Supreme Court Applies NRS 11.190(1)(a) to Family Court Decisions

If you were awarded property or money in a family court, you should know there is a time limit to enforce the judgment or decree. Last fall the Nevada Supreme Court ruled in Davidson v. Davidson, 132 Nev. Adv. Op. 71 (2016), that a court cannot enforce a judgement, including an obligation arising from a decree of divorce, if more than six years pass from the creation of the obligation. This means if you wait more than six years to go to court to force payment on a judgment, the trial court will not have the power to enforce the award against the other party.

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Community Property and Premarital Agreements

Community vs. Separate Property

Once a couple marries, all property acquired during marriage is considered community property unless otherwise specified by an agreement in writing, a decree of separation or divorce. A husband and wife have equal interests in community property. If the husband works and buys a property with his income, the property belongs to both parties equally.

Separate property is property owned by a spouse before marriage and property acquired by the spouse after marriage by gift or inheritance. The pain and suffering and suffering portion of an award for personal injury damages is also separate property. An award for medical expenses is not separate property, because the medical expenses are community debts. 

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Termination of parental rights – Nevada law

As a divorce attorney, I know that when a parent can loses custody over his or her child it is pretty bad.  Imagine when a parent loses his or her parental rights. These are sad cases but sometimes it is necessary for the protection of the child to separate the child from a parent who poses a danger to the child either because of drug use, alcohol abuse or criminality.  In other situation, termination of parental rights is necessary because the parent is not supporting the child and not communication with the child.  This is an absentee parent.  Termination of parental rights of an absentee parents will enable the child to be adopted into a loving and supportive family.

The law and procedure regarding termination of parental rights is found in chapter 128 of Nevada Revised Statutes. A parent can lose his or her parental rights due to abandonment of the child, neglect of the child or injury to the child.

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Annulment in Nevada

Annulment

In order for a marriage to be annulled, the marriage must be void or voidable. A void marriage  never had legal effect. A voidable marriage exists but can be undone with decree of annulment. The legal effect of a decree of annulment is that the marriage is void.

While a divorce in Nevada is based on incompatibility, or separation for over one year or insanity existing for two years prior to the commencement of the action, the legal grounds for annulment are narrower and are based on the idea that a marriage is a contract. Like a contract, a marriage can be void depending on the facts. If the facts of the case do not fit within the annulment grounds, the parties should seek divorce and not annulment.

Void Marriage

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Alimony Under Nevada Law

What is alimony?

In an action for divorce or for legal separation, the court, in addition to dividing community property and community debts, can order payments to be made from one party to the other for the support and education. These payments are alimony. Alimony can be paid in a lump sum or, more commonly, in periodic payments.

There is no formula regarding the computation of alimony.

Nevada law states that an alimony award has to be “just and equitable.” The words “just and equitable” signify that a judge has discretion in determining the amount and duration. This discretion makes it difficult to predict what  is “just and equitable” in the eyes of the particular judge the case was assigned to. Knowledge of the judge’s previous awards of alimony and knowledge of the facts of the case are essential in estimating what the alimony award, if any, will be.

What does the law tell the judge to consider regarding the award of alimony?

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