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Nevada Legal Separation
Legal Separation in Nevada

In Nevada, a couple may end many aspects of their marriage without a divorce. Legal separations allow the partners to take time off from the marriage when one or both spouses are not ready for divorce. They may also be the first step in preparation for a divorce. Some couples prefer to remain married while they have minor children.

Legal separation in Nevada is filed and treated by the courts as if it were a divorce. As in a divorce, the couples divide their marital property and establish alimony, child support, and custody. It also protects each spouse from any irresponsible actions by the other. Assets and liabilities are established and divided. Each spouse’s credit rating is protected. Property a spouse acquires after a legal separation is not subject to community property. Each spouse is not liable for the debts the other may have amassed after the legal separation. In a separation the couple remain married, and they may not marry someone else until they divorce.

In Nevada, a legal separation is also called a separate maintenance agreement. The couple lives in different residences but remain married, but the majority of the marital ties are severed. A legal separation can be executed quickly if both spouses agree – usually in only a few weeks.

The difference between a Legal Separation and a Trial Separation is that in a trial separation the couple simply decides to live apart and may conduct their personal lives as if they are not married; that decision is a personal, not a legally binding one. Nevada does not recognize a trial separation as being a legal arrangement.

In Nevada, a legal separation is a legally binding arrangement that must be vacated by court action if the couple reconciles.

Separation Agreement

A separation agreement is a legal binding contract signed by spouses, which is intended to resolve property, debt and child related issues. This can be a very complex and detailed document depending upon the unique situation of the marriage. Many spouses consult an attorney to provide this or they decide to prepare their own.


If a spouse has grounds for divorce, which include insanity existing for two years, living separate and apart for one year without cohabitation, or incompatibility, or if there has been a desertion for 90 days, that spouse may file for separation.

No residency is specified in the Nevada statutes.


After the plaintiff files a complaint, the defendant has 20 days to answer. If he or she does not answer, the court automatically grants the separation. If there is an answer, a hearing will be scheduled for a judgment concerning custody, assets, support and debts.

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