For married couples in Nevada, one of the most important things to know about community property is that it’s not just a designation for your home or car. It also includes any debt you might have incurred during your marriage. In this article, you’ll learn more about Nevada community property laws and what it means when divorcing your spouse.
What are the two categories of community property?
There are two categories of community property: “separate” and “community.” Separate assets are those not acquired during the marriage. These can be things like inheritances or gifts from parents.
In contrast, property acquired during a marriage is considered community property in Nevada. This means that you and your spouse will share ownership of any assets you’ve acquired together during your marriage. In other terms, community property ownership means 50% of all assets and debts acquired during a marriage belong equally to both parties.
The law considers which assets and debts are community property.
Assets incurred during the marriage are deemed community assets.
- If you acquired property while married (or post-marital), these items are community property.
Assets incurred before marriage or after separation are deemed separate assets.
- If you already owned property prior to marriage (or premarital) and it stays in your name alone, it will remain yours after divorce.
Debts incurred during the marriage are deemed community debts.
- If you incur any debt during the marriage, for either spouse or a third party, this is a community debt. Though, there are exceptions.
Debts incurred before marriage or after separation are deemed separate debts.
- Debt incurred by an individual for him or herself after separation will be deemed separate debt. In general, this means the creditor may not pursue a community spouse to pay the debt.
One key difference between premarital and post-marital property is that a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement may impact community property rules.
How to keep your pre-marital assets separate from community property?
There are some solutions to keeping your pre-marital assets your own in the event of a divorce.
- Seek legal counsel to craft a prenup prior to getting married. A prenup allows you to specify details of your personal belongings in the event of a future divorce.
- If you’re already married you can still reach an agreement with your spouse called a postnuptial agreement.
- A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is especially important if you own a business. This type of agreement lays out what is considered separate in advance.
- Be sure you don’t commingle your community property with what you believe to be separate property. For instance, if you add your spouse’s income to your pre-marriage savings account, the court will deem this account as community property and will be subject to division upon divorce.
- Additionally, be careful your separate property doesn’t become joint property if you don’t want it to. Using funds from your separate property for purposes of the marriage can convert your account, becoming marital property.
Seek guidance from a trusted family law attorney if you’re unsure about how to keep your pre-marital property separate.
Are you getting divorced? You don’t have to share everything with your significant other.
Property acquired during the marriage is often considered community property unless it was specifically designated as separate property by a valid agreement between the spouses. It is important to speak with Reno prenuptial and postnuptial agreement attorney who can help you understand what rights you have as a result of your divorce settlement in a community property state.
Carlson & Work family law and divorce lawyers serve clients throughout Northern Nevada. Contact us today to learn about your options.