This is the final post in a series of articles discussing Nevada’s legal separation process. My previous article addressed the process of formally divorcing after legally separating. For a couple who has remained separate and abided by the terms of their separate maintenance agreement, the divorce process will be similar to an uncontested divorce. Couples who have legally separated but gotten back together, commingled assets and debts, or otherwise failed to comply with their separate maintenance agreement must address the division of marital property through a divorce proceeding. The goal of this series has been to explain Nevada’s legal separation option and how this arrangement impacts key issues, such as finances, child custody, etc. Separate maintenance is a potentially beneficial option for couples contemplating ending their marriage. An experienced attorney can help you understand more about the process and whether it is the right choice for you. If you need assistance, contact my office to schedule a consultation with a Las Vegas lawyer.
This series focused on the following topics:
- When a legal separation is preferable to a divorce
- Understanding the consequences of a separate maintenance arrangement
- The process of obtaining a legal separation
- Child custody issues during separate maintenance
- Divorcing after a legal separation
Because the option to legally separate is somewhat unique to Nevada, I felt it was important to provide additional information about this topic for several reasons. First, there are a variety of benefits to obtaining a legal separation, such as the ability to maintain health insurance or retirement benefits through a spouse’s employer. Legally separating may also be preferable to individuals who are prohibited from divorcing for religious or cultural reasons. Second, although legally separated spouses are still technically married, their custody, child support, alimony, and property division will be set forth in a separate maintenance agreement. It is important to understand the legal consequences of this arrangement. Third, the process for separating in Nevada is similar to the process for divorcing. If a couple can reach an agreement on terms through mediation or settlement discussions, a separate maintenance agreement may be finalized relatively quickly. In cases where the couples disagree, the process can involve prolonged litigation. Fourth, child custody issues can be among the most hotly contested issues when a couple separates. It is important to understand how such matters will be handled in a separate maintenance proceeding. Finally, a legally separated couple may decide to formally divorce later for a variety of reasons. Complying with a separate maintenance agreement can make this process fairly straightforward.
Las Vegas residents should consult with a family law attorney to understand their potential rights and obligations related to legal separations and divorces. My firm has extensive experience assisting families through each of these processes. I take pride in providing the highest level of customer service to my clients. If you need assistance, contact my office to speak to a lawyer today.