, whether one spouse stayed at home with the children, the need of the lesser earning spouse and the ability to pay of the higher earning spouse.
The custody decision determines both the child’s physical location and the parental responsibilities of both parties. These are included within the parenting plan and include decisions related to religious affiliation, education, healthcare, etc. Either parent can request that the parenting plan and custody arrangements be modified at a later date as circumstances change.
In regard to visitation, the courts will seek to provide reasonable and fair access to the children by both parents provided there are not extenuating factors such as abuse or neglect present. Additionally, the courts may grant orders requiring visitation for grandparents wishing to see their grandchildren.
Alimony is granted to help the divorcing spouse with less income maintain the standard of living present during the marriage. Factors including age, health, income, and marital contributions are considered when determining alimony. Nevada courts may grant temporary maintenance, temporary alimony, rehabilitative alimony, and permanent alimony. Alimony may be awarded in lump sum payments or monthly installments to continue for a specified period of time, or until conclusion of divorce proceedings, remarriage, completion of education, death, etc.