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The differences between legal separation and divorce

Legal separation and divorce have distinct meanings in Nevada. Some people choose to legally separate instead of divorcing due to several reasons. People may have religious beliefs that prohibit them from divorcing, while others may wish to separate with the idea they may, through work, be able to eventually reconcile and continue their marital relationships. Others may choose to legally separate for more practical financial reasons.

In a legal separation, the parties remain married but they live apart. Those who pursue a legal separation will still need to determine some important matters that will govern how the separation works. If a couple has children, custody and visitation will need to be arranged, and child support may be necessary. Although couples may live apart permanently when they are legally separated, they may not remarry and remain legally married under the law.

When a couple instead opts to obtain a divorce, their respective statuses will be returned to those they enjoyed prior to the marriage as single people. They will have the ability to remarry. With a divorce, the community property will be divided, spousal and child support will be determined and child custody and visitation arrangements will be made.

Although legal separation is fairly uncommon, some couples choose the option due to a variety of reasons. Still others may choose a temporary legal separation when they feel that they might be able to work out their differences and eventually reconcile. When a couple does not wish to divorce but still needs to live apart, they may benefit from legal separation to make certain they have their rights protected. A family law attorney can provide assistance to a client in this type of situation.

Source: Findlaw, "Legal Separation vs. Divorce", January 02, 2015

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