It’s crucial for people divorcing in Nevada to understand the basic elements of state community property laws and other laws that affect property division.
The division of marital property can be a stressful issue for many people who are getting divorced in Las Vegas. Physical property often carries significant emotional or sentimental value, while dividing high-value property may introduce serious financial concerns. Given these high stakes, it is essential for people divorcing in Nevada to be aware of state laws and their personal rights during the process of dividing marital property.
Which property is divisible?
During divorce, assets that are categorized as community property are subject to division between both spouses. Nevada's laws hold that almost all property obtained during marriage is community property, while assets that a spouse acquired before marriage are considered separate. However, the following property is considered separate even if a spouse secures it while married:
- Personal injury settlements
Separate property isn't generally subject to division. However, spouses should note that family law judges in Nevada can set aside the separate property of one spouse to provide for the other spouse or for their children.
How is the division determined?
Spouses can directly decide how to divide community property by signing a premarital agreement or reaching an agreement during the divorce. If spouses cannot come to terms, Nevada law generally requires a roughly equal division of all community property. However, a family law judge may order an uneven division of property if "compelling reasons" to do so exist. The financial circumstances of each spouse may be considered a compelling reason, but fault in the divorce cannot.
If one or both spouses used separate property to acquire marital property, the court may order a reimbursement of that property. A judge may weigh various factors, such as the amount of time that the spouses were married, when deciding whether to reimburse one spouse for commingled separate property. If a judge does approve a reimbursement, it cannot exceed the value of the original contribution.
How can spouses divide assets?
Divorcing spouses do not necessarily have to split the value of every asset; the final division just needs to be roughly equal. This may be accomplished by the allocation of a high-value asset, such as the family home, to one spouse and the distribution of other assets with the same collective value to the other. Alternately, one person may receive a greater proportion of assets along with the marital debt, leaving both spouses with holdings of roughly equivalent value.
Addressing additional questions
Property division can be a complex process, especially when a divorce involves unusual issues such as business valuation or hidden assets. To understand other aspects of state property division laws and avoid missteps during this process, divorcing spouses may benefit from consulting with am attorney. An attorney may be able to help a spouse understand his or her legal rights and seek an appropriate final settlement.