Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Case Law Development: Nunc Pro Tunc Orders Cannot Change Date of Divorce If No Error

Husband and Wife filed a joint petition for divorce on September 2nd.  On September 3rd, Wife remarried.  The judge in the divorce action signed the divorce decree about three weeks later.  Ten years later, when Wife filed for divorce from her second husband, he discovered that she was still legally married to her first husband when they wed and counterclaimed for annulment.  Wife then filed a motion to amend the prior divorce decree to reflect at September 2nd divorce date.  In order to legitimatize her second marriage, and relying on the good faith belief of all the parties involved at the time that the divorce was effective, the trial court granted the motion. 

On appeal, the Supreme Court of Nevada reversed, holding that "Because a nunc pro tunc order can only reflect that which was actually done, we conclude that the district court cannot use a nunc pro tunc order to change the date of a divorce decree to a date before the date when the matter was adjudicated."  The court commented that, "Although the divorce petition ... was uncontested and jointly filed, the divorce decree is nevertheless a decision adjudicating the parties' rights and liabilities.... The district court's decision to approve a petition for divorce is not equivalent to the exercise of a clerical duty that the court may later amend at its discretion."

McClintock v. McClintock, 122 Nev. Adv. Rep. 73 (July 20, 2006)
Opinion on web (last visited July 23, 2006 bgf)

Divorce (grounds) | Permalink

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Case Law Development: Nunc Pro Tunc Orders Cannot Change Date of Divorce If No Error:


after erroneously giving custody of my daughter to the respondent named in my complaint to establish paternity, as he steadfastly denied any paternal relationship to my daughter, the court months later made an order nunc por tunc that he was the father of my daughter. The matter of paternity never was ajudicated, and an order changing custiody of my ten month old daughter was made against her best interests and depriving me of my most basic right as a parent which is the right to the custody of my child, which placed her in the custody of someone with no more right than any other third party, during a contested paternity matter.

can u establish paternity nunc pro tunc?

Posted by: gwen | Dec 24, 2010 9:58:42 PM

I need to see how I can get a nunc pro tunc started on my divorce decree date, so I can be able to bring my new wife over from the Philippines??

I hoping that there is someone here in the community that help me get things started with this..

Thanks you..

Posted by: ++Willie A. Bright | Oct 8, 2012 8:04:49 PM

Post a comment