This is the next post in my series on issues which Las Vegas fathers may have to deal with during divorce proceedings. My last article discussed how spousal support impacts Nevada divorces. It is important to understand that alimony, at least on a temporary basis, is often awarded in our state. In this article I will discuss another important issue in marriage dissolution matters – the handling of community property. If you need assistance then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.
Nevada is a community property state. This means that any property acquired during a marriage will equally belong to both spouses (not including items acquired as a gift or by inheritance). It does not matter which spouse paid for the property or how the title to it is prepared; if, for example, one spouse bought a car in their name only then the vehicle would be community property. This same concept also applies to debts. Debts incurred during a marriage will be the equal responsibility of both spouses. This includes credit card debt, consumer loans, and student loans taken out during the marriage. Many spouses make the mistake of thinking that an asset or debt will not belong to “the community” if it is only in one party’s name. Such is not the case.
It is important to understand that community property laws apply throughout the marriage. Many couples err by thinking that if they “separate” or live apart then the laws do not apply to financial transactions made after the break up. The fact of the matter is that if two spouses go their separate ways, and do not file for a legal separation, then property or debt acquired during their separation will still be “community” in nature.
When a couple is going through a divorce then the Court will ensure that all assets and debts are divided equally. In order to achieve this the Court will divide assets so, at the end of the case, each party gets an equal share of any community net worth. The Court would not make such calculations if there was a prenuptial agreement dealing with community property issues, if the parties signed a postnuptial agreement after their marriage, or if a legal separation was filed. Again, if you are a father going through a divorce then these are issues you need to be aware of.
Contact my office today to speak with a Las Vegas fathers’ rights attorney. As a family law lawyer I regularly handle matters involving community property.