When clients come to our firm, two of their biggest concerns are protecting
their assets and of course, avoiding financial ruin. They know that
divorce touches bank accounts, savings, retirement accounts, pensions, investments,
real estate, and even entire businesses, but to what extent exactly, they’re
not entirely sure. In fact, fears of “losing it all” often
keep unhappy spouses in bad marriages for far too long until they can’t
take it anymore.
The good news is that with an experienced divorce attorney, it’s
entirely possible to avoid financial ruin while protecting the bulk of your
assets. There is no reason why things should go sideways. But for you to maintain
as much control as possible, it’s best to seek a
collaborative divorce that stays out of court and we’ll explain why.
Nevada is a Community Property State
It’s important that you know that Nevada is one of a handful of states
that uses the community property method to distribute a couple’s
assets in a divorce. Under our community property law, all
marital property is owned equally or 50-50 by both spouses. This means that if a couple
cannot reach a property division agreement outside of court, a judge will
divide all “marital property” equally between the spouses.
Can a couple deviate from a 50-50 split? Absolutely. A couple can make
any arrangement outside of court as long as it’s fair and reasonable.
If they can’t reach such an agreement, they head straight to court
and a judge divides everything evenly.
When a divorce is
litigated and property is divided by a judge, the judge’s first order of business
is to determine what is marital or owned equally by both spouses and what
is separate. Marital property is all property acquired by the spouses
during the marriage and it is subject to division in a divorce.
Separate property is not subject to division and it includes:
- Property owned by one spouse prior to the marriage, and
- Gifts and inheritances received by one spouse before or during the marriage.
In some cases, separate property or a portion of it becomes marital when
the other spouse has invested sweat equity or money, which increased the
value of the separate property.
If you’re concerned about protecting your assets in a divorce, the
best thing to do is hire a good divorce lawyer and keep your divorce out
of court, where you have no control over the outcome. An attorney from
our firm can help educate you on the laws and protect your best interests
throughout the negotiations process.
How Marital Property is Divided in Nevada
Contact Leavitt Law Firm to schedule a consultation with a Las Vegas divorce lawyer.