What Are Your Rights in a Divorce?
If you and/or your spouse decide to divorce in Nevada, you will have to make a number of subsequent decisions. You’ll need advice from a Las Vegas divorce attorney to help you make those decisions, and you’ll need to have that attorney represent you in the divorce proceedings.
What are the legal requirements for obtaining a divorce in Nevada, and what happens in a divorce proceeding? How is marital property divided when spouses divorce in this state? For example, who gets the house? When should you contact a Las Vegas divorce lawyer?
For the answers you may need, keep reading this brief discussion about the division of property – and your rights – in a Nevada divorce.
What is Community Property?
Community (or “marital”) property is equally owned by both spouses unless a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement states otherwise. Community property is any property acquired by either spouse during the marriage except for gifts, inheritances, and damages awarded for personal injury claims.
Separate (or “personal”) property is the property owned by a spouse before the marriage and any gifts, inheritances, or damages awarded for personal injury claims during the marriage. When property is separate, the other spouse has no interest in it, no right to it, and no control over it.
Neither spouse may bequeath more than half of the community property in his or her will. Neither spouse may give community property as a gift without the consent of the other, and neither spouse may sell any community property real estate unless both spouses agree and sign the deed.
In a Nevada Divorce, How is Community Property Divided?
Usually, community property is divided equally between the spouses in a Nevada divorce. However, community property may be unequally divided if a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement provides for the unequal division of community property upon divorce.
Community property may also be divided unequally if the divorce court determines that one spouse has wasted or has attempted to hide marital assets. If separate and community property are commingled, the separate property becomes community property.
The marital home is community property, but it obviously cannot be divided like a savings account. With young children, you may want to remain in the home, or you may want to remain in the home for career or other professional or personal reasons.
It may be difficult to leave the home you’ve lived in for years – especially if you’ve raised children there – but for some divorcing spouses, letting go of the home is genuinely the best option.
In a Nevada Divorce, What Happens to the Marital Home?
If divorcing spouses can agree about what happens to their home, they have options for dividing it. They could sell the home and divide the proceeds, or one spouse could simply buy the other spouse’s share. If no agreement is possible, the court decides how the home will be divided.
You don’t lose the right to your half of your home if you move out during the divorce process, but you should not move away unless you have to. If you move out voluntarily during your divorce, your spouse’s divorce attorney may characterize your move as abandonment.
Although some divorcing spouses can share a home during the divorce proceeding, that’s clearly not possible for most divorcing couples. If spouses reside together during a divorce, they must have clearly established boundaries and rules.
Are You Selling the Home?
When a divorcing couple agrees to sell their home, the decision can’t be hurried. It must be made jointly and thoughtfully, and the answers to these questions must be taken into account:
- What will the home be sold for? How will the price be determined?
- How will the real estate agent be selected?
- Will every decision about the sale require the spouses to agree?
- Are there liens or encumbrances other than the mortgage?
- If an offer is made, what’s the bottom-line figure that both spouses can accept?
If instead of selling the home to a third party, one spouse buys out the other’s share, cash is not necessarily required. The payment may be made with other assets or properties or even with compromises on matters such as spousal support (alimony) and attorneys’ fees.
What Happens to the Home When Spouses Cannot Agree?
However, if divorcing spouses cannot agree about what happens to the home, a Nevada divorce court will make the decision after considering the financial status of the spouses, the best interests of the children (if there are children), and how long the marriage has endured.
A Las Vegas divorce attorney can help you negotiate with your spouse and arrive at an agreement that is acceptable to both parties. When spouses fail to agree on matters such as alimony, child custody, child support, and the division of property, a divorce is costlier and the process is longer.
If you are considering divorce or if your spouse is seeking a divorce, retain the services and advice of a Las Vegas divorce lawyer at the earliest possible opportunity. Having the right advice from the beginning ensures that you’ll be treated fairly throughout the divorce proceeding.
What Else is Required for a Nevada Divorce?
To divorce in Nevada, at least one spouse must have resided in the state for a minimum of six weeks.
When you divorce in this state, you need only one of the following reasons:
- You and your spouse are incompatible.
- You’ve been separated for a year or more.
- Your spouse has been legally declared insane for at least two years.
How Should You Select a Divorce Lawyer?
When attorney Rebecca A. Fuller represents you in a divorce proceeding, she handles the negotiations and prepares the legal paperwork required. She will also make sure that you keep what’s yours and that you receive any child support or alimony that you may be entitled to.
For more than seventeen years, award-winning Nevada divorce lawyer Rebecca A. Fuller has represented clients in Nevada divorce proceedings. She will protect your rights and see to it that you are treated justly and fairly throughout your divorce proceeding.
The decisions you make in the divorce process will affect you and your children for the rest of your lives. You’ll need the reliable legal advice and effective representation that attorney Rebecca A. Fuller and Fuller Law Practice provide.
If you are divorcing in or near the Las Vegas area, promptly call the offices of Fuller Law Practice at 702-935-4144, and let us put the law to work for you.