Putative Spouse: Common Law Marriage

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Putative Spouse
However, even though Common Law marriage is not recognized in Nevada, there are situations in which parties who were not legally married such as in the case of a void marriage, may still be able to have a court enforce certain rights and liabilities incurred as a result of such a relationship once such relationship has come to an end. For example, a party whose marriage has been annulled may still have rights to property acquired during the relationship.

One such remedy is called the “Putative Spouse Doctrine.” a putative spouse is entitled to many of the rights of a legal spouse. For relief to be granted under the doctrine, the parties must show that they participated in a proper marriage ceremony and that one or both of the
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However, as can be seen, there are times when, in fairness, courts must recognize that denying a party rights to property which they participated in acquiring, is unfair.

Four Areas of Divorce Court Authority;
Generally, when parties go to court to obtain a divorce, they need for the court to make decisions in four main areas: (1) child custody, (2) child support, (3) division of assets and debts, and (4) spousal support. The court will also have the authority to make temporary orders pending the finalization of the divorce as well as order that the wife may take back her maiden or former legal name. Each of these will be discussed in further detail below.

Child Custody
The custody of children as a result of a divorce is of paramount importance to the courts. In general, if the court in the divorce case also has jurisdiction over the children of the parties, then they will also be responsible for determining issues such as custody and visitation of the children. A married parent will need to make sure that they follow the law with respect to the custody of the children and should not leave Nevada with the children until there is an order in place allowing them to do
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Nevada has a formula for determining child support. NRS 125B.070 states that the obligation of support shall be calculated as a percentage of the parent’s gross (income before taxes) monthly income. The percentage used is based upon the number of children the parties have.

Division of Assets & Debts
In granting a divorce, the court must make an equal disposition of the community property of the parties. NRS 125.150(1)(b). In theory then, all property acquired during the marriage should be divided equally. However, it is not always that simple and sometimes the court may find a compelling reason to divide the property unequally.

In cases of property requiring a deed, such as a marital residence, if the parties hold the property in “joint tenancy,” this same rule applies. However, if it is possible to trace separate property contributions to that property, such as a down payment made by one party prior to the marriage, or improvements made to the property with one parties’ separate funds, such as an account that the spouse had prior to the marriage which has not been comingled with community funds, then the court can order reimbursement of that spouse’s separate contribution and then equally divide the community’s remaining share of the

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