How to DIY Your Nevada Divorce (and Why You Shouldn’t)

Although people can DIY a Nevada divorce by filling out and filing court-provided documents, several considerable drawbacks make it better for people to hire divorce lawyers near them.

How to DIY a Nevada Divorce

One can use court-approved documents, such as a Complaint or Joint Petition to file for divorce himself or herself in Reno. People can file a Joint Petition if they choose to file for divorce together with their spouses. Otherwise, a person will file a regular Complaint for Divorce.

Once the required forms have been filled out, they need to be filed with the local district court. Washoe County requires fees to be paid at the time of filing. After filing the forms with the court, a person will need to make sure that his or her spouse gets served with the paperwork.

Consequences of a DIY Divorce

Several problems tend to arise when spouses attempt to handle their divorce on their own.

Complicated Issues

Marriages typically have several issues that can be too complicated for spouses to resolve on their own. These include:

  • Assets
  • Income
  • Debts
  • Child support and custody issues

With such issues needing to be settled, hiring an attorney becomes crucial to ensuring a person’s rights are protected.

Delays

Without legal counsel, a person may face issues with paperwork and other details that could delay the court’s ruling. Consequently, the date the divorce becomes final could be substantially delayed. A divorce attorney helps a person avoid problems with paperwork or other issues and allows the divorce to be completed in the quickest possible time.

Costly Mistakes

The legal system can be confusing. One has to deal with lots of paperwork, and a single mistake can be costly. If the court does not understand any of the divorce documents that a person presents, the result could be a decree that is different from what the person intended.

Mistakes such as failing to address issues like credit card or medical debt and overestimating or underestimating an asset’s value can lead to an unstable financial future for a spouse and the children. Working with an attorney helps prevent a person from making mistakes that he or she might regret later in life.

How one chooses to go about the divorce will have a significant impact on how the process unfolds and on the future of the person and his or her children. Without the necessary skills at crafting agreements, the final settlement that a person ends up with after a DIY divorce may not be fully protective of his or her interests.

Kimberly Surratt served for eight years on the executive council and has been the vice chair and then chair of the State Bar of Nevada Family Law Section. In addition, she is the President-Elect of the Nevada Justice Association and the chair of the domestic lobbying committee. She has lobbied with the Nevada Justice Association since 2004.

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