If you are on the brink of
divorce, surely, you’ll have questions.
What property do I get to keep? Which debts and property do we have to
split? Who will be responsible for debts that we incurred before and during
In the United States, we have two methods for
dividing marital property: equitable distribution and community property. Nevada is a community
property state; this means all income and assets acquired by either spouse
during the marriage belongs to both spouses equally, regardless of whose
name is on the title or who earned it.
Likewise, all debts incurred during the course of the marriage are community
debts – both spouses are equally responsible for them. For example,
suppose a wife agreed to take over the auto loan for her vehicle, and
this was addressed in the divorce decree. If she loses her job and can’t
pay the loan, the creditor can go after her ex-husband for the unpaid
debt. The creditor is not concerned with what it says in the settlement
Can Spouses Split Property Differently?
While spouses are entitled to 50 percent of the community property or marital
assets, that does not mean they can’t deviate from the 50/50 formula.
If a divorcing couple does not want to split the marital assets and debts
down the middle, they can work out a different agreement so long as it’s
fair and does not leave one spouse with nothing.
Separate vs. Community Property
Before a couple decides how to divide their community property, the first
task is to distinguish community property from separate property, which
is not subject to division in a Nevada divorce. As a rule of thumb, separate
property is property that spouses acquire before marriage. However, sometimes
separate property, such as a gift, personal injury award or inheritance
acquired during the marriage, but for division purposes it remains separate.
Separate property typically includes:
- Money earned before the marriage
- Real estate owned by one spouse before the marriage
- An inheritance given to one spouse during the marriage
- Property given to one of the spouses during the marriage
Many clients ask us, “Can I get more property because my spouse had
an affair?” In Nevada, the courts do not increase an innocent spouse’s
share of community property because of their spouse’s misconduct,
including adultery. The courts may, however, distribute property unevenly
based on compelling economic circumstances.
If you’re looking for a Las Vegas divorce attorney, look no further
than the Leavitt Law Firm, where our legal team has more than 27 years
of collective experience.
Call today to get started.