It can be difficult to define a legal separation. The act effectively ends the relationship, but the marriage remains legal and ongoing.
Looking at it this way, some people may wonder what the point of a separation is. They think that the marriage is over, so you should just get it over with and have a divorce. Even in our modern times, however, many are uncomfortable with the idea of divorce. For them, a separation can give them peace of mind, knowing that the marriage still exists, if only legally.
Not all states recognize legal separation, and those that do each handle it differently. In Nevada, separation is called “separate maintenance.”
You may be surprised to learn that, in Nevada, separate maintenance can come with many of the same obligations as a full divorce. Here are some of the financial expectations that can come with separate maintenance.
Even though a couple remains legally married, separation can still have a strong impact on their finances. Typically, separation means one party moving out of the house, and the spouses living separate lives. This creates the same money problems as a divorce, as one spouse may rely on the other.
When separate maintenance requires spousal support, the court uses the same conditions it would in a divorce. This includes:
- The length of the marriage
- The current financial positions of each partner
- The potential future earnings of each partner, which considers their ages, health, work history, and so on
Legal separation will come with child custody agreements as well. After all, it’s nearly impossible for the kids to split time between parents equally. Where there is a custody agreement, there will be a child support arrangement as well.
Broadly, child support is based on:
- The number of kids
- Each parent’s income
- The financial needs of the children
- The amount of time each parent spends with the children
Remember, each parent contributes to child support. Normally, one spends money directly while the kids are in their care, and the other supplements that expense through child support payments. If either parent spends child support money on themselves, they could suffer legal consequences.
In Nevada, your legal separation may go as far as the need to split property. Our state uses the “community property division” model in a divorce. Under this system, courts attempt to split marital property between the spouses evenly.
Separate maintenance, however, is vaguer when it comes to property division. The spouses are still technically married, so the divorce standard may not apply. For instance, it may not be necessary for one spouse to pay the other for any property they keep.
You will need a good attorney to help you with any property division in your legal separation. A good agreement should acknowledge the continued existence of the marriage, but it should also be fair and beneficial to both spouses.
Our firm is here to help with separate maintenance in Nevada. You can contact us online for help, or you can call our office at (702) 904-9898.