Frequently Asked Family Law Questions

YOUR QUESTIONS – ANSWERED.

Family Law

Q. What legal matters are covered by Family Law? 

A. Family law is inclusive of divorce, child custody, child relocation, child support, termination of parental rights, alimony, and guardianship.

Q. Can I file divorce in Nevada? 

A. Individuals may file for divorce in Nevada if they have lived in the state for a minimum of six weeks and plan on living in Nevada during the duration of the divorce.

Q. What is the difference between legal custody and physical custody?

A. Legal custody gives a parent the right to make major life decisions for the child on their behalf. Examples include schooling, religion, and medical decisions. Physical custody refers to the child’s schedule, where they will live and with which parent they will spend their time.

Q. What are the qualifications for an annulment?

A. Surprisingly, Nevada does not have a time limit for an individual to file for annulment.  However, there are specific criteria that must be met during a marriage for annulment consideration.  For example, if a party was married to another individual at the time he or she married you. An annulment may be considered if an individual was under the age of 18 and did not obtain proper consent. Annulment would also be considered by the Court if one party was mentally instable or committed fraud at the time of marriage. 

Q. How much does a divorce cost?

A. This is our most common question. While we aim to be fully transparent, this answer depends on multiple factors making it difficult to estimate the total cost without getting to know about your family. In Nevada, the average divorce costs about $14,000. As you can imagine, no two divorces are the same. Marital estate, child custody, alimony, and property disputes are some factors that increase the complexity of the divorce which may have an impact on the total cost. We realize divorce is emotional and worrying about costs can be intimidating. At Work Law, we are upfront and transparent. To be proactive, we will ask you to share financial information and relevant facts about your children at your consultation. At that time, we will provide advice and share expectations as we go through this process together.

Q. Can both my spouse and I use the same attorney for a divorce?

A. It is possible for an uncontested divorce. We would ask that you meet with Attorney Mathew Work together and sign an agreement waiving conflict of interest.

Q. How can Work Law help me gain child custody?

A. In Nevada, our judges often decide the outcome of child custody. It is critical your have an experienced family law attorney on your side – and preferably as early as possible. Ultimately, the court will make a decision in the best interest of your children. Consulting a lawyer prior to filing for divorce is critical when minor children are involved, especially if you believe they are at risk alone with your spouse. 

Q. Will the Court make us sell our house?

A. No, the Court cannot make you sell your property. However, Nevada is a Community Property state. Typically, all assets and debt acquired during the marriage are owned equally.

Q. How long does Divorce take?

A. Unfortunately, this is not so straightforward. An uncontested divorce typically takes one month. Once the attorney receives all pertinent information from their client, the attorney will draft the pleadings and submit to the Court. The Court will review the pleadings and sign the Decree of Divorce. If children are involved, the Court may require both parties to attend a course to assist children through divorce. Contested divorces, on the other hand, are a little more unpredictable because child custody, division of assets and financial issues must be resolved one by one. Additionally, the attorney your spouse chooses may be a factor in the length of time the process takes as well. On average, contested divorces take between 6-12 months, but may extended beyond the average for extraordinary situations.

Defense Law

Q. What type of [criminal] defense cases does Work Law handle?

A. Attorney Mathew Work’s background is in criminal defense. He served as a criminal prosecutor and found his way back to defending the rights of those convicted of a crime. At Work Law, we represent clients convicted of DUI, drug crimes, violent crimes, domestic violence, federal changes, felony charges and white collar crimes.

Q. What should I do if I am charged with a crime?

A. Regardless of why you were arrested or charged with a crime, you should know your constitutional right to remain silent and have an attorney present to represent you. Regardless if you are innocent or not, do not make a statement to the police officer until you meet with your lawyer.

Q. How can a former criminal prosecutor help me or a family member?

A. The Nevada criminal process is confusing. Our criminal defense attorney, Mathew Work, has the background and courtroom experience to communicate effectively with both the Court and his clients. If your case goes to trial, Mathew will gather evidence, challenge the prosecution’s claim, and defend your rights through a plea or at trial.

How can I make divorce easier for my kids?

 Nevada Family Lawyer - Make Divorce Easier for Kids

Watching parents fall out of love and end their relationship creates uncertainty in the household, no matter the child’s age. And when parents move into separate households, children are tasked with adjusting to life without the presence of both parents each day.

Fortunately, there are ways to make divorce easier on your kids.

Let them know both parents love them unconditionally – Your children might feel like the divorce is their fault. Reassure them it is not and both you and your spouse love them.  

Be the adult – Your children need nurturing and your role is to help them through this process. Hopefully you have a support system in place to nurture you when you need it.

Be a good listener – Pay attention to your children’s emotions and encourage open communication.

Be mindful of transitions – Children are already adjusting to two homes and finding their “new normal”. Avoid unnecessary change to reduce your child’s stress.

Communicate with your ex – This isn’t easy, but it helps if you can forgive your ex at some level. Pick up and drop offs should be cordial. Your children should see both parents as pleasant as possible toward one another.   

Don’t talk poorly about the other parent – Making negative statements about your ex in front of your children is not healthy. In fact, it may harm your child’s sense of self-worth. If you have something to say to your former spouse, contact them directly and keep children out of it.

Why do I Need a Divorce Attorney?

 Reno, Nevada divorce attorney

When a marriage is ending, it can be emotional and overwhelming. How the divorce is handled will impact your life and your children’s life long after the divorce is final. Asking yourself questions like “do I need to hire a lawyer?” and “can I represent myself in court?” are valid concerns. 

We recommend talking with an attorney about your legal options before beginning the divorce process or immediately after finding out about the divorce if you are on the serving end. Learning how the divorce process works can give you peace of mind. A divorce attorney can advise how to protect your rights and interests, especially if your spouse is likely to disagree with your requests.

Unless your marriage lasted a very short time, you and your spouse have minimal assets, and you and your spouse do not have children, you should seek legal representation. Skilled legal representation will help protect your assets and property, child custody, and support needed for both you and your children. Most divorces are not so simple. For those representing themselves, it’s common to overlook legal issues like taxes, division of retirement assets, allocation of debts and other issues.

Nevada Divorce Lawyer

A Nevada divorce lawyer will help you identify these items and ensure your divorce settlement addresses all legal disputes.  For more information, contact Work Law for a free consultation or read more about the divorce process.

 

How to File for Divorce in Nevada

 Nevada Divorce Attorney

Divorce is not easy, but the process is relatively straightforward. In this article, we will provide an overview of the divorce process and what to expect. 

To file in Nevada, either spouse must have lived in Nevada for at least six weeks. Filing must occur in the county the parties lived in when they were married or the county one of the parties currently resides in. Since Nevada is a no-fault divorce state, the party filing for divorce will choose the reason for divorce as either incompatibility or living apart for at least one year. 

If both parties agree on all issues related to the divorce, you can file a Joint Petition. In this case, the following documents are required:

  • Decree of Divorce
  • Affidavit of Resident Witness
  • Certificate of Service or Waiver, and
  • Child Welfare and Identification Sheet

If the parties do not agree to all issues surrounding the divorce, the party will file a Compliant for Divorce. In this scenario, a Summons must also be filed.

Depending on the details of the divorce, other documents may be required. Once all appropriate forms are completed, the party filing will take the required number of copies to the clerk of court’s office. 

Nevada law requires the filing party to serve the documents to the other party, an action called the Service of Process. The other party has 20 days to file a response. If both parties reach a divorce agreement before the case moves forward, a settlement agreement can be presented to the court. Settlement allows the parties more control over their case and saves money. 

 

Experienced Family Law Attorney

If you are the filing party or were just served divorce papers, contact an experienced divorce attorney. Work Law will assist you through the process to give you peace of mind during this time of stress.

 

Child Relocation in Nevada

 Child Relocation in Nevada

For many people, relocating is not uncommon. New job opportunities or family matters may lead people to consider relocating their families outside Nevada. Unfortunately, this becomes challenging with children following a divorce.

When child custody has been established, moving out of state is not so simple. Under NRS 125C.200, Nevada custodial parents wishing to relocate children out of the state must seek approval from the noncustodial parent. If the noncustodial parent refuses to give consent, the parent with primary physical custody must petition the court.   

In situations of joint physical custody, the parent wishing to relocate his or her residence out of Nevada must obtain written consent from non-relocating parent allowing the move and if the non-relocating parent refuses to give their consent, he or she must petition the court for primary physical custody for the purposes of relocating. In this case, the court will consider a number of factors before ruling on the case. The most important to consider is what is in the best interest of the child.

 

Obtain a Child Relocation Attorney

If you or your former spouse are considering relocating with your child, contact a child relocation attorney for a free consultation. The legal process can be quite complex.  Working with an attorney at Work Law will help protect your parental rights.

What is Divorce Mediation?

 Divorce mediation law reno, nevada

Mediation is an informal intervention between two parties to resolve disputes and reach an agreement. The process is facilitated by a trained third party, called a mediator. It is often used in legal matters as a cost-effective alternative to litigation.

The same method is used in divorce. Divorce mediation may be suggested to you and your spouse when going through a divorce. In this situation, both you and your spouse will attend a mediation session with an independent mediator to discuss issues relevant to the divorce. Issues may include child custody, child custody and alimony. The intent is to work through those pain points and reach an agreement amicably without having to go to court.

 

Reno Family Lawyer

Contact our law firm by phone at 775-386-2226 to speak with an experienced Family Law attorney.  Work Law will help you decide if divorce mediation is an appropriate option for your case.

 

Grandparent Visitation Rights

 Grandparent Visitation Rights Attorney

Did you know under rare circumstances grandparents have rights to visit grandchildren? The court may allow visitation to a child’s grandparents if:

-        Parental rights have been terminated

-        The parent was never legally married to the other parent

-        The parent is separated or divorced from the parent with child custody

-        The parent is deceased

 

If a parent denies, or unreasonably restricts, a grandparent’s right to visit their child, Nevada law presumes that is in the best interest of the child. However, with clear and convincing evidence, Nevada court will consider grandparents visitation rights that are in the best interest of the child. 

The court will determine the child’s best interest by considering the following factors:

-        The grandparent and child relationship  

-        The grandparent’s mental and physical health

-        The child’s preference for visitation

-        The financial support and emotional support provided by the grandparents

-        The grandparent’s ability to provide child with material needs like health care, food, and clothing

 

Nevada Family Law Attorney

Every family is different. If you have been denied visitation rights, seek an experienced family law attorney. The process for determining the best interest of a child is complex. Contact Work Law today so we can help you regain your relationship with your grandchild.

Do you have a right to Alimony/Spousal Support?

 Spousal support and alimony attorney reno, nv

Alimony, or spousal support, is a court-ordered payment made from one party to the other party after divorce. Its purpose is to provide financial support for the party who was not working or earned substantially lower income than their spouse. State laws vary on how alimony is paid, but in Nevada is it typically paid in regular payments. Depending on the length or marriage and financial position of the divorcing couple, spousal support allowances are determined by the Court (NRS 125.150).

Nevada courts recognize three types of alimony or spousal support that may be awarded to either party in a divorce case.  

Types of Alimony

-        Temporary – Temporary alimony is awarded during the divorce proceedings and is intended to help cover short-term living expenses.

-        Rehabilitative – Rehabilitative alimony is also awarded short-term. It is meant to give the receiving party time to adjust financially to their new lifestyle and become self-supporting. This support is typically used to develop work skills, take trainings, and earn credentials.

-        Permanent – Permanent alimony is paid to the receiving party of long-term marriages. This type of alimony is granted when temporary alimony is not sufficient and rehabilitative alimony is not reasonable. Typically, the receiving party’s age and ability to work is an important factor. Permanent spousal support is paid until death of the payor or the receiving party is remarried.  

For the Court to consider spousal support, one party must have a genuine need for financial support after divorce, and the other party must have the funds to support it.  The Court will consider the following factors of each individual when determining whether or not to grant alimony and in what amount (NRS 125.150(9)): 

- financial position

- value of property

- contributions to any property

- duration of marriage

- income and earning capacity

- age and health

- career history before the marriage

 

Reno Alimony and Spousal Support Attorney

Whether you need solid legal representation to help secure alimony, or if you are faced with undesirable spousal support payments, we can help. Our spousal support attorney will take a tailored approach to your family law needs and will advocate your rights. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Contact our office today at 775-386-2226 to schedule a free consultation.

Joint Petition Divorce in Reno

 Joint Petition Divorce

If you need a divorce in Nevada, a joint petition may be a good place to start. 

Joint Petition Divorces in Nevada

Agreeing on divorce parameter as spouses make the whole divorce process simpler and faster in Reno. Sometimes you may not even need a family lawyer. Your divorce papers detailed or not ought to act in accordance with Reno NV divorce law. Uncontested divorce cases require the services of an uncontested divorce lawyer. This will help prevent future problems that arise from mistakes made in uncontested divorce cases.

Why you need help in uncontested divorce case

You are likely to pay a high price for the slightest mistake in an uncontested divorce case in the future. This is why it is imperative to make right decisions in regard to child support, child custody among others. The terms should be fair and acceptable by both of you and in accordance to Reno NV divorce law of course.

Don’t underrate any of the agreements or assume that it is not necessary to formalize them on grounds that you trust your ex-spouse to be. Remember that you are only sure about today and tomorrow is always a mystery. Here are the things you should not joke around with during the uncontested divorce case;

  • Your children; at least hire a family lawyer to provide you with a clear and all-inclusive parenting plans. A lawyer will help you understand your responsibilities and rights when it comes to your children `
  • Property division; in as much your spouse has no objection, it is important to include an attorney who will help you on debt and asset sharing during the divorce. This entails valuing assets, for instance, real estate, retirement benefits as well as business.
  • Alimony; taking time during the divorce, in order to come up with alimony terms is worth the wait. This entails the amount of money to be sent and when as it prevents future dispute.

In Nevada, an uncontested divorce law requires that spouses create a complete divorce settlement that suits all the needs of the spouses.

Understand the process of filing a joint petition

Here are some of the crucial issues on which both parties are supposed to agree in a joint petition.

  • Reasons for divorce
  • In case of children under age 18, there should be agreement on child custody, child support, medical insurance, visitation and the holiday schedule.
  • Community property and debt division.
  • Alimony condition

During the divorce process, at least you should include a third party. Such an individual will be a witness of a complete divorce process and see to it that you have all signed the agreements.

A joint divorce petition should be filed in the court within your country. Your petition packet ought to entail the following divorce joint petition; resident witness affidavit, the cover sheet and a Child Welfare Identification Sheet in cases where the couple has kids.

After that, you people should give the judge handling your case a copy of the filed documents as well as original divorce decree.

Divorce decree should have the agreements of the parties in regard to child's support, visitation, division of property and debts, alimony and custody.

The divorce decree should only be filed after bearing the judge's signature. After it is signed by the judge, go ahead and file with the clerk at your nearest court.

Finally, uncontested divorce cases are less stressful though you need to do everything right and within Reno Nevada uncontested divorce laws.

Call today for a free Family Law case evaluation. 775-386-2226 

Drunk Driving Charges and Penalties

 DUI DWI Criminal Defense Law Charges

For anyone who took the Nevada drivers test, the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) limit should not be a surprise. The BAC limit is .08% for 21 years and older and .02% for those under 21 years old.

Beware. Alcohol is not the only substance to be cautious of. Drivers can be arrested and convicted if operating a vehicle after consuming other intoxicants like marijuana and cocaine. Whether you or a family member were driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated/impaired (DWI), these are serious offences. In Nevada, drunk driving is the largest cause of motor vehicle fatalities.

Nevada laws are strict on drunk driving.

 

First Offense

Drivers over 21 years old and arrested of a DUI/DWI are likely facing criminal charges. The first offense DUI/DWI is a Misdemeanor. The driver will likely spend two days to six months in jail, pay up to $1000 fine, and be subject to community service hours. Additionally, if the driver is convicted of DUI or DWI their life will change in the following ways:

-          Their driver’s license will be revoked for 90 days

-          The driver will have to pay for and attend DUI school

-          They may be required to undergo a treatment program

 

Second Offense

If the second offense occurs within seven years, the DUI/DWI will be treated as a Misdemeanor. The driver will spend anywhere from ten days to six months behind bars and owe a $1000 fine. Additionally, if the driver is convicted of a second DUI or DWI the following is likely to occur:

-          Their driver’s license will be revoked for one year

-          The driver will be required to complete 100-200 hours of community service within a period set by the Court

-          The driver will have to pay for and attend DUI school

-          They may be required to undergo a supervised treatment program for up to one year

 

Third Offense

The third and any subsequent offenses are treated as a Class B Felony. This would result in imprisonment for a minimum of one year to six years. In addition to a $2000-$5000 fine, the third (or more) offense will result in:

-          A revoked driver’s license for three years

-          Suspended vehicle registration

-          Community Service hours

-          A three-year treatment program

Note: In some cases, convicted drivers may be eligible for a Restricted License for the sole purposes of getting to work and picking up children. 

 

Nevada DUI Attorney

If children are present in the vehicle or an accident or injury occurred while driving under the influence, you may be hit with the maximum penalties.  If you have been charged with a DUI or DWI get help from a DUI/DWI attorney. Attorney Mathew Work is a former criminal prosecutor and can help you fight a DUI/DWI charge.