Leslie J. Shaw is an experienced Reno Divorce Attorney.  Over the course of his 40-year legal career, Leslie J. Shaw has narrowed and focused his civil litigation practice to the exclusive subject matter of family law with an emphasis on divorce. He located his family law practice to Reno, NV to represent clients with matters concerning Divorce, Property DivisionChild Custody, and Child & Spousal Support.

Nevada and California Divorce Lawyer in Reno, NV

In both California and Nevada, where Leslie J. Shaw has maintained his family law practice since the 1970s, the result of a decree or judgment of divorce is to effect a termination of the bonds of matrimony. A marriage that begins with the ceremonial act consistent with the requirements of state law ends with a decree of divorce in Nevada and a judgment of dissolution of marriage in California. Successfully navigating a California or Nevada divorce process requires skill, experience, and expertise.

In both states, the element of “fault” has long been eliminated as a ground for divorce. The Nevada courts require proof of incompatibility in marriage and the California courts require evidence of incompatibility in marriage – essentially the same standard in both states.


As straightforward as the termination of marital status may seem in both states, the issue of timing of that termination of marital status is often complicated by considerations of potential tax issues, fiduciary duties, and the change in evolution of those duties from those standards of fiduciary obligation that apply, from one spouse to another, during marriage, to an evolving and lesser standard during periods of marital separation and divorce litigation, and finally to a redefinition of those fiduciary obligations once the termination of the bonds of matrimony occur.

Timing and your Nevada or California Divorce

The timing of the termination of marital status may determine whether or not you and your ex-spouse can file joint or separate federal (or if applicable, state) tax returns. And if filing separately, when your California or Nevada divorce becomes final will dictate whether you and your ex-spouse are filing as married or unmarried persons. In order to be eligible to file a joint return, the bonds of matrimony must remain in full force and effect through and including the conclusion of the tax and calendar year.

Determining whether to obtain a divorce by the end of the year or delay it until the following year will directly define the rights of spouses to their state and federal tax filing choices.

The Emotional Impact of Divorce

One of the more challenging tasks facing any party to a California or Nevada divorce is the emotional impact that the divorce will have on that individual. While there is often much ceremony and emotional preparation for a marriage to occur, the lack of that ceremony and emotional preparation for the termination of marriage is something that the Law Office of Leslie J. Shaw takes very seriously. We commit to assisting our clients, to the full extent of our ability, through each and every issue of their California or Nevada divorce process with compassion as well as knowledge and expertise.

Fault Can Play a Role in Nevada Property Division

Despite the elimination of fault as a ground to termination of marital status in both Nevada and California, Nevada has retained an element of fault in divorce proceedings as it pertains to the division of marital property. While Nevada, like California, is a state where an equal division of marital property is the goal, Nevada courts may consider a spouse’s fault-worthy financial behavior to be a basis to depart from an equal division standard in favor of an equitable, or fairness-based, standard. Again, fault is not a necessary element to obtain either a California or Nevada divorce.

Family Law Office of Leslie J. Shaw

275 Hill Street, Ste. 200

Reno, Nevada 89501

Mon - Thurs: 9am - 5pm

​​Fri - Sun: Closed