Procedure for Filing a Contested Divorce: Full Nevada Guide

Are you currently going through a contested divorce? Are you nervous of the process? You’ll want to check out the full guide for step by step procedures for filing a contested divorce. When a contested divorce happens, this is since you and your spouse are not capable of coming to a compromise or an agreement on various issues that include child custody and the placement of your marital assets.

When these situations arise, then it causes the litigation process to take THAT much longer to officially wrap up.

When you and your spouse cannot agree on these situations in your divorce, this is when you should invest in a divorce mediator. Sometimes a divorce mediator can help you settle your disagreements before your court date, or the court will be the one who will make the final decision on all issues you and your spouse could not agree upon.

However, if you are going through a contested divorce, there will be a few steps you will need to handle. Here’s your step by step guide.

What is a Contested Divorce?

You are probably wondering what a contested versus uncontested divorce is. Well for starters a contest divorce in the state of Nevada is where the two parties cannot come to an agreement on main stipulations on how to divide the marital assets, who will have the children most of the time, etc.

How Long Does a Contested Divorce Take?

A contested divorce will take an unknown amount of time. It is going to depend on if you can come to an agreement within a reasonable time, or if you are going to have to go through the divorce court to get your divorce finalized.

Procedure for Filing a Contested Divorce

Now that you know a bit about what a contested divorce is, let’s get into what the procedure for filing a contested divorce will entail. We are going to go over everything you will more than likely encounter during this process.

Consult with Your Attorney About Your Contested Divorce in Nevada

If you haven’t already, you will need to get an attorney for your divorce case. It is best to first consult with a few attorneys and when you finally find someone that you think will represent you the way you need/want, choose them.

Your attorney is going to get to know you well. As a matter of fact, your attorney will do a very thorough interview with you. This interview is where your attorney is going to collect the vital documents that cover your children, assets, and anything else that they feel is vital to the case.

Then your attorney will look everything over, and they will tell you what they feel you should get and what your spouse should get. If you agree, they will draw up your divorce petition and then go to the court and file it for you.

This entire process will be a lot of work for you. You will need to go and make sure you have all the vital documents your attorney will need or ask for. These documents will be about your marital assets, marital debt, child support, child custody, and your alimony.

Serve the Divorce Petition

Once your attorney officially files your divorce petition with the court, then the court will serve your spouse with the petition. Your spouse will either be served by mail, in person, or even by a deputy sheriff.

If for some reason your spouse cannot be located, they will publish a notice in your local newspaper. They will give your spouse some time to respond before they decide to go on without your spouse’s involvement.

In the state of Nevada, the court will be required to ensure that your spouse was served their divorce petition. Typically, this will be done either with a sheriff’s deputy or a process server.

Responding to the Divorce Petition

Your spouse will have about 30 days from them being served to file their response with the court. However, if your spouse chooses to NOT respond to the divorce petition, then they will be in default. If this happens you will be able to get a default judgment in your divorce case.

But, if your spouse does file their response, then your divorce case will go on to the discovery and settlement stages.


Alright, now we are at the discovery part of this procedure. What is the discovery part, you may ask?

This is the part where both parties will be able to come and collect ALL detailed information regarding marital income, assets, child custody, and anything else that is going to be relevant to this divorce.

This part of the procedure is completely done by depositions, document requests, and interrogatories.

You should know that during this step, both parties could ask for alimony or temporary orders for child support from the court as well.

Keep in mind that there is a certain timeframe where both parties will need to respond to the discovery request. Most of the time the parties will miss that deadline in order to hide some assets or slow the divorce process.


What you may or may not know, is that most judges encourage both parties to come to some sort of compromise or an agreement prior to their final court date.

Judges do not like to have to make the final decision on anything that is not their personal life. So, judges will have you go through mediation, where you and your spouse will sit down in a room with a mediator to see if you cannot come to some sort of agreement.

If you and your spouse still cannot come to an agreement during this phase, then your divorce will continue, and you will have to head on over to divorce court.

Divorce Trial

Now that you are at your divorce trial, you and your spouse will need to have your witnesses. Each party will have the chance to cross-examine the witnesses along with producing your closing arguments.

Ultimately the judge will hear out both sides of the story during the trial. The judge will be the one who will have to come to the decision regarding the divorce case.

Post-Trial Motions

When your divorce trial is over, and the judge has officially signed the order. Then you or the other party can file a post-trial motion for relief for the final judgment.

You will have to file this post-trial motion within 30 days from the date the judge signed the order. Then the other party will have another 30 days to respond to said motion.

If your post-trial motion, is approved then you alongside your attorney will be able to debate on why you believe the ruling was unfair.


Now, on the other hand, let’s say your post-trial motion was denied. Then you will have 30 days to file an appeal. If you are the one appealing, you will have a couple of months to file with the lower court records.

Then the other party will have about a month to file his or her response.