Property division is one of the most important and time consuming aspects of a divorce, regardless of whether your divorce is collaborative or contested. For many individuals, fair property division is the key to getting a fresh start after a divorce, so it is absolutely crucial to learn your options with the help of an experienced Las Vegas divorce attorney.
What Property Gets Divided?
In any Nevada divorce, nearly all property acquired by either spouse during the marriage is considered community property. This means that both spouses are equal owners of the property in question, and it therefore must be split equally in the divorce. Debts acquired during the divorce are also considered community debts, and will be split accordingly.
Property either spouse owned prior to the marriage, however, may be considered separate property, and would not be subject to property division. Some property, such as gifts, inheritances, or recoveries from certain lawsuits, may be considered separate property by the court.
Types of property commonly split in a divorce include:
- Bank accounts
- House, condo, and other real estate
- Retirement accounts / pensions
Who Gets the House in a Nevada Divorce?
There are many factors that the court will consider when determining how to divide a couple's property in a divorce, including:
- The length of the marriage: Generally, the longer the marriage, the more likely it is that the court will consider the property to be marital property that should be divided between the spouses.
- The age and health of each spouse: The court may consider the age and health of each spouse when determining how to divide the property, especially if one spouse is significantly older or in poorer health than the other.
- The income and earning potential of each spouse: The court will consider the income and earning potential of each spouse when determining how to divide the property.
- The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition and maintenance of the property: If one spouse contributed significantly more to the acquisition or maintenance of the property, the court may consider this when determining how to divide the property.
- The needs of any children: If the couple has children, the court will consider their needs when dividing the property.
It is important to note that each case is unique, and the outcome will depend on the specific circumstances of the case.
Does it Matter Whose Name is on the Lease?
It may matter whose name is on the lease in the context of a divorce, because the court will consider the ownership of property when dividing the couple's assets. If one spouse's name is on the lease for a house, and the other spouse is not listed as a tenant, the court may consider the house to be the separate property of the spouse whose name is on the lease. However, this will depend on the specific circumstances of the case, and the court will consider a wide range of factors when determining how to divide the couple's property. It is important to note that each case is unique, and the outcome will depend on the specific circumstances of the case.
What is a Community Property System?
A community property system is a system of property ownership that is used in certain jurisdictions (mostly in the Western United States) to determine how a couple's property should be divided in the event of a divorce or death. Under a community property system, property acquired during the marriage is generally considered to be owned equally by both spouses, regardless of who earned the income or who is listed as the owner on the title or deed. This means that in a divorce, a court will typically divide the couple's community property equally between the spouses.
There are nine states in the US that have a community property system: Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. These states have laws that specifically define what property is considered to be community property and how it should be divided in the event of a divorce or death. In these states, property that is acquired before the marriage or through inheritance is generally considered to be separate property and is not subject to division in a divorce.
It is important to note that the laws governing community property can vary significantly from state to state, and it is important to understand the specific laws in the state where you live.
Is Nevada a Community Property State?
As a community property state, Nevada seeks to split property as equally as possible – ideally, property would be divided 50/50. The court will obviously not award half of a house to one spouse; typically, one spouse would get the house, while the court will seek to award assets of equal value to the other spouse.
In a mediated or collaborative divorce, spouses can agree to different property division terms. In some cases, one spouse will receive more assets up front, but will make alimony payments to the other spouse. The terms of your final divorce ruling can impact your future for years to come, so it is crucial to retain a dedicated Las Vegas divorce lawyer who can make sure your interests are protected.
Are you considering divorce? Get started today with an evaluation of your case.