Is a Legal Separation Right for You?
When a married couple decides to split up, two of the main options they can pursue are divorce or legal separation. The more common choice is the divorce; however, the permanence and severity of this option are not always the most appealing to a couple. A good alternative to divorce is a legal separation.
I. Legal Separation Definition
Legal separation is defined as an arrangement where a married couple remains married but live separately from one another, as ordered by the court. Nevada law refers to legal separation as “separate maintenance.”
II. The Difference Between Legal Separation and Divorce
While divorce in Nevada will dissolve a marriage, a legal separation allows the couple to remain legally married. In a legal separation, the couple may live apart from one another, date other people, and live independent lives from one another all while still legally being considered a married couple. A divorce is a permanent termination of marriage that cannot be undone, while a legal separation can be reversible and far less dramatic of a process to undergo than divorce.
III. Why You Should Get a Legal Separation
Some of the reasons why a married couple may want to consider legal separation over divorce include:
- The couple can continue to file a joint tax return.
- The couple can retain their health care and other insurance benefits.
- The legal separation process tends to be cheaper than divorce.
- The couple practices a religion that forbids divorce.
- The couple would like separation from one another while they attempt to sort out their marital problems.
IV. The Legal Separation Process
The process of a legal separation in Reno is similar to the process of getting a divorce. Nevada law follows the same rules for filing for legal separation as they do for divorce. One of the spouses must file a suit against the other in the county where they reside. If they are on good terms and are able to come to unified decisions on the matter, the spouses can also agree to an immediate legal separation where they would work out their own arrangements for their separation. A legal separation will officially occur when the court formally announces that the spouses are separated.
Legal separation can be a wise alternative to divorce in some situations. If you believe a legal separation may be right for you, or you would like more information on the option, call Carlson & Work of Reno, Nevada at 775-298-6403 to speak to one of our experienced family law attorneys.