There are many reasons to consider separating or divorcing from your spouse. Perhaps finances are not working out, or there is a lack of intimacy. Or, maybe you have just grown apart over the years.
When your marriage starts to upheave and you no longer wish to continue living with your spouse, there are two legal paths to take. Either a divorce or legal separation.
Legal separation is similar to divorce in that you still negotiate property and custody rights. It is unlike divorce in that you will still be legally married, just living separately.
Nevada does not recognize physical separation, therefore, simply moving out of your house does not result in legal separation. By virtue of the word, divorce or separation are legal processes addressing many difficult issues. These include child custody, visitation, child support, and the division of property.
For spouses who have decided that they can no longer live together, here are the differences between legal separation and divorce.
Many couples do not feel like immediately resorting to a divorce, and instead decide to live separately for a while to understand what they need. A Decree of Separate Maintenance, or “legal separation” is used to determine and settle debts, assets, custody and financial support without dissolving your marriage.
Legal separation results in financial separation, and child custody, support and visitation are ordered by the court. However, if the other party files for a divorce, the legal separation is ended.
There are many reasons to consider legal separation over a divorce.
- If you oppose divorce for religious or personal reasons
- So you can remain on each other’s health care, government or insurance benefits
- If you wish to reconcile your marriage in the future
- To avoid the stress of a divorce agreement for you and your family
- If a spouse is experiencing issues with substance abuse or mental illness that may put you at risk of assuming liability for their actions
When filing for a legal separation, it is important to outline in your agreement what benefits each party will still have access to, such as healthcare or Social Security benefits.
If you’ve decided that legal separation is not an option for you, then you can proceed to obtain a divorce. If you and your spouse desire an amicable divorce, this may be obtained by filing a Joint Petition for Divorce. A Joint Petition for Divorce is an out of court agreement settling the division of all community assets, debts and child custody and child support. This contract is entered into voluntarily by both sides. With this, each party agrees to resolve property and custody division upon separation.
If you and your spouse are not able to come to a full resolution on all community obligations and child custody, or child support, then the next step is to file a Verified Complaint for Divorce. A Complaint for divorce will initiate the legal proceedings in order to finalize the divorce.
If you want to get out of a situation that doesn’t work for you and your family and you want to consider filing for a divorce, talk to a Reno divorce attorney.
If you are considering a separation, it is immensely important to have it in writing. A Reno divorce attorney can help protect your assets up front in a written agreement. If you separate without a written agreement, you may not receive your share of assets, custody and financial support. Or, if you ultimately decide to divorce, then the legal separation agreement can easily become your divorce settlement agreement.
Going through the process with an attorney will help to alleviate the stress and leave your best interests fairly represented. Reno divorce attorney Erin Grieve can help guide you through the process. She puts a focus on amicable negotiations and conflict resolution so your time can be spent as painless as possible. Schedule a consultation today and learn what options are available!