Nevada Divorce 101

Rena McDonald



The State of Nevada, the marriage capital of the world, is known for quick and easy marriages. But with 13.9% of Nevadans being divorced, it is also the divorce capital of the world. If divorce hasn’t affected you personally, chances are it will affect a family member or friend. Here are some basics to consider:

Grounds/Causes for Divorce: The grounds for divorce are outlined in NRS 125.010. Most people choose “incompatibility.” Incompatibility is a “catch-all” provision. The mere fact that one party wants a divorce, even if the other party doesn’t, proves incompatibility. Nevada is a “no-fault” state, which means you can obtain a divorce for any reason and your spouse cannot prevent you from obtaining a divorce.

Residency Requirements: The spouse initiating the divorce must have been a resident of Nevada for at least six weeks prior to filing for divorce and must intend to make Nevada their home for an indefinite period of time. 

What about the Children? If you have children under the age of 18 (or 18 and in high school), then custody and support must be addressed. The children must be a Nevada resident for a least six months prior to filing.

There are two types of custody; legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody means a parent has a say in important decisions and may obtain records for the child.  There is a presumption that joint legal custody is in the child’s best interest.

Physical custody is based on where the child lives. Primary physical custody mean one parent has the child most of the time. Joint/Shared Physical custody means both parents have equal time with the child. The Nevada Supreme Court allows for a split of 60/40 to be considered joint custody. Sole legal custody means only one parent has the child and the other parent may have limited, supervised, or no visitation.

In Nevada, child support is calculated based on the parents’ gross monthly income – one child is 18%; two children is 25%, three children is 29%; four children is 31%; and each additional child is +2%. There is a statutory minimum of $100 per month per child. If one party has primary physical custody, then the non-custodial parent will pay the appropriate percentage of child support to the custodial parent. If the parties enjoy joint physical custody, then the Court will take the appropriate percentage of both parents’ incomes, calculate the difference, then the lower earner will pay the difference to the higher earner. 

Spousal Support:  There is not a statutory formula to calculate spousal support like child support. Whether a spouse will pay/receive alimony depends largely on the length of the marriage, the contribution to their finances, and their income and earning capacity.

Divorce is a stressful and emotional process for all parties involved. Information can alleviate some of this stress. Becoming educated can ease your mind and help you make good decisions quickly and cost effectively. 

McDonald Law Group offers free consultations in divorce and all areas of family law. Please call the office to set up your consultation.


This article was provided for informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice or establish an attorney-client relationship. 

Free Homestead Service Celebration

Rena McDonald

McDonald Law Group is celebrating our 10-year anniversary this month! To mark this milestone, we want to thank our referral partners who have made this possible. We are providing a Homestead Declaration Document Preparation Service at no charge to our current and previous clients. You are responsible for the filing fee with Clark County only. The recording fee in Clark County is $17.00.

When you record a Declaration of Homestead, Nevada law protects the equity in your home up to $550,000 from general creditor claims. This provides protection from things like unpaid medical bills, bankruptcy, charge card debts, business/personal loans, and accidents, but would not preclude a seizure or forced sale of your residence from general creditors if your equity exceeds the $550,000.  A creditor may file suit and can record a judgment lien against any real property you own. 

Recording a Declaration of Homestead protects your principal residence up to the statutory maximum.  For example, if the value of your home is $645,000 and you have a first mortgage of $485,000 plus a second mortgage of $10,000, the equity is $150,000.

The protection of the homestead is not absolute, however. It does not protect you from debts owed where you provided your home/land as collateral for a debt, such as debts secured by a mortgage or deed of trust. The Homestead law does not protect you against payment of taxes, IRS lien, mechanic's lien, child support or alimony payments.

The Nevada Homestead Exemption is a powerful and simple tool available to any homeowner. It is protection available to secure your home’s equity against creditors. We are pleased to be able to offer this service to you, at no charge, until 2-28-2017.


This article is provided for informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice or establish an attorney-client relationship. For more information or to schedule a consultation, please contact our office at 702-448-4962.

Legal Resolutions for the New Year

Rena McDonald

It’s the time of year when we consider making New Year’s resolutions. And while you might be like most in considering health goals to focus on, taking more time for yourself by reading, or starting a new hobby, it is also a good time to consider some legal New Year’s resolutions. While it might not be as exciting as your other resolutions, it will give you priceless peace of mind and set you up a better future!

What legal resolutions should you be making? Here is a place to start.

1. Get a Will or a Trust (or update one).

Every adult should have a Will or a Trust. No matter your age, financial status, or life situation, you need a Will and estate planning documents.  Why? It is because your assets, children, and legacy deserve to be protected. You also owe it to save your family the pain of dealing with a lengthy, expensive, and difficult probate process.

We’re confident 2017 will bring you joy and health, but being prepared for the future gives you the kind of peace of mind that allows for a full life. In addition to a Will or a Trust, you need power of attorney documents for your health care, property, and finances.  These powers allow your agent to make decisions on your behalf in the event that you become incapacitated and unable to communicate for yourself.

If you already have a Will or other estate planning documents, a new year is the perfect time to update it. We recommended that you update your Will, Trust and other estate planning documents every three to five years, or sooner if you’ve had a major life change, such as marriage or divorce, new children or move to a new home. It doesn’t have to be complicated, and it can ensure that you and your loved ones are protected.

2. Get on top of excess debt.

Too many of us have debt. This creates avoidable financial stress. It increases the amount you pay for a car or a new line of credit, raises your insurance rates, and can even prevent you from getting a job.  Tackling debt should be your number one financial priority. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by debt, a debt management lawyer can help you renegotiate debt and decide what steps are best for your financial future. Take control of overwhelming debt and make 2017 the year you live life debt-free.

3. Meet with a lawyer about that important legal issue.

Do you have a legal question you’ve been wondering about for some time? Perhaps you’re getting married and wondering about a prenup. Are you considering a divorce and wondering about the possible outcomes? Maybe that dispute with your neighbor is getting worse and you’re wondering what your rights are.

Most people have some legal issue they’re concerned about, whether it’s a simple legal question or a complex legal issue. Whatever it is, you owe yourself peace of mind and perhaps assistance from a lawyer who specializes in the area of law you need. Contacting an experienced attorney for a consultation is the first step towards getting your legal life in order in 2017. 

This article was provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or initiate an attorney-client relationship. For additional information or to schedule a consultation, please call McDonald Law Group at 702-448-4962.



McDonald Law Group addresses Equal Rights issues on the National stage

Rena McDonald

McDonald Law Group strongly supports equal rights. With expertise in Business Law and Employment Law, it was a natural fit to become a member of an organization called Executive Pride. Their mission is to ensure workplace equality for everyone including the LGBTQ community. I received the privilege of being asked to speak out on behalf of Executive Pride’s mission on a National level. I was recently interviewed for an article by Chris Johnson in The Washington Blade, the oldest LGBT newspaper in the U.S. covering the latest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender news in Washington, DC and around the world. The article, titled Exxon Faces Anti-Gay Bias Lawsuit as Trump Taps CEO for State discussed the recent news of Rex Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil, being tapped as the new potential Secretary of State. As it is still legal in most states to fire someone for their sexual orientation  I was asked how this appointment may affect the rights of the LGBTQ Community in the light of ExxonMobil’s corporate stance on LGBTQ issues. 

At one point, ExxonMobil had an unprecedented score of “-25” on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index for its anti-LGBT policies. The company now scores “85” in 2017 after having adopted its LGBT non-discrimination rule and other policies. During ongoing litigation in Illinois against ExxonMobil, the Illinois Department of Human Rights announced it found “substantial evidence” of anti-gay discrimination at ExxonMobil and enough evidence for the case “to be heard before a trier of fact so that credibility can be determined.” 

As stated in the article I believe that Exxon discriminated against a potential new hire who was better qualified for a position, simply because of their affiliations with the gay community.  Trump’s choice of Rex Tillerson as the secretary of state should be a serious concern for Americans worried about Equal Rights for all employees.Even though the LGBTQ community has made great strides in securing equal rights in other areas, the workplace remains an environment where discrimination not only still exists but is legal in most states. This creates a hostile environment where you can now get married and then be legally fired for it.

Please click on the link to read the full article. McDonald Law Group looks forward to continuing its relationship with Executive Pride and to support equality for all.