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Las Vegas Divorce Law Blog

Understanding the role and procedure of separation agreements

Nevada couples who are seeking a divorce may be interested in learning more about separation agreements. These agreements can be very helpful in getting the couple's understanding of many issues in writing before moving forward with the divorce.

When a couple is thinking about divorcing and seeking a legal separation, they may sign an agreement that covers various legal issues between them, including child custody, spousal support and other matters. This contract is known as a separation agreement or a separate maintenance agreement. The agreement is not limited to these common issues, however. A couple can memorialize their understanding as to who takes care of pets and important child rearing issues in the agreement, as well. A separation agreement is technically a post-nuptial agreement, since it is made after the couple is married but before they divorce.

How do I get a temporary protective order in Las Vegas?

A temporary protective order is generally issued in domestic violence cases where an abuser is actively stalking, harming or threatening the life of the victim. The TPO serves as a means of protection against the abuser. To receive a TPO in Las Vegas against someone currently or previously in a domestic relationship, the petitioner must go to the Family Violence Intervention office and fill out the necessary forms. Documents may be faxed or delivered to the office in person.

For out-of-state protection orders, it may take slightly longer to process the person's petition. Both in-state and out-of-state protection orders require a name and address of the abusive individual. A physical description or picture may be helpful in this process. Once the order has been granted, it will be forwarded to the Clark County Sheriff's Office, and after the TPO is processed, police officers will serve the order to the abuser.

Statutory guidelines for child support orders

In Nevada, there are established guidelines with regard to how family courts determine the amount of child support to order in a particular divorce case. These guidelines, set forth by the Nevada Revised Statutes, call for non-custodial parents to pay a percentage of their gross monthly income based on the number of children requiring support. For one child, the law calls for 18 percent of the income of the parent bearing the obligation for support; for two children, 25 percent; for three, 29 percent; and for four, 31 percent. The called-for amount increases by two percent for each child beyond four.

The statute also includes presumptive maximums per child, so parents who earn substantial incomes may have their payments capped at a certain level. A court may deviate from the guidelines in the event that a parent demonstrates one or more circumstances prohibiting the needs of the child from being met in accordance with the schedule set forth by NRS 125B.070.

Understanding how courts decide interstate custody arrangements

Las Vegas parents may be interested in some information on how interstate child custody issues are dealt with. When multiple states are involved in a dispute, determining the proper court where the issue should be heard requires that court to meet certain requirements.

The U.S. Constitution contains a clause, known as the Full Faith and Credit Clause, which says that courts must enforce and respect judgments from other states. Regardless of this mandate, courts did not enforce out-of-state custody agreements with any consistency in the past. Since most states have adopted a version of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, however, courts now follow the standards set by the law.

Building a divorce team

A divorce in Nevada can be a complex legal situation. The division of assets is often one of the most complex issues tackled in any divorce. A piece of real estate, a car or some furniture may be relatively easy to divide. One spouse can surrender the asset, or the asset can simply be sold and the funds divided. Other types of assets, especially investments, stocks, businesses assets, retirement accounts and trust funds, are not always so easy to divide.

When faced with these complicated divorce assets, it is unrealistic to assume that a single professional will have all of the information or expertise needed to sort through them. This is where other specialists can come in to help find and organize information so that the attorney can organize and present the case in the best way possible for the client. A forensic accountant is a financial specialist that is skilled at sorting out complex financial scenarios and discovering all of the assets pertaining to a divorce. Depending on the circumstances, it may be necessary to have one or more than one such specialist working on the divorce. This creates a divorce team that ensures every aspect of the divorce is handled correctly.

Neil Young files for divorce in California court

Singer Neil Young filed a petition to dissolve his marriage to Pegi Young on July 29 in San Mateo, California. The couple had been married for 36 years and Mrs. Young frequently collaborated on his songs. A hearing regarding the divorce request is scheduled for Dec. 12. The couple has one son, and there was no word as to whether spousal or child support for either party was being sought in the case.

Pegi Young was credited as being an inspiration for Neil Young's hits Unknown Legend, Once an Angel and Such a Woman. They performed on stage together at the 1994 academy awards and she had been a backstage singer since the 1990s. The couple hosts a yearly benefit concert each year in California to promote the Bridge School. It was co-created by the couple to help provide educational benefits to children with special needs as their own son has cerebral palsy.

Important child support information for Clark County residents

In dealing with raising a child on one's own, support issues can be significant in determining how well a parent can care for that juvenile. The circumstances resulting in the need for support may be varied, but the typical route for a parent to initiate a support case in Clark County, Nevada, is by application through the Family Support Division. Information to be provided includes the name, date of birth and Social Security number of the individual who is expected to pay child support. That individual's current residential and employment information should also be supplied along with addresses and names of their friends and family members.

Documentation of one's own legal separation or divorce should be supplied along with birth certificates for each child for whom support is needed. There is no fee to initiate a child support case. In addition to seeking support payments, the Family Support Division may be able to assist with medical insurance enforcement on behalf of children. Courts have many avenues for dealing with a parent who does not pay support that is due, including attachment of wages or other financial income, ordering of a parent to seek a job, and placing liens against property.

Money mistakes to avoid during divorce

While Nevada individuals might be in a hurry to finalize the divorce process, rushing through the financial aspects of divorce can be costly in the long run. Learning to avoid a few mistakes that individuals sometimes make regarding finances during divorce can make the whole process run more smoothly.

One mistake is believing that assets that have the same value will result in the same net amount. Taxes on assets can have a dramatic impact on the actual value that a spouse will receive from the asset. For example, unrealized capital gains on taxable investments can result in a future tax liability. Taxes are particularly relevant when dealing with retirement income. For example, Roth IRAs are funded with pre-tax dollars, while 401(k)s are funded with after-tax dollars. A distribution for a Roth IRA does not incur taxes, while one for a 401(k) does. Additionally, taking funds out early from a retirement account may cause a spouse to incur a tax penalty.

Former X-Files actor files for divorce

Nevada residents may be following the reports that David Duchovny and his former spouse Tea Leoni have finalized their divorced. Duchovny filed for divorce in June. The couple came to a settlement on their own, which will see Duchovny pay $40,000 a month in spousal support. He will also pay $8,333 in child support plus other expenses each month.

While Leoni will have primary physical custody of their 15-year-old and 12-year-old children, both parents will have legal custody rights. The couple first was married in 1997 and separated in 2008 before reconciling after several months apart. They separated again in 2011, and Duchovny cited an irretrievable breakdown in the relationship during the June divorce filing. Representatives for both parties declined to comment about the reports.

What abuse victims can do to get help

Domestic violence services provider Safe Nest says that 42 percent of all women in Nevada have experienced domestic abuse. When left unchecked, it could result in emotional or physical trauma. In some cases, victims of domestic abuse could be killed by their abuser. While homicides due to domestic violence fell in the state in 2013, the rate appears to be rising according to a representative for the group.

Organizations such as Safe Nest provide shelter, emergency protection orders and other resources that victims of domestic abuse may need. Many victims of abuse stay because they don't always realize that they are being abused. The cycle of domestic abuse generally involves abuse occurring, the abuser apologizing and the victim forgiving the attacker. While the relationship may seem better after the apology, the abuse will likely continue.