Getting married is a major life event that will have significant financial implications, both during the marriage and in the event of a divorce. One way to protect yourself and your assets is by negotiating a prenuptial agreement (prenup) before getting married.
Below are some risks of not having a prenup in Nevada:
- Property division: In Nevada, property acquired during a marriage is typically considered community property and is divided equally in a divorce. In fact, property owned before marriage can be subject to equal division, too, depending on the unique circumstances of the property in question. Without a prenup, you risk losing control over how your property is divided in the event of a divorce, including pre-marriage property.
- Spousal support: Without a prenup, you may be required to pay spousal support, also known as alimony, to your ex-spouse after a divorce. A prenup can limit or eliminate the amount of spousal support you must pay.
- Debt division: If you or your spouse has significant debt, it will be divided equally in a divorce unless otherwise specified in a prenup. Without a prenup, you may be responsible for your spouse's debt, even debt you were unaware of!
- Business ownership: If you own a business, get a prenup. Without a prenup, your spouse may be entitled to a portion of the business in a divorce, even if you owned it prior to marriage. A business valuation is both intrusive and expensive. A prenup can help protect your business by specifying how it will be valued and divided in the event of a divorce (if at all).
- Inheritance rights: Without a prenup, your spouse may be entitled to a portion of your inheritance in the event of your death. A prenup should ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes, which can be especially relevant if you have children from prior relationships.
- The cost of divorce litigation: money spent on a prenup now can save money on divorce attorneys later. A contested divorce action can easily incur tens of thousands in attorney's fees for both sides. If you are the breadwinner spouse, a judge could even order you to pay some or all of your spouse's attorneys fees, too.
- The stress of divorce litigation: Without a prenup, disputes may need to be resolved through litigation, which can be both time-consuming and expensive. Divorces can also take several months from start to finish. Divorce litigation also tends to be inflammatory and increase hostility.
In summary, not having a prenup in Nevada can leave you vulnerable to property division, spousal support, debt division, and inheritance rights issues in the event of a divorce. On the other hand, a prenup can help protect your assets and address all of these issues in advance. Therefore, it is important to consult with a qualified attorney to draft and review a prenup that meets your needs and protects your interests.