How to Get the Final Separation Decree
This page is for cases that started with one person filing for separate maintenance against the other. Do not use the forms on this page if you filed a Joint Petition for Separate Maintenance. You can find instructions on how to finalize the joint separation on the Filing for Separate Maintenance Together page.
If neither you or your spouse has filed a case yet, you must first file for separation. Do not use the forms on this page until you have filed a case and are ready to finish the separation.
The final step in a separation case is having a judge sign a Decree of Separation. This is the document that includes all of the terms of the separation. Spouses are not legally separated until the Decree is signed by the judge and filed with the Clerk of Court.
How a Separation is Granted
There are three different ways that a Decree of Separation is usually granted:
Default: If the Defendant was served with the summons and complaint but did not file any paperwork within 21 days, the Plaintiff can ask the court to enter a default and grant a final separation. The Plaintiff will typically get a Decree of Separation that includes everything asked for in the complaint. Follow ALL of the steps below if you would like to get a Default Decree of Separation.
Agreement: If both parties reach an agreement on all terms after the case has been filed, they can prepare a final Decree of Separation with their full agreement included. Both parties must sign the Decree, and can usually submit the Decree to the judge for approval without a hearing. Start at Step 2 below to get the separation finalized.
Granted at a Trial or Hearing: When the judge grants a separation at a trial or a hearing, the judge will issue all of the orders that are to be part of the final separation. Sometimes, the judge tells one party to “prepare the decree.” Whoever was ordered to prepare the decree can start at Step 3 or 4 below to get the case finalized.
Steps to Getting the Final Decree
Step 1. Prepare the Paperwork
The following steps and forms must be completed to get your final Decree of Separation:
Default. If Defendant did not file any paperwork within 21 days of being served, you first have to ask the Clerk of Court to enter a default against the Defendant. The Plaintiff must complete the default and bring it to the Clerk’s Office for approval.
FYI!The default requires you to include the date that Defendant was served. Look on the Affidavit of Service to find this date. If Defendant was served by publication, the date of service is usually the last date listed under the publication dates on the Affidavit of Publication.
Request for Submission. If you want your separation approved without having a hearing, fill out the Request for Submission. This form asks the judge to approve of the Decree without a hearing. Only one party needs to complete this (usually the Plaintiff).
- Affidavit of Resident Witness. This step is only needed if you are asking for a separation without having a hearing, or if the judge did not establish either party’s Nevada residency on record at a hearing. One spouse must be a Nevada resident to get a separation in Nevada. The Affidavit of Resident Witness is the proof that one of the spouses has lived in Nevada for at least 6 weeks before filing. Ask a friend, coworker, or family member who sees the Nevada resident spouse 3-4 times per week to complete this form.
Confidential Information Sheet. This form discloses both spouses' social security numbers (which is required for everyone) and helps parents with child support enforcement in the future if needed. It is a confidential document that is not part of the public record.
Confidential Information Sheet - WITH CHILDREN (pdf fillable)
Confidential Information Sheet - NO CHILDREN (pdf fillable)
The Decree of Separation. The Decree of separation is the final order that includes all the terms of the separation. How you fill out the Decree of Separation will depend on how you are getting the final decree:
- If you are getting a Default Decree: Everything in your proposed Decree should match everything you asked for in your complaint.
- If both parties are signing the Decree: The Decree must include all of the agreements between you and your spouse. You both must sign the Decree.
- If you are submitting a Decree based on a hearing or trial: Everything in your proposed Decree must match everything the judge ordered at your hearing. Make sure the proposed Decree includes everything the judge ordered.
Step 2. Submit the Documents to the Court
File all the documents above, except the Decree of Separation, with the court. Submit the Decree of Separation to the judge.
Step 3. Wait for the Decree of Separation
The judge will review the Decree, and if everything is completed properly, the judge will sign the Decree of Separation. The judge's staff might call you when the Decree is ready so you can pick it up and file it yourself, or the judge's staff might send it to you in the mail (it is usually mailed to the person who filled out the upper left corner of the first page). Make sure the Decree is "filed" at the clerk's office.
A separation is not a divorce! Once the Decree of Separation is signed and filed, you will be considered "legally separated" but you will still be married. If you want to get a divorce in the future, visit the Divorce section of this website to find out how to complete a divorce.
Step 4. File a Notice of Entry of Order and Serve the Other Party
The date this form gets filed is the date that starts the timelines for anyone to appeal. After you receive the signed and filed final Decree, you must fill out the Notice of Entry of Order and attach a copy of the Decree of Separation.
File the Notice of Entry of Order (with a copy of the Decree attached) with the court. Be sure to fill out the Certificate of Mailing at the bottom, because you will have to mail a copy of this form to the other party the same day you file it.
Make a copy of the Notice of Entry of Order (with the Decree attached) and mail it to the other party. You can mail it by regular mail.