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A concept for dividing assets: two forks dividing a pie chart in Henderson, NV

Divorce can be a painful and stressful event in one’s life, but it is essential to make sure that the process is carried out correctly, especially when it comes to dividing assets. Division of assets can be a complicated matter, with several factors coming into play. If you’re a resident of Nevada going through a divorce, then this comprehensive guide is for you. Let’s dive deep into the division of assets during a divorce in Nevada.

Understanding the Difference Between Community vs. Separate Property

Nevada is a community property state, which means, under state law, all assets and debts acquired by either spouse during the marriage are considered community property, regardless of whose name the asset is in. This includes everything from real estate and bank accounts to retirement plans and automobiles.

Any property that a spouse owned prior to the marriage or acquired through inheritance or gift is considered “separate property” and will remain the property of that spouse. During a divorce, community property is divided equally between the two spouses, unless they agree otherwise. This can include selling assets and dividing the proceeds or transferring ownership of certain assets to one spouse. It is important to note that community property laws do not apply to unmarried couples or common-law marriages in Nevada.

How Separate Property is Divided

While the division of community property follows the “50-50 principle,” when it comes to separate property, it is not subject to an even split. In Nevada, a judge will determine a fair and equitable distribution of separate property. A judge will consider several factors, like the length of the marriage, the earning capacities of each spouse, whether either spouse contributed to the maintenance or accumulation of the separate property, and whether one spouse can receive compensation to offset the other spouse’s separate property received. It is essential to mention that the division of separate property can differ from case to case, depending on the circumstances.

Determining the Possession of the Marital Home

The marital home is one of the most significant assets for any couple, and it can be challenging to reach a fair agreement. Usually, a couple has two options: selling the property and dividing the proceeds or allowing one spouse to retain the home and buying out the other spouse. If the couple decides to sell the property, the proceeds will be subject to division. If one spouse wants to retain the home, they must ensure that they can afford to make payments without their former spouse’s financial support. However, these decisions can be complicated and require negotiations, which your attorney can help with.

Retirement Accounts

Retirement accounts are considered community property, even if only one spouse contributed to it. This means that the account balance at the time of the divorce is subject to division. However, retirement accounts vary in type, like defined benefit plans, defined contribution plans, and pensions, and each has its own set of rules and regulations. It’s essential to have a legal expert on board to guide you through the process.

Equitable Distribution

In some states, property is divided according to the concept of equitable distribution. This means that assets are divided fairly but not necessarily equally. Nevada, on the other hand, divides property according to community property laws, which means that both spouses will receive an equal share of the community property. It is possible, however, for one spouse to receive a disproportionate share of the separate property if there is evidence to support a claim for reimbursement. For example, if one spouse used their separate funds to pay for improvements to a community property asset, they may be entitled to a reimbursement for those expenses.

Hiding Assets

Some spouses may attempt to hide assets during a divorce in order to avoid having to divide them equally with their spouse. This is illegal and can result in significant penalties, including the forfeiture of the hidden assets. If you suspect that your spouse is hiding assets, your attorney can help you investigate the matter and work to ensure that all assets are properly disclosed during the divorce process. This can include hiring a forensic accountant to review financial records and search for hidden assets.

How Debt Division in Nevada Divorces Works

Debt acquired during a divorce is considered community property and, therefore, subject to a fair and equitable division under Nevada law. This means that both spouses will be responsible for paying off any debts incurred during the marriage. Even if only one party is named on the debt, both parties will be responsible for repayment.

During divorce proceedings, debts will be allocated to each spouse in a fair and equitable manner. However, it’s essential to remember that creditors are not bound by divorce decrees or the judge’s orders. If one spouse is not fulfilling his or her obligation to pay off a debt, the creditor can still hold the other accountable for the entire balance.

Factors Considered During Debt Division

Nevada courts consider several factors when determining how to divide debts during a divorce. These factors include:

  • The amount of debt each spouse brought into the marriage
  • The length of the marriage
  • Each spouse’s financial situation and ability to pay off debts
  • The reason for incurring the debt
  • The purpose of the debt
  • The time when the debt was incurred

Strategies to Handle Debts during a Nevada Divorce

Dividing the debt in a fair and equitable manner is not always an easy process, and it can be made more complicated if the divorcing couple has significant amounts of debt. Here are some strategies to help handle debts during a Nevada divorce:

  • If possible, pay off all the debts before filing for divorce.
  • Seek credit counseling to negotiate lower rates or payment plans.
  • Consider selling some assets to pay off the debts. This can prevent long-term financial struggles and reduce the overall debt burden.
  • Negotiate a buyout agreement. This allows one spouse to take over all the debt in exchange for the other spouse’s share of the community property.
  • Make a debt division agreement before the divorce. Agreeing on a debt division strategy before the divorce can prevent costly and contentious court proceedings.

Importance of Partnering with a Skilled Nevada Divorce Attorney

Divorce proceedings can be a stressful and challenging time, and dividing debts can add to the pressure. Seeking help from a skilled Nevada divorce attorney can help ease the process. An experienced attorney can help negotiate a fair and equitable division of debts and protect your rights and interests throughout the divorce proceedings.

Contact Smith Legal Group Today to Get Help with Division of Assets in Nevada

Dividing debts during a divorce can be emotionally and financially draining. In Nevada, the community property laws require a fair and equitable division of all assets and debts acquired during the marriage. To help ease the process, it’s crucial to understand how the debt will be divided and strategies for handling debts during a divorce. With the help of a skilled Nevada divorce attorney, you can ensure that your rights and interests are protected throughout the process. If you’re going through a divorce in Nevada, please contact the Smith Legal Group in Henderson, NV, for a free consultation at 702-410-5001.