Areas of Practice

areas of practice

Divorce & Annulments

Divorces are difficult for everyone involved, the husband, the wife, the child(ren), and family/friends. Jim is a Las Vegas Divorce Attorney and has the experience to guide you through the process without becoming part of the process, as so many other divorce attorneys in Las Vegas like to do. Jim will be able to provide you with some realistic expectations, so that you can plan the rest of your life. Nevada is a no-fault state and most divorces are dissolved based on irreconcilable differences. Nevada is also a community property state and, in most circumstances, the property and debt acquired during the marriage or registration period will be divided equally.

Annulments are also an option for short term marriages or marriages that are void or voidable.

Domestic Partnership

Domestic partnerships are a relatively new concept in the United States. As a result, new court decisions are sculpting the law with respect to adoptions, child custody, visitation, paternity/maternity, and of course, dissolution (i.e. divorce). In Nevada, domestic relation law is continually changing; the new domestic partnership statute adds an entirely new twist to various family law concepts. Jim has lectured and conducted nearly 50 seminars in the past two years regarding the rights and responsibilities associated with Domestic partnerships.

Alimony

Unlike child support, there is no formula to determine alimony. In a nutshell, alimony will be determined based on a need and the ability to pay. If an alimony award is made by the court, it is modifiable for the term of the award. A modification requires a change in circumstance, which the court defines as a 20% increase or decrease in income for either individual.

Surrogacy Agreements

There are a number of methods to create a family, and surrogacy is becoming more and more popular. However, the enforceability of surrogacy agreements varies from state to state. Jim has experience in drafting and reviewing surrogacy agreements and can advise you how such agreements can be enforced in Nevada.

Termination of Parental Rights

The Nevada Supreme Court has said that severance of the parent-child relationship is “tantamount to imposition of a civil death penalty.” The laws affecting termination of parental rights are continuously changing. The court will only terminate one’s parental rights if there is parental fault and when it is in the best interests of the child. Such procedure requires an experienced litigator, who knows the law and who has the experience in the courtroom; Jim has this experience.

Guardianships

A Guardianship is needed when a child’s parents are no longer able or unwilling to care for their child. In most instances the guardian is a family member but it can be anyone. Guardianships are also necessary when a minor receives money.

If you are assisting an individual over the age of majority (adult) with their finances or with day to day decisions, you may also consider a guardianship. Jim has successfully petitioned the court and has obtained numerous guardianships. Once a guardianship is granted, you will have to file an annual report with the court; Jim will also track and assist you with this report.

Probate

During the difficult time after the death of a loved one, settling our loved one’s personal and business affairs can be overwhelming. This is why proper estate planning is indispensible. Jim’s vast experience in the probate process will allow you to take care of yourself and your family, while Jim will handle the rest.

Adoptions

What a wonderful way to start a family! Nevada law allows any single person, couples who are married, or registered domestic partners to petition for adoption. Each instance is specific to the particular circumstance. Jim will advise you of the process based on your circumstance and once a child has been identified, he will complete the process, which typically involves obtaining consents or relinquishments, terminating parental rights, and finalizing the adoption.

Paternity | Maternity

DNA is not the sole determining factor when establishing parentage. In some cases, the courts will establish parental rights to the non-biological parent over the biological parent. These cases are rare but there is precedence for such decisions. The Domestic Partnership Law (NRS 122A) also creates a presumption of parentage when a child is born to the relationship. Jim has the knowledge and experience you need to petition the court to establish paternity / maternity.

Custody

The sole consideration the court, in custody determinations, is what is in the best interest of the child(ren). Although the court will consider the roles the parents played prior to the deterioration of the relationship, in most cases the courts are going to lean towards a joint custodial arrangement. If parties cannot reach an agreement, prior to any evidentiary hearing, the parties will have to attempt mediation. Parents will also need to attend “Children COPE” before the court can issue a custody order.

Child Support

Child support is set by statute and is dependent on the custodial arrangement. Once custody is determined a percentage of the non-custodial parent’s gross monthly income will determine child support. In joint physical custody arrangements, child support will be based on both parents’ gross monthly income.

Grandparent Visitation

If you have been denied contact with your grandchild or a child with whom you have developed a significant relationship, the court can order that you be allowed to visit with this child. Parents, grandparents, and third-parties should know their rights before pursuing expensive litigation. These visitation disputes require the experience Jim possesses; he will be able to guide you through the process and assess the probability of your success, should you decide to pursue litigation.

Wills | Trusts | Power of Attorney

Proper estate planning is the only way to inform your loved ones of your desires regarding your estate after you have passed away or are no longer able to make critical decisions. Changes in Nevada law have a direct impact on how the court will settle your affairs, if you have not planned ahead. Do not leave your family guessing and do not wait until you are ill. Jim can help you plan your estate, today.

Prenuptial Agreements

Prenuptial agreements are private agreements between two persons contemplating marriage. With this document, couples generally settle, in advance, financial matters in the event of death or divorce. This contract overrides and preempts state, family and probate laws that otherwise may apply. There are three basic rules that should be followed to safeguard your agreement: full and fair disclosure, separate and independent counsel, and ample lead-time before the wedding. The agreement must be “fair and reasonable”, meaning both have to offer full and fair disclosure of all of their current assets and debts. Jim as a Las Vegas Divorce Attorney, has the experience necessary to prepare and/or review prenuptial agreements and is able to advise you of your rights and responsibilities afforded to you by the agreement.