The divorce process can be an extremely stressful and difficult time for many individuals. Making decisions that affect your current life, as well as your future, can cause some heated arguments between the two parties and make the stressful situation even worse. One topic that nearly always draws debates and arguments between the two parties is how property and debts will be divided.
At JK Nelson Law, our lawyers can provide significant assistance to you while you navigate the divorce process and ensure that your legal rights are protected and defended promptly and efficiently. The first step taken in assisting clients with the division of assets and debts is classifying the type of property.
In Nevada, property can essentially be classified as either Community Property or Separate Property:
- Community property is any type of property that was obtained during your marriage. However, this does exclude any property that was inherited or gifted to you. Community property does not need to have both spouses’ names on it, as the fact that it was acquired during your marriage is often enough for a judge to know that it is community property.
- Bank accounts, vehicles, any homes, businesses, business properties, 401K’s, IRA’s, and much more are considered to be community property as long as they were obtained during the duration of your marriage.
- Separate property can be any type of property that was acquired prior to your marriage. It can also be a property that was inherited or gifted to one of the spouses.
- In addition to inheritance or gifts, property obtained prior to marriage, or property obtained from a personal injury lawsuit and/or workers compensation can all be considered as separate property.
Similar to property, debt can also be classified as community or separate debt. Debt such as student loans, any money owed to the bank, house mortgage, medical bills, car loans, and much more can all be considered community debts.
Once you have classified what is community property/debt and what is separate property/debt, how do you go about dividing the community property and debt? Generally, the court will allow for a spouse to keep all of his/her separate property, and will also leave the separate debt with the spouse that acquired it. However, for community property and debts, your lawyer will need to assess all your assets and determine a value for each individual asset. Typically, this property will be divided equally during the divorce. However, there are exceptions in which community property is not divided equally.
When is it likely for an unequal distribution of property and debts to occur? A judge merely needs a “compelling reason” to disregard the equal community property division. For instance, if a spouse can’t afford to pay alimony, they may lose a bit of community property to the other spouse, to account for the amount they would’ve received in alimony. This unequal distribution of property is at the sole discretion of the judge and is one reason for why you need an attorney who is on your side and ready to defend your rights with all of their legal expertise and knowledge.
At JK Nelson Law, we want to ensure that you receive the best possible outcomes from your divorce, and will walk you through the process step by step. Whether you want help with mediation to avoid going to court, or whether you want someone to represent your best interest in court, we can help. Call us to schedule your free consultation or to get started on your divorce process today.