The Burning Man Festival and the Las Vegas Strip don’t exactly make the Silver State much of a family destination in the minds of many Americans (despite the fact that media photos often show babies wearing only diapers held by their parents and scattered throughout the Burning Man event). Las Vegas has a reputation as “Sin City” and “the mention of Nevada still conjures up shady images of easy divorce, high stakes gaming, bloody prizefighting and legal prostitution,” even though behind the scenes, we see another story. It’s true that visitors can come and somewhat impulsively get married in Nevada without the delays or required marriage counseling in some other states, but just how many does the quick-wedding-bells process leave looking for the best divorce attorney in Las Vegas on their next visit?
Not as many as you’d think. Some of the requirements for divorce in Nevada are stricter than that of getting hitched in the first place. Like how at least one of the parties in the split must have resided in Nevada for a minimum of six-weeks before filing a divorce. And while it wouldn’t be only the best divorce attorney in Las Vegas who could tell you whether there’s a way to waive the residence requirement, you’d think that many visitors who want to get out of their marriage as quickly as they got into it go on a hunt for The Best.
But it appears there may be a different story—especially when you think about the history of divorce in the Silver State. What has it all been about, since it began? Money. Many of the “culturally suspect activities were legalized in Nevada because of their power to generate money for an economy historically under-populated and lacking a strong tax-base.” In 1861, the legislature passed the state’s (then territory’s) first divorce law—“granting divorce to any person residing in the territory for six months or more,” before the state became known as a destination vacation place for celebrity couples “looking for a quick split.” After all, you don’t have to be the best divorce attorney to know that today, an extended six-week vacation is easier to manage than other states’ six-month residency requirements for divorce.
Divorce lawyers in Nevada like Cam Tu Dang are well aware that divorce in Las Vegas isn’t always that easy, all said and done, but the state’s reputation for a marriage AND divorce destination remains. Even gay couples legally married elsewhere have managed to navigate the state’s legal system to get a bona fide divorce in the eyes of the law—no small feat for a state still undecided about specifically legalizing gay marriage. But even the best divorce attorney in Las Vegas probably hasn’t seen it all, and more challenges and revisions to the law—and the reputation—of the state will unfold in the coming months and years. Take this openly transgender candidate running for election to state legislature this November, for example. Meanwhile, several reports say that some of the quick-do-Vegas-marriages actually do live pretty happily ever after, at least so far.