Nevada is a community property state. NRS 123.220 provides that all property acquired after marriage, by either spouse or both spouses, is community property unless there is an agreement between the spouses stating otherwise (prenuptial or postnuptial agreements, trusts) or if a Decree of Separate Maintenance (legal separation) has been entered by the Court. A legal separation occurs prior or in lieu of a divorce, and terminates the accumulation of any community property and/or debts.
Under most circumstances, upon divorce, the Court will equally divide any and all assets acquired during the parties’ marriage. However, certain circumstances may result in an unequal division of community assets (or debts). If a party has committed waste (unnecessary spending that does not benefit the community – monies spent on gambling, drugs, or paramour(s) for example), may result in one party being awarded more assets (or debts) than the other. Nevada is considered a “no fault state.” As such, unlike certain other states, infidelity is not a factor for the Court to consider when determining the division of assets and debts.
NRS 123.130 defines separate property and provides that all property of a spouse owned prior to marriage, or acquired after marriage by gift, bequest, or personal injury award, are the separate property of that spouse. However, there are ways that the separate property of a spouse may become community property. If the party receiving such separate property illustrates an intent to transmute the asset(s) from separate property to community property and/or there is an agreement (typically a trust) between the parties to recharacterize the asset(s), such property (real or personal) may become community property.
Typically, assets to be divided upon divorce include real property or personal property. Real property encompasses homes or commercial property. Real property includes, but not limited to, bank accounts, retirement accounts, vehicles, furniture, clothing, jewelry and appliances.
Dividing assets can be more complicated than just determining the total value of assets and awarding an equal portion to each spouse. At Leavitt Family Law, we have the knowledge and experience to ensure your financial interests are protected, particularly as it relates to high net worth clientele or complicated financial situations that may include several trusts, accounts and/or businesses.