Getting the Final Divorce Decree
The final step in a divorce case is having a judge sign a Decree of Divorce. This is the document that includes all of the terms of the divorce and legally ends the marriage. A divorce is not final until a judge has signed a Decree of Divorce and it is filed with the Clerk of Court. Read on for more information on how to get a final Decree of Divorce.
These instructions are for cases that started with one person filing for divorce against the other. This page is not for people who filed jointly for divorce from the start. For instructions on how to get a divorce approved if you filed a Joint Petition for Divorce, please see Filing for Divorce Together.
- Prepare The Paperwork
- File the Documents
- Submit the Decree of Divorce to the Judge
- Wait for the Decree of Divorce
- File the Notice of Entry of Order
- Serve the Other Party
There are three different ways that a Decree of Divorce is usually granted:
Divorce by Default: If the Defendant was served with the summons and complaint for divorce, but did not file any paperwork within 20 days, the Plaintiff can ask the court to enter a default and grant a final divorce. The Plaintiff will typically get a Decree of Divorce that includes everything asked for in the complaint. Follow ALL of the steps below if you would like to get a Default Decree of Divorce.
Divorce by Agreement: If both parties reach an agreement on all terms of the divorce after the case has been filed, they can prepare a final Decree of Divorce with their full agreement included. Both parties must sign the Decree of Divorce, and can usually submit the Decree to the judge for approval without a hearing. Start at Step 2 below to get the divorce finalized.
Divorce Granted at a Trial or Hearing: When the judge grants a divorce at a trial or a hearing, the judge will issue all of the orders that are to be part of the final divorce. However, the divorce is not final until the written Decree of Divorce is signed by the judge. Usually, the judge tells one party to “prepare the decree.” Whoever was ordered to prepare the decree can start at Step 3 or 4 below to get the divorce finalized.
The following steps and forms must be completed to get your final Decree of Divorce:
Default. If you are seeking a Default Decree of Divorce (because Defendant did not file any paperwork), ask the Clerk of Court to enter a default against the Defendant.
FYI!If Defendant made an appearance in the case (in some way that would indicate Defendant planned to participate in the case), you must send the Defendant a Three Day Notice of Intention to Enter Default before submitting the default to the clerk. You must complete the form, file it, mail a copy to the Defendant, and file a Certificate of Mailing. If Defendant still does not file anything in the case, you can proceed to ask for a default.
A default can be issued by the Clerk of Court if the Defendant did not file any papers within 20 days of being served. The Plaintiff must complete the default and bring it to the Clerk’s Office for approval.
FYI!The default requires you to include the date that Defendant was served. Look on the Affidavit of Service to find this date. If Defendant was served by publication, the date of service is usually the last date listed under the publication dates on the Affidavit of Publication.
Summary Disposition Request. If you are asking for a Decree of Divorce without having a hearing, fill out the Request for Summary Disposition and an Affidavit in Support. These forms ask the judge to approve of the Decree of Divorce without a hearing. Only one party needs to complete these forms (usually the Plaintiff).
- Affidavit of Resident Witness. This step is only needed if you are asking for a final Decree of Divorce without having a hearing, or if the judge did not establish either party’s Nevada residency on record at a hearing. One spouse must be a Nevada resident in order to get divorced in Nevada. The Affidavit of Resident Witness is the proof that one of the spouses has lived in Nevada for at least 6 weeks before filing for divorce and intends to remain here. Ask a friend, coworker, or family member who sees the Nevada resident spouse 3-4 times per week to complete this form.
Confidential Information Sheet. This form discloses both spouses' social security numbers (which is required for everyone filing for divorce) and helps parents with child support enforcement in the future if needed.
Confidential Information Sheet - WITH CHILDREN (pdf fillable)
Confidential Information Sheet - NO CHILDREN (pdf fillable)
Seminar for Separating Parents ("COPE") Certificate. If there are children, complete the seminar for separating parents and file a certificate of completion. You will receive a certificate of completion after you attend the class. For more information, see Seminar for Separating Parents.
The Decree of Divorce. The Decree of Divorce is the final order that includes all the terms of the divorce. How you fill out the Decree of Divorce will depend on how you are getting the final decree:
- If you are getting a Default Decree of Divorce: Everything in your proposed Decree of Divorce should match everything you asked for in your complaint.
- If both parties are signing the Decree of Divorce: The Decree of Divorce must include all of the agreements between you and your spouse. You both must sign the Decree of Divorce.
- If you are submitting a Decree of Divorce based on a hearing or trial: Everything in your proposed Decree of Divorce must match everything the judge ordered at your hearing. You should obtain a copy of the “minutes” from your hearing from the Court Records department. Make sure everything included in the minutes is included in the proposed Decree of Divorce.
If the judge approved of a Parenting Agreement that you and your spouse mediated at FMC, you may want to attach the Parenting Agreement as an “Exhibit” to the Decree instead of the blank visitation schedule that is included with this form. This will make sure your full custody and visitation schedule is included in your final divorce decree.
File all the documents above, except the Decree of Divorce, with the court (the decree must be brought or mailed to the judge). Just like with your initial documents, you can file the papers in one of three ways:
- In Person at the Family Courthouse.
- By Mail (Family Court, 601 North Pecos, Las Vegas, NV 89101).
- Online through Wiznet (some confidential documents cannot be filed online and will need to be submitted in person or by mail).
Bring your original Decree of Divorce and two copies to the Family Courthouse (or mail to 601 N. Pecos, Las Vegas, NV 89101). There are drop boxes for each judge on the third floor of the courthouse. Drop the Decree of Divorce in the box for your judge, along with courtesy copies of the documents you filed.
The judge will review the Decree of Divorce, and if everything is completed properly, the judge will sign the Decree of Divorce. The judge's staff might call you when the Decree is ready so you can pick it up and file it yourself, or the judge's staff might send it to you in the mail (it is usually mailed to the person who filled out the upper left corner of the first page). Make sure the Decree is "filed" at the clerk's office, since that is the date the divorce is final.
If there is a problem with the paperwork, you will receive a memo from the judge’s staff letting you know what needs to be fixed. You will have to fix the problem and resubmit the Decree of Divorce.
The date you are legally divorced is the date the Decree is "filed" at the Clerk's Office, not the date the judge signs the Decree! This is the date that appears on the upper right corner on the first page of the Decree of Divorce. If the judge's staff tells you to "file" the Decree, make sure you file it at the Clerk's Office so your divorce will be final.
The date this form gets filed is the date that starts the timelines for anyone to appeal. After you receive the signed and filed final Decree of Divorce, you must fill out the Notice of Entry of Order and attach a copy of the Decree of Divorce.
File the Notice of Entry of Order (with a copy of the Decree attached) with the court. Be sure to fill out the Certificate of Mailing at the bottom, because you will have to mail a copy of this form to the other party the same day you file it.
Make a copy of the Notice of Entry of Order (with the Decree of Divorce attached) and mail it to the other party. You can mail it by regular mail.