Same-sex marriage is legal in Nevada. In May 2019, the Clark County Clerk's Marriage License Bureau issued its 20,000th marriage license to a same-gender couple. Marriage between a same-sex couple carries with it all of the rights and responsibilities of any marriage. A couple may also choose to engage in a domestic partnership instead of a same-sex marriage with many of the same rights and responsibilities.
Are you experiencing issues in your same-sex marriage? Anthem Divorce Lawyers have over 25 years of experience. Located in Henderson, Nevada, we work with clients all over the Las Vegas area. Contact us today for a consultation.
Marriage Is a Fundamental Right
Marriage is a fundamental right in the United States. Same-sex marriage is legal in Nevada and all states. On June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court decided Obergefell v. Hodges, 135 S. Ct. 2584 (2015). In Obergefell, the Supreme Court held that the right to marry is a fundamental right and the Fourteenth Amendment requires a state to:
- License a marriage between two people of the same sex.
- Recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when another state lawfully licenses and performs their marriage.
Same-Sex Marriage Nevada
In 2014, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Nevada’s ban on same-sex marriage. In 2017, Nevada amended its marriage law authorizing the marriage of two persons regardless of gender.
Who Can Marry in Nevada?
Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 122.020 governs who is capable of marriage in Nevada. NRS 122.020 provides that two persons regardless of gender may be joined in marriage as long as they:
- Are at least 18 years of age.
- Don’t have a living spouse.
- Are not nearer of kin than second cousins or cousins of the half blood.
Same-sex couples interested in obtaining a marriage license in Clark County, Nevada can find information on the Clark County Clerk’s Services website.
NRS 122.025 provides an exception to the above rule. This exception allows a minor who is 17 years of age to marry if the minor has obtained the required consent.
A marriage is a big commitment that brings with it many rights and obligations. Understand your rights before you get married. If you are contemplating marriage, consult with an experienced lawyer. Contact Anthem Divorce Lawyers today for a consultation.
Can Same-Sex Couples Enter into a Premarital Agreement?
Nevada law affords same-sex couples the same premarital rights as all couples before marriage. A premarital agreement is “an agreement between prospective spouses made in contemplation of marriage and to be effective upon marriage." To be enforceable, a premarital agreement must be:
- In writing
- Signed by both parties
Premarital Agreement Content
A premarital agreement may not adversely affect the right of a child to support. In a premarital agreement, a couple may contract with regard to:
- Their property rights and obligations.
- Their rights to manage and control property.
- Disposition of property upon separation, marital dissolution, death, or the occurrence or nonoccurrence of any other event.
- Modification or elimination of alimony or support or maintenance of a spouse.
- Making of a will, trust, or other arrangement to carry out the provisions of the agreement.
- The ownership rights in and disposition of the death benefit from a life insurance policy.
- Choice of law governing the construction of the agreement.
- Any other matter not in violation of public policy or a criminal statute.
Property means “an interest, present or future, legal or equitable, vested or contingent, in real or personal property, including income and earnings."
When Is a Premarital Agreement Not Enforceable?
A premarital agreement is not enforceable if a party proves any of the following:
- The party did not execute the agreement voluntarily.
- The agreement was unconscionable when executed.
- The spouse did not have “a fair and reasonable disclosure of the property or financial obligations of the other party".
If you have a premarital agreement and are contemplating divorce, contact a knowledgeable divorce lawyer. Anthem Divorce Lawyers have experience with same-sex marriage and dissolution. Contact us today for a consultation.
Can a Same-Sex Couple Divorce in Nevada?
A divorce in Nevada is the same for all persons. The laws regulating divorce apply equally to same-sex couples. To file for divorce in Nevada, one spouse must live in Nevada for at least six weeks before filing for divorce. That spouse must intend to remain in Nevada indefinitely.
What Are the Grounds for a Nevada Divorce?
Nevada is a “no fault” state. No fault means that the person asking for a divorce does not have to prove that anybody did anything wrong to cause the divorce. Pursuant to NRS 125.010, the following are valid grounds for divorce:
- Insanity existing for two years prior to the filing for divorce
- Spouses live separate and apart for one year without cohabiting
- Incompatibility (the parties don’t get along)
How Are Property and Debts Divided?
In a divorce, the parties can agree to a division of their property and debts or the court can decide. Nevada is a community property state. This means that, in the absence of another agreement, the court would equally divide community property and debt between the spouses.
How Is Spousal Support/Alimony Determined?
In a divorce, the parties can agree to the spousal support/alimony amount and duration or the court can decide. In Nevada, the court may award alimony as appears “just and equitable." The court does not have to award alimony.
What if the Parties Have Children?
If the parties have children, they will have to resolve child support, custody, and visitation. Under Nevada law, every parent of a child under 18 has a duty to provide the child necessary maintenance, health care, education, and support.
What About Child Custody?
Parties are free to agree to their own child custody and visitation schedule. If the parties cannot agree, the court determines child custody and visitation based on the “best interests of the child.” Every parent has a right to maintain their relationship with their child. Nevada case law and statutes ensure that all children have adequate protections.
What Is a Domestic Partnership?
In 2009, Nevada passed the Nevada Domestic Partnership Act. Under NRS 122A.100, a valid domestic partnership is registered in Nevada when two persons complete the required forms with the Secretary of State declaring that both persons:
- Have chosen to share one another’s lives in an intimate and committed relationship of mutual caring.
- Desire of their own free will to enter into a domestic partnership.
To be eligible to register both persons must furnish proof to the Office of the Secretary of State that:
- Both persons have a common residence.
- Neither person is married or a member of another domestic partnership.
- The two persons are not related by blood in a way that would prevent them from being married to each other in Nevada.
- Both persons are at least 18 years of age.
- Both persons are competent to consent to the domestic partnership.
NRS 122A.200 provides in part that:
- Domestic partners have “the same rights, protections and benefits" as are granted to and imposed upon spouses.
There are some exceptions to the rights of domestic partners. If you have questions about your domestic partnership, contact an experienced lawyer today.
Las Vegas Divorce Lawyers
An experienced lawyer can help you understand your rights and advocate your position. Anthem Divorce Lawyers have experience with same-sex marriage and dissolution. Our office is Henderson, Nevada and we serve clients all over the Las Vegas area. Contact us today for a consultation.