Legal Separation in Nevada

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Legal separation in Nevada is same process as the divorce process of the state. However, the rules for filing the legal separation petition vary according to the county where you wish to file the petition.

The legal separation in Nevada is also known as “Separate Maintenance” and the residency requirement is six weeks for filing the petition. The respondent has 20 days time to answer the petition; however, after that the separation is granted automatically without proving the grounds on which the separation is sought.

Separate Maintenance in Nevada:

The option of separate maintenance or legal separation is ideal for couples who do not wish to spend their life with their spouse but who want to retain their marital status and the benefits that accompany with the status. Some people retain the marriage nominally for the sake of health benefits, tax exemptions or religious reasons.

There are specific grounds given by the statute of Nevada for the separation to be granted.

Grounds for Legal Separation / Separate Maintenance in Nevada:

For the legal separation to be granted in the state of Nevada, these grounds have to be fulfilled. These grounds are as follows:

  • Adultery - If a spouse has committed adultery within the duration of the marriage, the other spouse can file for legal separation on the basis of adultery. Adultery comprises of extra marital affairs, one night stands, romantic overtures, link ups and flings while being married to the current partner. Adultery undermines the basic element of marriage, that is, promise of fidelity. The married spouses are supposed to be faithful to each other and procreate with one another.
  • Conviction of Felony - If either of the spouse is convicted of charges of felony and is imprisoned for a period of more than three years, the other partner can file for separation on the grounds of imprisonment or incarceration. Besides, they can cite the reason of safety of their children and how the conviction has affected their children emotionally and socially. Also, the imprisoned spouse cannot provide for his / her family or contribute to the household and take care of the family.
  • Drug / Alcohol Abuse - Habitual drug or alcohol abuse including medications can result in unreasonable or violent behavior which endangers the well-being of the family and the spouse. Besides, it also hampers the normal functioning of the family as a social unit. Thus, this is a firm ground for seeking legal separation.
  • Physical Abuse - Hitting or bashing the spouse or causing him/her physical harm which renders him or her incapable to lead their day-to-day life normally, constitutes serious physical abuse and the other partner can seek legal separation on the grounds of threat to their life and physical abuse. A restraining order is sanctioned and separation is granted immediately.
  • Sexual Abuse - Sexual abuse constitutes of fetishism, sadomasochism, weird sexual fantasies which may hurt the other partner and are mentally and physically abusive, can be cited as reasons for seeking the legal separation. In case of sexual abuse, the separation is granted immediately after the report from a medical practitioner who confirms the cause of the injury. For the emotional and physical well-being of the suffering partner, separation is granted immediately.
  • Living Separate and Apart without Cohabitation - If a couple is staying separate and apart without having sexual relations for a considerable period of time, it is considered as mutual separation and a separate maintenance is granted on the basis of 'living separate and apart without cohabitation'. The couple may not necessarily live in different houses, but they do not engage in sexual relations and do not socialize as a couple even for parent meetings or office parties.
  • Desertion - If a partner is abandoned by the other partner either willfully or by force or coercion, it is considered as desertion. The couple does not cohabit and the whereabouts of the respondent are unknown in many cases. The basic promise or vow of marriage of “in sickness and in health, till death do us part” is broken in this case and thus the separation is granted.
  • Mental Torture - Mental torture comprises of suspiciousness, lack of individual space, watching the spouse without letting them know and any action that shows a mistrust in the spouse. Besides, not providing for the family, not contributing in the household expenses or basic expenses for children or neglecting the basic responsibilities and duties. Even denying sexual relations, not providing the lifestyle that they6 promised also constitutes mental torture.
The only difference between a divorce and a legal separation in the state of Nevada is that the couple remains married but their status changes to 'legally separated' after the issuance of the decree of separation. They are not allowed to remarry. However, a divorce severs all the marital ties and the couple is free to remarry and lead their own lives.

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