Choosing one of the best Las Vegas divorce attorneys is not a common occurrence. So we’ve put together this guide to help you select an attorney that’s the right match for your case. First, there’s no one attorney who is the best divorce attorney in Las Vegas. Granted they’re a very small group. But there’s more than just one. The best divorce attorney is the one who’s best for you — for your unique circumstances, your case facts, and the attorney you have the most confidence in. You must balance what’s at stake in your case with the appropriate legal representation. Here are some real life examples, but by no means all inclusive.
The Easiest Divorce Cases
If you have a very short term marriage, no children, little assets and debts, and you and your spouse are both agreeable to the divorce terms, you have one of the easiest divorce cases. If this is your situation, you might consider one of the discount law firms that provide joint petition services. A joint petition is when one attorney represents both spouses at the same time. In essence, they just processes the divorce paperwork and can’t offer individual legal advice to either spouse.
Regardless of circumstances and for your protection, we always recommend that each divorcing spouse have independent legal counsel. Therefore, we don’t do joint petitions. But the option is available elsewhere if you want it.
A Little More Complicated
The next scenario is similar, but more involved in financial circumstances and the length of the marriage. You and your spouse are agreeable to the divorce terms, and there are minor children involved. If you and your spouse are truly in agreement, you should consider an uncontested divorce. Each divorcing spouse should retain their own independent Las Vegas divorce attorney.
The reason for independent legal counsel is to ensure that your rights are protected. The decisions you make regarding the division of assets and debts, child custody, and child support will affect your life immediately, and for years to come. So it’s nothing to be trifled with. You can still have an uncontested divorce, but you’ll benefit from independent legal advice regarding all divorce issues including child related matters such as a parenting plan, appropriate child support payments, and a child custody agreement.
Contested Divorce Cases
In contested divorce cases you and your spouse are not agreeable to all the terms of the divorce. But hopefully you agree on some. The two most important aspects of contested divorce are picking the right divorce attorney and keeping your emotions in check. Understandably you cannot control the emotions of your spouse. But the only result of an over-emotional contested divorce is that the case will take longer and cost more than it needs to.
In this scenario we’ll examine a relatively short term marriage, easily identifiable financial holdings, and a dispute over some child custody issues. Since it’s a short term marriage we’ll assume that there’s no claim for alimony. Alimony claims are fraught with legal gray areas and one of the most complex divorce issues. All alimony claims and disputes require a divorce attorney with an advanced legal and courtroom skill level.
The majority of these types of divorce cases eventually resolve through a settlement which both parties agree to. Often there is considerable work necessary to achieve the settlement but it has advantages over trial resolution. A settlement is a known entity and experienced divorce attorneys know how to negotiate in your best interest.
Complex Contested Divorce Matters
The last contested divorce scenario we’ll examine is a combination of the most complex cases. In these cases there is a relatively long-term marriage, and/or there are considerable assets, large cash balances, perhaps a marital owned business, and sophisticated financial instruments such as trusts, IRA’s, 401Ks, real estate holdings, etc. These cases can also include a prenuptial and/or postnuptial agreement. There also may be a minor children involved and you and your spouse may not agree on child custody.
In long-term marriages there may be a valid claim for alimony. This is one of the most abstract and complex divorce issues and the results vary widely from case to case. The outcome is dependent on the knowledge, strategy, and tactics employed by your Las Vegas divorce attorney. This is because there is no one mathematical formula used in Nevada to determine whether an alimony claim is valid and if so, what the payment amounts and terms should be.
Division of the Marital Estate
The division of assets and debts in financially complex divorce matters also requires considerable legal expertise. Often certain assets will require an appraisal. This is particularly true with real estate holdings and businesses. Intangible assets such as the goodwill of a business, patents, copyrights, stock options, the value of a celebrity name, etc. are more challenging to appraise.
Contested Child Custody
Child custody battles should be avoided whenever it’s in the best interests of the children. In instances where it is impossible to avoid a custody battle, you’ll want a Las Vegas child custody attorney that has a track record of success. Barring significant parental malfeasance, the family courts want both parents to be actively involved in the upbringing of their minor children. So it’s the legal burden of the parent seeking primary custody to prove their case.
It should come as no surprise that expert attorneys who routinely work with these types of high stakes divorce cases are rare, in high demand, and bill for their legal representation accordingly. In reality, the very few best divorce attorneys in Las Vegas handle the most complicated divorce matters on a regular basis.
Contact Our Expert Las Vegas Divorce Attorneys
Complicated divorce, child custody, and marital law matters require expert legal representation to achieve your desired results. State Bar of Nevada Board Certified divorce attorneys Jennifer V. Abrams and Vincent Mayo provide valuable legal counsel in these complex cases. Each of our Las Vegas divorce attorneys offer courtesy phone consultations at no charge. Call 702-222-4021 to speak directly with one of them today.