• Annulment vs. Divorce

    Las Vegas is notorious for being a destination for elopers. Fortunately, Nevada has generous annulment laws , which your family attorney can help you navigate. An annulment and a divorce are similar in that they both cancel a marriage. However, there are a few crucial differences. When you are granted an annulment with the help of a Las Vegas divorce attorney, it essentially means that your marriage never existed. In contrast, a divorce means that your marriage has been terminated.

    As you’ll learn by watching this video, an annulment offers numerous benefits. Many people prefer a wedding annulment for religious reasons. Others visit a family law firm to discuss an annulment because, unlike a divorce, it does not involve the court-ordered division of assets.

  • Tips for Choosing a Divorce Attorney

    Tips for Choosing a Divorce Attorney in Las Vegas If your marriage has deteriorated and isn’t salvageable, it’s time to consult a divorce attorney . However, choosing the right family law lawyer near Las Vegas to guide you through the divorce litigation process can be tricky. You may wish to ask for referrals from any family members and friends who have also gone through a divorce. Bear in mind, however, that just because a friend had a great experience with one particular lawyer doesn’t automatically mean that you will as well. It’s best to review the lawyer’s credentials and evaluate for yourself whether he or she is the right lawyer for you.

    Experience
    The first step in selecting the right divorce attorney is to assess his or her experience. Check the lawyer’s website for biographical information. Many lawyers describe which law school they graduated from and what type of experience they have. Many lawyers specialize in one or a few different areas of the law. Make sure the attorney you select has plenty of experience with divorce litigation and divorce mediation, along with related issues such as child custody, child support, and father’s rights.

    Convenience
    After you determine that a lawyer has sufficient experience to help you navigate the divorce process and get your life back on track, consider other factors such as the convenience of the law firm. Consider whether the law firm is close enough to your home or place of business. You may also prefer to choose a lawyer that offers appointments seven days per week and you may require after hours appointments to suit your schedule.

    Affordability
    Affordability is a critical concern for many people who are going through the divorce process. Select a lawyer who offers an initial consultation free of charge. During the consultation, you can discuss the anticipated fees for the divorce. You may wish to select a lawyer who offers flexible payment plans.

    Approachability
    During the initial consultation and throughout the divorce process, you can expect to discuss highly personal and sensitive issues with the lawyer. Your lawyer will need this information to represent your interests in court . This is why it’s best to choose a lawyer with whom you feel comfortable sharing personal details.

  • Understanding Joint Petition for Divorce

    Joint Petition for Divorce Normally, when an individual files for divorce with the help of a family attorney , that individual is the petitioner while the other spouse is the respondent. In these cases, the judge typically makes decisions regarding the division of assets and similar matters. However, Nevada residents have another option. They may choose to file a joint petition for divorce, which means that both spouses mutually agree to dissolve the marriage. A joint petition requires that both spouses come to an agreement regarding the crucial issues of divorce, including asset division. As with any type of divorce proceeding, it’s imperative that both spouses obtain the services of a family law attorney serving Las Vegas.

    Working with Professionals
    While it is possible for individuals filing a joint petition to represent their own interests, it generally isn’t advisable. A family attorney is still needed to ensure that all of the paperwork is in order and will be acceptable to the judge. And while some couples may be able to amicably agree on some issues, other issues may require the help of a skilled negotiator. For example, a Henderson divorce attorney can help the spouses reach a mutually agreeable decision regarding the payment of spousal support and child support, in addition to child custody and visitation rights.

    Submitting the Settlement Agreement
    When both spouses agree to file a joint petition for divorce, they do not need to file a complaint. Instead, they will file a settlement agreement with the court. The settlement agreement is a written document that describes exactly how the major issues will be handled. It describes the joint custody or sole custody arrangement, spousal support, child support, asset division, and liability division. After the child support attorney draws up the document, both spouses must have their signatures notarized.

    Submitting the Waiver of Rights
    Along with the settlement agreement, the spouses must submit a waiver of rights to the court. This document waives each spouse’s right to service of process. By signing this document in the presence of a notary public, the parties both agree that they were fully informed of the divorce proceedings. Except under rare circumstances such as fraud, this document prevents an ex-spouse from later claiming that he or she was unaware of the terms of the divorce agreement.

  • The Custody Rights of Fathers

    Fathers often feel as though the court system favors the mother when determining issues such as physical custody. Although some judges may still hold a bias in favor of the mother, the law recognizes that fathers do have the same rights as mothers once paternity has been established. Fathers can work with a child custody lawyer to learn more about their legal rights. A family attorney can represent fathers in court and negotiate for custody orders that are in the best interests of the child.

    You can watch this video to hear more about working with a fathers’ rights attorney near Las Vegas. This expert explains why some fathers may need to consult a lawyer even after court orders have been established.

  • The Different Types of Child Custody Arrangements

    Custody of child. of the child B born on th 19 B has for most of randparents. C, the mot тay not Custody issues are a complex part of family law that vary from state to state. If you’re going through a divorce or separation and there are children involved, it’s a good idea to consult a child custody lawyer as soon as possible. At a family law firm near Las Vegas, you can discuss your goals for the outcome of the case, such as obtaining joint custody . Your child custody lawyer can also help you understand what you might expect from the proceedings and which types of child custody arrangements the judge may establish.

    Physical Custody
    When a judge establishes physical custody, it means that a determination has been made regarding which parent’s residence the child will live in. The court may consider a wide range of factors when making this decision. The overriding factor concerns the best interests of the child. The court may also consider the capacity of each parent to provide care, the child’s relationships with various members of the family, the child’s age and gender, the continuity of a stable home environment, and each parent’s history of domestic violence, or drug and alcohol abuse. Depending upon the child’s age, the court may also consider the preferences of the child.

    Legal Custody
    Your child custody attorney in Henderson can help you understand the differences between legal and physical custody . If you’ve been awarded legal custody, it means that you have the authority to make major decisions regarding how your child is raised. This includes decisions regarding the child’s education, healthcare, and religious upbringing.

    Joint Custody
    Many people who consult a child custody lawyer have the intention of pursuing joint custody. Joint custody may refer to either physical or legal custody, or both. When parents share joint custody of a child, it means that they both have the authority to make major decisions for the child and to have the child live at their residence. Typically, the child will primarily live at one residence and have frequent visitations with the other parent.

    Sole Custody
    When a parent is awarded sole physical and legal custody of a child, it means the child will only live with that parent. The other parent may or may not have visitation rights, depending on the circumstances. Sole custody may be awarded in cases involving domestic violence and similar situations.

  • What Is a No-Fault Divorce?

    Couple Talking to Lawyer A no-fault divorce is a divorce that is granted without one of the spouses proving that the other spouse did anything wrong to break up the marriage. When your divorce attorney applies for a no-fault divorce , he or she will simply provide a reason the state recognizes for divorce, such as irreconcilable differences. Nevada is a no-fault divorce state in which no couple must argue fault to be awarded a divorce.

    You may wonder why you need a divorce lawyer serving Las Vegas if you don’t have to prove any fault to get a divorce, but it’s important to remember that winning the actual divorce is only a small piece of a divorce attorney’s work. Your divorce lawyer will also help you negotiate things like division of property and legal and physical custody of your children. When deciding these issues, courts can and do consider fault, so your lawyer can help shield you from any accusations your ex-spouse might make while helping to make a case on your behalf.

  • A Look at Joint Custody

    In Nevada, without evidence to the contrary, the courts assume that joint custody is the best solution for children after a divorce. What does it mean to have joint custody of your child? A child custody lawyer in Las Vegas can help you understand all of the ramifications of this type of custody. This video also explains more.

    Joint custody encompasses legal and physical custody. Joint legal custody means a shared right to make important decisions about a child’s life, such as medical decisions. Physical custody refers to where the child lives. You may ask your child custody lawyer to allow one parent to have physical custody, or you may choose for your family lawyer to negotiate shared physical custody. Your child custody lawyer will help you present a case which demonstrates that your desired custody outcome is in the best interest of your child.

  • How Is Child Custody Determined?

    Child custody is one of the many significant issues couples face during divorce. From the court’s perspective, the only guiding principle is to make the decision that is best for the child, despite how much parents may disagree. A child custody lawyer can help you understand the law and devise the best possible case to help you get the outcome you desire. Talk to a child custody attorney in Las Vegas about your case to understand your options. Here’s a look at some of the issues a judge considers when awarding child custody.

    State Law

    Most states have laws that provide a basic framework for how child custody should work in most cases. In Nevada, the law assumes that joint custody is in the best interest of the child. Usually, parents share legal custody, meaning they share the right to make education, medical, and other important decisions, and that one parent gets physical custody, meaning that his or her home is the primary residence for the child. However, many factors may make a judge determine that joint custody is not an ideal solution.

    How Is Child Custody Determined? Domestic Abuse
    Past domestic abuse against anyone in the family can weigh heavily on child custody proceedings. If you or your children have been the victim of domestic abuse by your spouse, then your child custody lawyer may attempt to argue that shared custody and visitation are inappropriate. The courts will consider things like when the domestic abuse occurred and whether it was an isolated incident or a pattern of behavior.

    Stability of Home Environment
    When making determinations about physical custody and visitation, the courts consider the stability of each home. Factors include whether children can stay on their usual schedules in the home, whether the home is clean and safe, and who else lives in or visits the home.

  • Meet Kurt A. Smith, Esq.

    Kurt A. Smith, Esq. is uniquely qualified to help individuals navigate issues pertaining to family law, business law, insurance law, and other specialty practice areas. As the founding attorney of Smith Legal Group, a family law office in the Las Vegas Valley, Mr. Smith is devoted to providing aggressive legal representation for his clients and maintaining the highest ethical standards.

    Meet Kurt A. Smith, Esq. | Las Vegas, NV On his path to becoming a family law attorney, Kurt Smith obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and then earned his Juris Doctorate from the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He then worked for a national law firm in the areas of insurance law and civil litigation. He has also served as a Project Manager for IBM, playing a critical role in the company’s globalization initiatives. Mr. Smith also gained key experience working as an insurance adjuster, during which he gained an in-depth knowledge of accident reconstruction and on-scene accident investigations. After founding his own family law firm, Mr. Smith has been honored to serve residents of Las Vegas with outstanding legal representation in the areas of family law, commercial litigation, personal injury, bankruptcy, corporate law, and insurance law.

  • Grounds for Divorce in Nevada

    While divorce is an emotionally trying experience, itis important to keep the legal aspects in mind to protect your children and your financial future. That starts with meeting with a divorce attorney to understand grounds for divorce. If you have made the decision to divorce, seek out a Las Vegas divorce attorney to get the process started. Here are the basics you need to know about the legal grounds for divorce in this state.

    Irreconcilable Differences

    Nevada has a strictly no-fault divorce system. That means that your divorce attorney can’t make the argument that some action by your spouse has led to the divorce, though he or she may argue that certain behaviors have led to an adverse financial effect when it comes to the distribution of property or that certain behaviors would have a detrimental effect on the best interests of a child in relation to the child custody aspects of your case. That notwithstanding, most divorces are granted on the grounds of irreconcilable differences, also sometimes referred to as incompatibility. This simply means that you and your spouse are unable to work out the differences between you in a way that allows you to continue with your marriage.

    Separation

    Grounds for Divorce in Nevada Although irreconcileable differences is one ground for divorce, Nevada also permits an application for divorce after spouses have been living apart for at least one year. Note that if you choose to divorce on this ground, your separation must have been physical and your divorce lawyer will need to prove that you have not shared a residence at all during that 12-month period. In the case of a desertion—when your spouse has left without warning and severed ties from the family for a period of 90 days—your divorce lawyer can apply for permanent support payments for yourself and your children without yet having to file for divorce.

    Mental Illness

    Courts will award your petition for divorce if you can demonstrate that your spouse has been suffering from insanity for two years prior to your filing. During the divorce litigation, your attorney may need to call an expert witness to prove your spouse’s condition. Establishing that your spouse has been suffering from insanity for this period may also impact the division of property and child custody aspects of your case.