Filing the Divorce Papers
Before you begin:
- Is this page for me? This page is for people who need to get a divorce from someone who will not agree to sign the papers. If your spouse will agree to all the divorce terms and will agree to sign the papers, there is a faster way to get a divorce. Visit Filing for Divorce Together to find the forms and instructions.
- What laws apply? Learn the basics of the laws that apply to divorce and custody cases on the Divorce Overview and Custody Overview pages.
You can attend a FREE divorce class where you can learn the basics of divorce law and the court procedures you need to know. The classes are presented in both English and Spanish. You'll receive a class manual and some great tips to help you represent yourself. Visit Free Classes for more information.
Follow these steps to start a divorce case:
1. Fill out the forms. You have to fill out 3 forms to start your case, and another optional form if needed.
2. File the forms. Turn in your completed forms by mail, efiling, or in person to the Clerk of Court.
3. Serve Defendant. You must have a 3rd person hand-deliver a copy of the filed forms to the Defendant.
4. Wait and see what happens. You will have more forms to fill out to take the next steps in your divorce case no matter what.
Learn more about each step below.
1. Fill out the forms
To open a divorce case, you will need to file these forms:
- Family Court Cover Sheet - Required
- Complaint for Divorce - Required
- Summons - Required
- Joint Preliminary Injunction - Optional
Family Court Cover Sheet
This form is REQUIRED. It lists basic information about you, your spouse, and any children that you and your spouse have together. You are the Plaintiff and your spouse is the Defendant. The Clerk of Court uses this information to open your case.
Family Court Cover Sheet (pdf) Family Court Cover Sheet (pdf fillable)
Complaint for Divorce
This form is REQUIRED. This form tells the judge and your spouse what you want out of the divorce. You are the Plaintiff and your spouse is the Defendant. You will check boxes and fill in blanks to tell the judge and your spouse things like:
- What kind of child custody / visitation schedule you would like (if there are children)
- How much child support should be ordered (if there are children)
- How you would like to divide the property and debts
- If alimony should be ordered
- If you want to have a former name restored
If you and your spouse have minor children together, fill out the “Complaint for Divorce – With Children.” If you do not have children together, fill out the Complaint for Divorce – No Children.”
Complaint for Divorce - No Children (pdf)
Complaint for Divorce - No Children (pdf fillable)
Complaint for Divorce - With Children (pdf)
Complaint for Divorce - With Children (pdf fillable)
This form is REQUIRED. This form tells your spouse that you have filed for divorce. The form also tells your spouse that he or she must file a response within 21 days, or a default may be entered against them.
Summons (pdf) Summons (pdf fillable)
If efiling, use filing code SEI when uploading the summons to make sure it is processed correctly.
Joint Preliminary Injunction
This is an optional injuction you can request when you file your papers. The injunction prevents both you and your spouse from doing the following while the divorce case is going on:
- You cannot hide, sell, or dispose of community property.
- You cannot cancel or change the beneficiaries on any retirement accounts or insurance plans.
- You cannot harass each other, the children, each other’s relatives, or family pets.
- You cannot relocate the children out of Nevada without written permission.
You will be legally prevented from doing all of the above things as soon as the Joint Preliminary Injunction is issued by the Clerk. Your spouse will be legally prevented from doing these as soon as he or she is served with the papers.
If you would like this injunction issued, you must fill out and file the form below asking the Clerk of Court to issue one.
Joint Preliminary Injunction Request (pdf)
Joint Preliminary Injunction Request (pdf fillable)
The papers above will open a case, but they will not set a court date. You do not have to set a court date at this point. If you don't think Defendant will respond to the case, you probably don't need a court date. If Defendant does file a response, the judge will automatically set a court date and notify you both.
However, if there are ongoing issues with the other spouse and you need to see a judge to set temporary visitation, custody, child support, and/or alimony, you can fill out a Motion for Temporary Orders and file it with these papers to get a court date set sooner. The motion asks the judge to put temporary orders in place while your case is pending.
2. File the forms
The court charges $299 to file the papers. You can pay by cash, money order, or most major credit/debit cards. If you cannot afford the fee, please see Filing Fees and Waivers to find out how to ask the court to waive the fee.
You can file your papers one of these ways:
- Online: You can file online through the court's e-filing system, eFileNV. There is a fee of $3.50 to upload your documents, in addition to the regular filing fee. You must register for an account, you must provide a valid email address, and you must be able to scan and upload your documents as separate pdfs.
Do not upload one pdf with all of the forms included - this will significantly delay the processing. Each form needs to be filed as its own pdf, but you can upload all of them in one submission.
The Summons must be uploaded with the filing code SEI or it will not be filed correctly. Carefully follow the E-Filing Guide to avoid mistakes.
- In person at the Family Courthouse (check our How to File page for hours and more information).
By Mail: (mail takes about 6-8 weeks to process) Mail your forms and the filing fee (with check or money order made out to Clerk of Court) to:
Family Courts and Services Center
Attn: Clerk of Court
601 North Pecos Road
Las Vegas, NV 89101
3. Serve the Defendant
The Court does not serve the papers for you. It is up to YOU to make sure the Defendant gets served after you file for divorce or your case could get dismissed.
After you complete the steps on this page, you must find a neutral 3rd person to hand-deliver a copy of the summons and complaint (and anything else you filed) to the Defendant. There are other options if the Defendant cannot be found or served in person. Learn all about how to have the Defendant served by visiting the Serving the Divorce Papers page.
4. Wait and see what happens.
You will have more forms to complete and file with the court to continue the divorce. The court will not notify you of your future steps. Visit the Now What? page to learn the different things you might have to do depending on what Defendant does after being served.