Property division can be very complex, whether you are involved in a contested or uncontested divorce. Property division is final and not subject to modification, so it is crucial that you understand all of the implications before the agreement is final and that everything is done right. Mistakes in property division, especially when it comes to debts, can have serious ramifications later down the road.
With 20 years of experience in family law, attorney Thomas C. Bradley is ready to help you negotiate a property division agreement that will satisfy both you and your spouse and if a fair agreement cannot be reached, he will fight for you.
To schedule a personal consultation with Mr. Bradley, call 775-323-5178 today. The Law Office of Thomas C. Bradley serves the Reno and Sparks communities in Nevada.
How Property Is Divided in Nevada
Nevada is a community property state. Generally, property, assets and debts acquired by either spouse during the marriage, are considered community property and are split equally between you in a divorce. Separate Property is generally all property of a spouse owned before marriage and all property that was acquired after marriage by gift, inheritance, or an award for personal injury damages. Separate property is not divided. But the rules governing community and separate property are very complicated.
For example, separate property may be comingled during marriage causing it to become community property. Community property may be protected from property division by a valid prenuptial agreement. Property acquired during the marriage using assets that were separate may sometimes remain as separate property, and so on.
In Nevada, courts must equally distribute community property, to the extent practicable, however, a court may make an unequal disposition of the community property if there is a compelling reason to do so.
Separate property includes:
- Property and assets owned or acquired before the marriage
- Profit gained from separate property
- Rent gained from separate property
- Personal injury awards for non-economic damages
The Family Home, Retirement, and Debts
Who gets the house? The family home is often the biggest issue in property division, and there are several ways that it can be handled. Sometimes the simplest answer is to sell the house and split the proceeds. But that may not be the best choice for a number of reasons. In some cases, one spouse may elect to keep the house and buy out the other spouse’s share of the house with cash buy-out or other community property assets. When children are involved, it is sometimes preferable to put off distribution of the equity in the house until the children are grown and no longer living at home, and this is also an option, but it can get complicated.
Retirement accounts, IRAs, 401(k)s, and pensions are community property and need to be divided. Often, a qualified domestic relief order (QDRO) is needed to properly divide these retirement assets.
Properly dividing debts is critical in a divorce. There are several options and it can get very complicated, but it must be addressed. Creditors can still come back on you, no matter what you and your spouse agree upon in the divorce. If one spouse agrees to make payments, and fails to do so, the other spouse can still be held responsible for the debt. A spouse who does not make these payments may be held in contempt of court, but that does not let you off the hook with creditors. Mr. Bradley can help you resolve these issues in a way that protects you in the future and minimizes your liability. For instance, it may be possible to arrange with the creditor for the paying spouse to assume responsibility by getting a new loan in their name only.
Understanding No-Fault Divorce
Nevada is a no-fault divorce state. Property division is generally not based on how either of you behaved during the marriage. Property is divided equally regardless of issues such as infidelity or substance abuse and the courts do not want to hear about it.
The one exception to this is community waste. If one spouse deliberately squandered marital assets to deprive the other of their share, they can be penalized in the property division process. If one spouse spent a large amount of money on a boyfriend or girlfriend or lost a large amount of money to gambling, and spent community property in doing so, the innocent spouse will be reimbursed.
Call Now for Your Property Division Consultation
To learn more about property division and how we can protect your rights and your assets, please call the Law Office of Thomas C. Bradley at 775-323-5178 or tell us about your case using the online contact form to schedule your confidential initial consultation. We proudly help men and women from Reno and Sparks, Nevada.