When getting a divorce becomes possible, you may understandably focus on the emotional toll, especially if you and your spouse have a long history together. But paying attention to your financial future is crucial – specifically how you will divide property.
Nevada is a community property state, meaning that you and your soon-to-be ex own half of all marital debt and property. However, if you have a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, that contract typically dictates how your assets are shared.
Mine, yours or ours?
Nevada’s community property laws require that all property and debt accrued during the marriage will be split evenly for those without a prenup or postnup. State laws exclude separate assets from the property division process.
Determining separate property can be complicated. Typically, anything you owned before the marriage does not need to be divided. You may be able to exclude specific property received after the wedding, such as inheritance, awards from a personal injury lawsuit or a gift from a family member.
However, you must prove to the court that it qualifies as separate property and that the proceeds were not commingled with marital assets to benefit you and your spouse. In some cases, the court may set aside separate property to cover community debt, child support or alimony.
Dividing complex assets
Property division can be especially challenging in some high net worth divorces. Many of these relationships involve valuing complex assets, such as:
- Family businesses
- Partnership agreements
- Professional, medical or legal practices
- Perks and executive compensation packages
- Rental property and vacation homes
- Stock options, IRAs, 401(k)s and other investments
- Jewelry, artwork and other collectibles
You may need consultants, appraisers and other experts to appropriately and fairly value many of these assets.
Guidance for dividing marital property
If you and your spouse have complex assets or are unsure what qualifies as separate property, getting experienced legal advice is crucial to your financial future. In Nevada, looking for a lawyer with extensive knowledge in property division matters is advisable.
Among the indicators to look for are attorneys certified in Nevada family law and those recognized by peer organizations such as Super Lawyers and Martindale Hubbell. It’s also a good idea to check out referrals and testimonials to find those with proven track records resolving disputes through mediation, settlement or litigation.