How to File for Separate Maintenance Together
If you and your spouse are in agreement on all of the following, you may be able to file a joint petition for separate maintenance:
- You agree you want a separation, and not a divorce. If you want a divorce, visit the Divorce section of this site instead.
- If there are children: the legal custody, physical custody, and visitation schedule for any minor children, plus how to handle child support and medical expenses;
- How to divide any property and debts;
- Whether one spouse will receive alimony and if so, how much and for how long; and
- Whether either spouse wants to return to a former or maiden name.
If you and your spouse can reach an agreement on all of the issues above, you can sign and notarize a full agreement and file together for separate maintenance. You likely will not have to appear in court since judges often approve these decrees without a hearing.
When you file a Joint Petition, you give up certain rights that you would otherwise have:
- The right to appeal.
- Notice of Entry of Decree (this triggers deadlines for an appeal, but since you are waiving the right to appeal, you do not need the formal Notice of Entry).
- The right to request that the judge make certain findings of fact and conclusions of law relating to your agreement in the Joint Petition.
- The right to move for a new trial.
Follow the steps below to get a Joint Decree of Separate Maintenance.
1. Fill out the forms. There are several forms both spouses must fill out and sign.
2. File the forms. Turn in your completed forms at the District Court.
3. Turn in the decree to the judge. Submit the final decree for the judge to review.
Make sure you understand the basic concepts before filling out any forms. Visit the Separate Maintenance Overview page for an overview of the law and the legal requirements.
ALL OF THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS MUST BE COMPLETED to file a Joint Petition for Separate Maintenance:
Cover Sheet - required
This form asks for basic information about you, your spouse, and any children that you and your spouse have together.
Confidential Information Sheet - required
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.
Affidavit Of Resident Witness - required
One spouse must be a Nevada resident to file for separate maintenance 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. If you are both Nevada residents, pick one person to name as the Nevada resident and name that same spouse throughout all of your documents. A friend, coworker, or family member who sees you 3-4 times per week can complete the Affidavit of Resident Witness.
Joint Petition for Separate Maintenance - required
The Joint Petition tells the judge how you and your spouse have agreed to settle the issues. It includes your full agreement to everything, such as custody, visitation, child support, division of property and debts, alimony, and whether either spouse will return to a former name. You and your spouse must complete every section, and you both must sign the Joint Petition in front of a notary.
If you and your spouse cannot agree on everything in this form, you may have to file on your own. See Filing for Separation On Your Own for more information.
Request for Submission - required
This form asks the judge to review your case without a hearing.
Decree of Separate Maintenance - required
The judge will sign the Decree when your agreement is approved. Both spouses must complete and sign the Decree before the judge can sign.
You will still be married after the Decree is signed.
After you fill out the papers above, you will need to file them with the district court in your county. Visit Find My Court if you are not sure where your local district court is located.
The court will charge you a filing fee to file your papers. The fee is different in every county. Find out from your local court what the filing fee will be.
If you cannot afford the filing fee, please see Filing Fees and Waivers to find out how to apply to waive the fee.
Attach a filed copy of the Joint Petition (with the case number and filing date) to the Decree.
Find out from your local court how to turn these papers in to the judge.
The judge will review your papers, and if everything is completed properly and the judge approves of your agreement, the judge will sign your Decree. The judge's staff might call you when the Decree is signed so you can pick it up and file it yourself, or the judge's staff might send the Decree to one of the spouses in the mail.
Whoever gets the final Decree is responsible for the following:
- Make sure the Decree is "filed" at the Clerk's office, since the filing date is the effective date of the separate maintenance. Some judges file the Decree for you, and some expect you to file it yourself. If you receive a decree that has a date on the upper right corner of the first page, the Decree is already filed. But if you receive the original Decree with no markings on the first page, it will be your job to file it at the Clerk's Office.
- Mail a copy of the filed Decree to the other person. After mailing, fill out a Certificate of Mailing and file it with the court to prove that both parties have a copy.
Your will still be married after the Decree is signed. If either of you want to get a divorce in the future, you will need to file new papers to request a divorce.