Our Frequently Asked Questions

Using an Attorney Later

Several folks have been asking us if clients ever use a document preparation service to get an initial Complaint or Motion filed/served “to get the ball rolling” and then use an attorney to represent them at the pending hearing.  The answer is absolutely, yes.  


Using an attorney "in an unbundled capacity" is an excellent way to save money, and something many Family Court litigants do.  In fact, we network with several OUTSTANDING family law attorneys serving southern Nevada and would be happy to connect you with one that might be right for your needs.

One of the perks of our service is that we're not on a "retainer" and you don't receive bills from us detailing every call, email, and quarter-hour we spend helping you. We give you a firm quote up front, for exactly what you need, and then YOU decide if you want to use us down the road, and if so, in what specific capacity.  YOU are always in control.

Flexibility and convenience is what our service is all about, while saving you TIME and MONEY.  That's what pro se litigants REALLY want and need.

- Mark


Mark DiCiero

Pro Se PROS

www.prosepros.net

Nevada Business License: NV20171602696

Secretary of State Registration: NVDP20179181211

Disclaimer: We are not attorneys authorized to practice in Nevada and are prohibited from providing legal advice or legal representation

Contested Divorces

We received this question recently regarding CONTESTED divorces:


“I was quoted $650 by a paralegal to draft a divorce complaint. They said that price wouldn’t include any other papers. Aren’t there other documents that I would need to file for a contested divorce? Can you beat that price?”  


The answer is YES, and YES.


There are several documents that need to be filed in divorce actions, and each serves a very important purpose. To initiate a divorce, here are the documents that we would prepare for you:


.  Family Court Cover Sheet

.  Complaint for Divorce

.  Summons

.  Joint Preliminary Injunction Request 

.  Affidavit of Service


The Joint Preliminary Injunction Request is an optional filing. It prevents both you and your spouse from doing the following, while your divorce is ongoing:


.  Hiding, selling, or disposing of community property.

.  Harassing each other, the children, or each other’s relatives.

.  Relocating the children outside of Nevada without consent.

.  Canceling or changing the beneficiaries on any retirement accounts or insurance plans.


If there are problems finding or serving your spouse, for whatever reason, then instead of filing the Affidavit of Service listed above, we would prepare:


.  Certificate of Mailing - Publication

.  Affidavit to Serve by Publication

.  Affidavit of Due Diligence

.  Order to Serve by Publication


That starts the divorce process.  What you need to file next depends on what your spouse does.  


If your spouse doesn’t file an Answer within twenty days, then we can prepare a “Default” request for you. A default usually stops your spouse from filing paperwork after the twenty-day deadline, and allows you to request a final divorce from the judge immediately. 


We would then assist you with the following documents:


.  Default Request

.  Request for Summary Disposition (if you would like to avoid a court hearing)

.  Affidavit in Support of Request for Summary Disposition

.  Affidavit of Resident Witness

.  Confidential Information Sheet

.  Decree of Divorce

.  Notice of Entry of Order


If your spouse does file a timely Answer, within twenty days, then we can assist you with:


.  Reply to Counterclaim

.  Financial Disclosure Form

.  Motion for Temporary Orders (if desired)

.  Seminar for Separating Parents “COPE” Certificate (if you have kids)


If you prefer, your Financial Disclosure Form and Motion for Temporary Orders can be filed with your other INITIAL documents, right away, listed above.


We can also prepare a “Mediation Request and Order" for you, which allows you to start the mediation process yourself, instead of waiting for the judge to order it for you. Mediation is REQUIRED in Nevada whenever you can’t agree on child custody issues.  


This will save you a trip to court (and will save you money by not having to pay an attorney to go with you) for the mediation referral hearing.


In the end, we know that this seems like a LOT, and it is, but it’s all very important. 


That’s why we’re here.


Our goal will always be to minimize stress, save you time, and save you money.


If we can assist you with preparing your documents for a contested divorce, please reach out at 702.743.3338 or contact@prosepros.net.


- Mark


Mark DiCiero

Pro Se PROS

www.prosepros.net

Nevada Business License: NV20171602696

Secretary of State Registration: NVDP20179181211

Disclaimer: We are not attorneys authorized to practice in Nevada and are prohibited from providing legal advice or legal representation to any person.

Uncontested Divorces

A follow-up to yesterday’s post, this time with regard to UNCONTESTED divorces:


“Wow, I had no idea how much had to be filed. Thank you for the post. My sister and her husband just separated in March. If they end up agreeing on a divorce, is the process easier? How much do you charge?”


Much easier, but the documents that need to be filed are still every bit as important.  


For uncontested divorces, the documents that we prepare for you include:


.  Family Court Cover Sheet

.  Affidavit of Resident Witness

.  Joint Petition for Divorce

.  Decree of Divorce

.  Confidential Information Sheet

.  Seminar for Separating Parents “Cope” Certificate

.  Final Certificate of Mailing


The Joint Petition is your divorce agreement with your spouse. It tells the judge how you have agreed to settle custody, child support, alimony, property/debt division, etc. The final Decree is what the judge signs when your divorce is approved. It then gets filed with the Clerk’s Office.


As to fees, our main competitor charges $675, which includes the mandatory $299 court filing fee.  Our price is $595.  It includes the $299 filing fee, as well. 


If we can assist you with preparing your documents for a contested divorce, please reach out at 702.743.3338 or contact@prosepros.net.


- Mark


Mark DiCiero

Pro Se PROS

www.prosepros.net

Nevada Business License: NV20171602696

Secretary of State Registration: NVDP20179181211

Disclaimer: We are not attorneys authorized to practice in Nevada and are prohibited from providing legal advice or legal representation to any person.

Modifying/Collecting Child Support

“Hello, what do I need to fill out in order to request a change in the amount of child support I pay each month?  I’m not a “deadbeat” parent and I take my obligation seriously, but I don’t make the same amount of money that I made in 2014 when we divorced. What would you suggest?  I heard child support laws have changed?”


No, not yet, however changes ARE coming and we will keep clients of Pro Se Pros updated on these changes through the blog section of our website.  Here is a link to the work currently being done by the Child Support Guidelines Committee, it’s a very interesting process:


https://dwss.nv.gov/Support/cs_meeting_minutes/


Your request to review/modify child support is not uncommon at all, and you have every right to have your child support Order reviewed by the Court every three years, simply upon request.  Keep in mind that if you have joint physical custody, a standard review can just as easily benefit the other party, as it can you, so you need to be prepared.


According to the Clark County Family Court Self-Help Center, a child support order must be reviewed by the court every three years upon request of a parent or guardian. A child support order may be reviewed at ANY TIME on the basis of changed circumstances. A change in 20% or more in the gross monthly income of a person subject to a child support order shall be deemed changed circumstances pursuant to NRS 125B.145. Any inaccuracy or falsification of financial information which results in an inappropriate award of child support is also grounds to modify child support, as set forth in NRS 125B.080. 


We routinely prepare, file, and serve Motions to Modify Child Support for clients and would be happy to assist you.  We also help clients with obtaining unpaid/missed child support payments (including penalties and interest) through Schedule of Arrearages and Motions to Reduce Arrears to Judgment.


- Mark


Mark DiCiero

Pro Se PROS

www.prosepros.net

Nevada Business License: NV20171602696

Secretary of State Registration: NVDP20179181211

Disclaimer: We are not attorneys authorized to practice in Nevada and are prohibited from providing legal advice or legal representation to any person.

Motions to Modify Custody

"So, I would really like to get primary custody of my daughters.  We divorced in 2013 and have joint custody now, but a great deal has changed since then. I’m guessing I need to file a motion?  What exactly is meant by “best interests” in these matters? I hear and see that phrase a lot.”


First, please keep in mind that we’re not lawyers and can’t give you legal advice, but we can certainly give you some basic information on these issues that will likely assist you.


Yes, the Motion you would want to file is called a Motion to Modify Custody.  The Clark County Family Court Self-Help Center (which is a fantastic resource, by the way) lays out some basic parameters regarding custody modifications.  It’s much easier to understand than other would lead you to believe.


First of all (and all of this information is available to anyone online), here are some basics that you need to know:


1.  The Court can modify or vacate its controlling custody order at any time.  That is laid out in NRS (Nevada Revised Statutes) 125C.0045.


2.  When considering whether to modify physical custody, the court must determine what type of physical custody arrangement exists between the parties.  It sounds like you have been under a joint physical custodial timeshare since 2013, but sometimes people aren’t sure.  


Here’s an easy rule of thumb, according to the 2009 Nevada Supreme Court case Rivero v. Rivero, joint custody is defined as having your child(ren) in your care and custody anywhere between 40 and 60 percent of the time.  You do not have to exercise a perfect 50/50 timeshare in order to have joint physical custody in Nevada.


3.  Different “tests” apply to modify custody depending on the current custody arrangement: 


a)  JOINT physical custody may be modified or terminated if it is in the “best interest" of the child. NRS 125C.0045; Truax v. Truax, 110 Nev. 473, 874 P.2d 10 (1994). 


b)  PRIMARY physical custody may be modified only when “(1) there has been a substantial change in circumstances affecting the welfare of the child, and (2) the modification would serve the child’s best interest.” Ellis v. Carucci, 123 Nev. 145, 153, 161 P.3d 239, 244 (2007). 


4.  As to your question about “best interests” (which, you’re right, is used quite often and many times people have no idea what it means for sure), here are the SPECIFIC things the Court will look at when considering a request to modify custody (when the current arrangement has been joint physical custody):


NRS 125C.0035(4):


In determining the best interest of the child, the court shall consider and set forth its specific findings concerning, among other things:


a) The wishes of the child if the child is of sufficient age and capacity to form an intelligent preference as to his or her physical custody.

b) Any nomination of a guardian for the child by a parent.

c) Which parent is more likely to allow the child to have frequent associations and a continuing relationship with the noncustodial parent.

d) The level of conflict between the parents.

e) The ability of the parents to cooperate to meet the needs of the child.

f) The mental and physical health of the parents.

g) The physical, developmental and emotional needs of the child.

h) The nature of the relationship of the child with each parent.

i) The ability of the child to maintain a relationship with any sibling.

j) Any history of parental abuse or neglect of the child or a sibling of the child.

k) Whether either parent or any other person seeking physical custody has engaged in an act of domestic violence against the child, a parent of the child or any other person residing with the child.

l) Whether either parent or any other person seeking physical custody has committed any act of abduction against the child or any other child.


There are other legal considerations to evaluate, which an attorney is better equipped to help you with than us.  We are always happy to recommend an attorney for you.


However, in short, when putting together a Motion to Modify Custody, you want to:


.  Show the Court what the arrangement has been;

.  Show the Court why a change is warranted (be very specific);

.  Show how the change is in the child’s best interests (as laid out above);

.  Tell the Court what specific schedule you want and why;


Often times, requests to Modify Child Support are included within a Motion to Modify Custody.


Here’s a direct link to the Self-Help Center’s version of a Motion to Modify Custody, Visitation, and/or Child Support.


If you would rather use us to help you, we know the process very well and would love to assist.


- Mark


Mark DiCiero

Pro Se PROS

www.prosepros.net

Nevada Business License: NV20171602696

Secretary of State Registration: NVDP20179181211

Disclaimer: We are not attorneys authorized to practice in Nevada and are prohibited from providing legal advice or legal representation to any person.

Motions for Contempt

“Hello, I’m looking to hold my ex in contempt for not following certain parts of our Decree and can’t find the right complaint to file. Can you help?” 


By far, this is one of the most common questions we receive.  It is also something that we are very good at assisting people with, as we have done these in our own personal cases.


As litigants ourselves, we know that there is nothing more frustrating than having Court Orders in place that aren’t followed — or blatantly ignored — by the other side.  Those orders become useless if they aren’t enforced, but there is a very SPECIFIC protocol you need to follow, in order to make that happen.


First, you need to file a motion (not a complaint) called a Motion to Enforce Orders and for an Order to Show Cause.  An “Order to Show Cause” — if granted — requires the other party to come to Court and explain (or show cause) to the judge why they should NOT be held in Contempt of Court. 


The documents that we prepare for clients on contempt issues include:


.  Motion to Enforce Orders and for an Order to Show Cause

.  Detailed Affidavit in Support of Motion (Important)

.  Exhibit Appendix

.  Ex Parte Application for an Order to Show Cause

.  Proposed Order to Show Cause


An Ex Parte Application for an Order to Show Cause alerts the judge that you have filed the appropriate motion and allows you to ask the judge to sign the Order to Show Cause BEFORE you appear at the motion hearing.  


If the judge feels that there is good cause to grant your request, they will sign the proposed Order and assign a date for the Show Cause Hearing (also called a Contempt Hearing).


For your reference, the rule that governs these is EDCR 5.509:


Rule 5.509 Motions and Procedure for Orders to Show Cause 


(a) A motion seeking an Order to Show Cause (OSC) for Contempt must be accompanied by a detailed affidavit complying with NRS 22.030(2) that identifies the specific provisions, pages and lines of the existing order(s) alleged to have been violated, the acts or omissions constituting the alleged violation, any harm suffered or anticipated, and the need for a contempt ruling, which should be filed and served as any other motion.


(b) The party seeking the OSC shall submit an ex parte application for issuance of the OSC to the court, accompanied by a copy of the filed motion for OSC and a copy of the proposed OSC. 


(c) Upon review of the motion and application, the court may: 


(1) deny the motion and vacate the hearing; 


(2) issue the requested OSC, to be heard at the motion hearing; 


(3) reset the motion hearing to an earlier or later time; or 


(4) leave the hearing on calendar without issuing the OSC so as to address issues raised in the motion at that time, either resolving them or issuing the OSC at the hearing. 


(d) If an OSC is issued in advance of the first hearing, the moving party shall serve it and the application for OSC on the accused contemnor. 


(e) At the first hearing after issuance of an OSC, the accused contemnor may be held in contempt, or not, or the court may continue the hearing with directions on the issue. At the first or any subsequent hearing after issuance of an OSC, if the accused contemnor does not appear, a bench warrant may be issued to secure attendance at a future hearing, or other relief may be ordered.


Just remember to be as specific as you possibly can when pointing to orders that you think have been violated.  Include dates, times, supporting offers of proof, the date of the Court Order, the lines in the Order that were violated, etc.


Let us know if we can help!


- Mark


Mark DiCiero

Pro Se PROS

www.prosepros.net

Nevada Business License: NV20171602696

Secretary of State Registration: NVDP20179181211

Disclaimer: We are not attorneys authorized to practice in Nevada and are prohibited from providing legal advice or legal representation to any person.

Pre-Trial Filings

Just received a question regarding Pre-Trial Memorandums: 


“I believe my pre-trial memorandum is late, can you tell me what my legal rights are? Does your service prepare pre-trial memorandums, and how do I get my exhibits and everything else in?”


The answer to your first question is no, we can’t give you legal advice, but I will give you the direct number to your Judge’s Law Clerk to verify when it was due, and if it is in fact late.  I will also give you the number to an attorney that can assist you with your legal questions.


With regard to your second question, the answer is yes, we prepare Pre-Trial Memorandums, Exhibits Lists, and Witness Lists.  Hopefully, some others can benefit from this information as well.


The procedure on getting these in can be a little tricky, but everything is clearly laid out in the Order Scheduling Trial (or Non-Jury Trial Management Order) that your judge provides you with when placing your trial on calendar.  This Order is EXTREMELY important and should be read, and followed, CAREFULLY.


Among other things, this order typically tells you:


.  The date and time of your Trial;

.  The date of your Discovery Deadline;

.  The date and time of your Calendar Call; and

.  The date your Pre-Trial Memorandum is due.


As far as what some of these terms mean, 


.  The TRIAL (sometimes called an Evidentiary Hearing) is where your judge will make a final determination on ALL the remaining issues in your case.  An EVIDENTIARY HEARING is the same thing, but is limited in scope to one specific issue where a judge will make a final determination, like child custody only.  Both settings require you to present evidence and witnesses to support your position.


.  DISCOVERY is the “information gathering” portion of the process where you obtain evidence that you would like to present to the judge in support of your case.  During the discovery process, several tools can be used to gather information, including:


.  Subpoenas;

.  Requests for Production of Documents;

.  Interrogatories (written questions answered under oath); and

.  Depositions (where potential witnesses are questioned under oath, with both parties/attorneys present, in addition to a court reporter creating a transcript).


.  The CALENDAR CALL is usually scheduled one week before trial, and is the time that you will exchange your final witness list and exhibits with the opposing party.  The judge will see if you were able to reach a potential settlement with the other side, and will tie up any other loose ends before trial.


.  The PRE-TRIAL MEMORANDUM (or Pre-Hearing Brief) is a summary of the arguments you plan to present at trial, and includes your exhibit list and witness list.  The Pre-Trial Memorandum is usually due a minimum of five days before the Calendar Call, and must be FILED and SERVED to the other part.


Now, and I know I took the LONG way to get to the answer of your question (sorry about that), as far as the procedure of “getting everything in,” it usually goes like this:


.  Disclose your Witness List at least 45 days prior to trial (unless your Order says differently);


.  Disclose your Exhibit List at least 21 days prior to trial (unless your Order says differently);


.  File your Pre-Trial Memorandum by deadline (usually five days before the Calendar Call);


.  That same day, SERVE your Pre-Trial Memorandum to the other party;


.  That same day, make FIVE SETS OF COPIES of all your exhibits and organize them in four separate binders (called your Exhibit Books or Evidence Books);


.  That same day, DROP OFF a courtesy copy of your Pre-Trial Memorandum and ORIGINAL SET OF EXHIBITS for your judge on the third floor of Family Court;


.  You will bring the four REMAINING Exhibit Books with you to the Calendar Call.  One will be for the Judge, one for the Clerk, one for the opposing party, one for the witness stand, and one for you.


That’s it. Next, breathe, decompress, and immerse yourself in junk food and something nonsensical on Netflix (optional, but highly recommended).  ;)


Or better yet, hire us, and we’ll navigate through all of this for you.  It’s what we do.


Minimize stress.  Save you time.  Save you Money.  


We got you.


- Mark


Mark DiCiero

Pro Se PROS

www.prosepros.net

Nevada Business License: NV20171602696

Secretary of State Registration: NVDP20179181211

Disclaimer: We are not attorneys authorized to practice in Nevada and are prohibited from providing legal advice or legal representation to any person.

Appeals

We are presently assisting a client with an appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court and have had other folks tell us that most document preparation services in Las Vegas don’t do them.


If you are interested in pursuing an appeal (or need to respond to one) and need assistance preparing and filing any of these documents:

. Notice of Appeal;
. Production of Cost Bond;
. Case Appeal Statement;
. Transcript Request;
. Appellate Brief;
. Fast Track Statement / Response;
. Docketing Statement; or
. Certificates of Compliance

Please give us a call at 702.743.3338.


It's becoming one of the most requested services in our business, and for whatever reason, many won't help you.


We will. And we will do it right.


- Mark

Mark DiCiero

Pro Se PROS

www.prosepros.net

Nevada Business License: NV20171602696

Secretary of State Registration: NVDP20179181211

Disclaimer: We are not attorneys authorized to practice in Nevada and are prohibited from providing legal advice or legal representation to any person.

 

702.743.3338

10710 W. Tropicana Ave. #156-411 . Las Vegas, NV 89147

© 2018 PRO SE PROS, LLC