Adultery and Alimony Laws in Nevada


Adultery can have a devastating impact on a marriage, often leading to emotional turmoil and, in many cases, divorce. In Nevada, just like in many other states, adultery is a common cause of marital breakdown. When a marriage ends due to infidelity, it’s natural to wonder how the act of adultery might influence the divorce proceedings, particularly concerning alimony. In this article, we will explore the laws and regulations surrounding alimony in Nevada and shed light on whether adultery can affect the outcome of a divorce and alimony awards.

An Overview of Alimony in Nevada

Divorce can significantly affect a couple’s financial situation, leaving one spouse in a more advantageous position than the other. To address this disparity, Nevada courts may order one spouse to pay alimony, also known as “maintenance” or “spousal support,” to the other. The primary purpose of alimony is to ensure that both spouses can meet their financial needs after the divorce.

How Nevada Courts Determine Alimony

Nevada’s alimony laws grant judges considerable discretion when making decisions about spousal support. The court’s primary obligation is to ensure fairness. To achieve this, the judge examines various factors to determine whether to award alimony and, if so, the amount and duration of the award. These factors include:

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Each Spouse’s Financial Situation

The court assesses the financial standing of each spouse to understand their individual needs and capabilities.

Ownership of Property

The property owned by each spouse is considered, and its distribution is factored into the alimony decision.

Contributions to Joint Property

The contributions made by each spouse to the property acquired during the marriage are taken into account.

Length of the Marriage

The duration of the marriage is considered as a longer marriage may lead to different alimony considerations.

Income, Earning Capacity, Age, and Health

Each spouse’s income, potential to earn, age, and health condition are evaluated to determine their financial independence post-divorce.

Standard of Living During Marriage

The lifestyle maintained during the marriage can impact the alimony decision.

Pre-Marital Career

The career or employment status of the spouse who would receive alimony before the marriage is reviewed.

Education and Skills Acquired During Marriage

Any education or skills acquired during the marriage that may affect the spouse’s employability are taken into account.

Contributions as a Homemaker

The value of contributions made as a homemaker is considered, recognizing the non-financial contributions to the marriage.

Physical and Mental Health

Each spouse’s physical and mental health is evaluated concerning their financial situation and ability to work.

Moreover, the court must also assess whether the receiving spouse needs alimony to pursue a job, career, or profession, considering factors such as education, skills obtained, and financial support provided during education or skills training.

Alimony Duration and Possibility of Indefinite Alimony

Courts in Nevada often award alimony for a specified period, providing support to the financially disadvantaged spouse until they can achieve self-sufficiency. In cases where a spouse faces significant obstacles in gaining employment, such as age or medical issues, the court may consider awarding long-term or indefinite alimony.

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Temporary alimony can also be awarded during the divorce process to maintain financial stability until the proceedings are concluded.

Adultery’s Impact on Divorce in Nevada

Nevada follows a “no-fault” divorce system, meaning that evidence of adultery is not required to obtain a divorce. The state recognizes three grounds for divorce: insanity existing for two years before the divorce process begins, living separate and apart for one year without cohabitation, or incompatibility.

Since Nevada has embraced no-fault divorce, judges will not consider evidence of adultery when granting divorces.

Adultery and Alimony in Nevada

Adultery generally does not have a direct impact on alimony awards in Nevada. As previously mentioned, the court evaluates various factors to determine alimony, and marital misconduct is not among them.

However, it is essential to note that adultery might indirectly affect the divorce outcome. For example, if the unfaithful spouse has spent marital assets on extramarital affairs, the court might consider this when dividing the couple’s property, resulting in the adulterous spouse receiving a smaller share.

Adultery’s Impact on Custody and Child Support

In most Nevada divorce cases, adultery does not directly affect child custody or child support determinations. The courts prioritize the best interests of the children, and unless the adulterous behavior poses a risk to the child’s well-being, it may not significantly impact custody decisions.

If a parent’s adulterous actions compromise the child’s health or safety, it could potentially affect the judge’s custody decision. For instance, if a parent neglects a child due to engaging in extramarital affairs, the court might be less inclined to grant custody to that parent.

See also  Nevada Child Custody


In conclusion, adultery itself does not play a direct role in alimony awards or divorce proceedings in Nevada due to the state’s no-fault divorce system. The court’s primary focus is on ensuring fairness and addressing the financial needs of both spouses. While adultery might not directly impact alimony, it can have repercussions on the division of marital property.

Divorce is a complex process, and seeking legal counsel is essential to navigate the intricacies of alimony and related matters. If you find yourself facing a divorce or contemplating one, it’s crucial to consult with a qualified family law attorney to protect your rights and interests throughout the process.


Q1: Can adultery be used as a reason for divorce in Nevada?

A1: No, Nevada follows a no-fault divorce system, meaning adultery is not a valid reason for divorce. The grounds for divorce in Nevada include insanity, living separately for one year without cohabitation, and incompatibility.

Q2: How does Nevada determine child custody in divorce cases?

A2: Nevada courts prioritize the best interests of the child when determining custody. Factors such as the child’s well-being, stability, and parental involvement are considered in custody decisions.

Q3: Can adultery affect the distribution of property in a divorce?

A3: Yes, if adultery led to the misuse of marital assets, the court may consider this when dividing property, potentially leading to an uneven distribution.

Q4: How long does alimony typically last in Nevada?

A4: Alimony duration varies depending on the circumstances. It can be awarded for a specific period to support the recipient until they achieve self-sufficiency or, in some cases, be awarded indefinitely for lengthy marriages or significant obstacles to gainful employment.

Q5: Can mediation be used for divorce cases involving adultery?

A5: Yes, mediation can be used to resolve divorce cases involving adultery. Mediation offers a confidential and cooperative environment for couples to reach mutually acceptable agreements, even in emotionally charged situations.

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