Money and calculatorThis is the next post in my series discussing how Nevada’s community property laws impact property distribution during a Las Vegas divorce. My last post discussed how one spouse’s inheritance may be handled during a divorce. In this article I will discuss how the Courts handle any debts which Las Vegas couples have accumulated during marriage.

Nevada law considers spouses to be equally responsible for debts incurred during a marriage

Nevada considers the financial activities of two people to be “joint” once they are married. Everything that is purchased during the course of a marriage is considered community property unless specifically stipulated otherwise in a legal document. The same is true for debt. When a couple divorces, both parties are responsible for any mortgage debt that is left on the family home, any debt that is left on either party’s car, or any credit card debt that is owed, no matter whose name the debt is under.

Many people do not believe that it directly affects them if their partner is irresponsible with money. However, during a divorce, if one party has significant credit card debt then the other spouse will typically be responsible for half of it. This often comes as a shock to a spouse who may be divorcing a partner because of their irresponsible finances. They are understandably upset when they realize that they have to continue to pay for their partner’s poor choices. If neither partner has the money to pay off the debt then the Court may order the couple to sell any assets they may have in order to pay off the balance. These assets may include the marital home, vehicle, or other valuables. If the couple does not have assets then the Court may ask one spouse to make monthly payments to the other to go towards the outstanding debt they have between the two of them.

A Las Vegas resident filing for divorce should gain an injunction immediately to prevent frivolous spending by their spouse

When one spouse’s financial irresponsibility leads to a divorce then it is is important for the other partner to take preventative action once the couple separates. Fortunately the Clark County Family Court makes it simple to gain this protection. When one files for divorce in Las Vegas then the Court Clerk will automatically sign an injunction, if one is submitted, which prohibits both parties from spending lavishly. While the parties will be permitted to spend as necessary in order to live, they will not be permitted to make luxury or needless purchases. A spouse who violates the injunction may be held in contempt of court and may have to bear sole responsibility for the purchase.

If you are going through a divorce, and you and your partner have significant debt, then it is important to prepare for how that will be divided. Contact my office today to speak with a divorce lawyer. I service the greater Las Vegas area.