Gordon Law Offices Articles The History of Divorce in Nevada

The History of Divorce in Nevada

By Gordon Law Offices  Jul. 18, 2012 10:30a

Beginnings of the Country's Divorce Headquarters

Nevada has a long history of people flocking to the state for both quickie marriages and quickie divorces. Nevada first established its laws on marriage and divorce in 1861. These laws carried over mostly unchanged in 1864, when Nevada became a state. It was one of the few states to allow divorce with a residency of only six months. These lenient residency requirements helped encourage migration into the state. At this time there were seven legal grounds for divorce:

  • Impotency at the time of marriage, continuing to the time of divorce.
  • Adultery, since marriage, remaining unforgiven
  • Willful desertion at any time, of either party by the other, for a period of one year.
  • Conviction of a felony or infamous crime
  • Habitual gross drunkenness since marriage, of either party, which shall incapacitate him from contributing his or her share to the support of the family
  • Extreme cruelty of the parties
  • Neglect of the husband for the period of one year, to provide the common necessaries of life, when such neglect is not the result of poverty on the part of the husband, which he could have avoided by ordinary industry

In 1927, the length of residency required for getting a divorce was shortened to three months and following the first few years of the Great Depression, in 1931 the residency requirements were lowered again to just six weeks. This was the shortest residency requirement in the country at the time and helped boom the divorce "industry" in Nevada. This helped carry Las Vegas and other parts of Nevada through the Great Depression, better than a lot of areas in the country.

Divorce in Las Vegas Today

Today, there are only three statutory grounds for divorce in Nevada:

  • Incompatibility;
  • Insanity existing two years prior to the marriage; and
  • Spouses living separately and apart for more than one year

Although the length of residency required for divorce remains at six weeks today, many other things have changed since the original divorce laws were established in Nevada. There are many factors to consider when getting divorced that require the skillful handling of a Las Vegas divorce attorney. An attorney well-versed in the nuances of Nevada's divorce laws, like the attorneys at Gordon Law Offices, can make a significant difference in the outcome of your divorce. Their expertise in areas such as child custody, spousal support, property division can take the burden off of you and let you focus on rebuilding your new life.

Contact a Las Vegas divorce attorney right away if you are ready to file for divorce.

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