This is the third post in my series on how Nevada’s community property laws impact the division of assets in a Las Vegas divorce. My last article discussed how an increase in the price of a home can affect community property division. I provided information on how the timing of when a home is purchased may impact whether it will be subject to division. I also discussed how community property laws tackle the issue of appreciation or equity. In this article I will address the possibility of retaining the full value of your home or retirement account during a divorce. If you require assistance, contact my office to speak with an attorney.
For the most part, the state of Nevada considers assets acquired during the marriage to be subject to community property laws. This means that the Court will split those assets equally among the spouses. This also applies to homes and retirement accounts. So what happens if you do not want to sell your home? What if you would like to keep your entire IRA? Well, there are two main options you can utilize. I will discuss each of these in turn.
The first option for retaining your assets involves the division of your other assets. Suppose you are interested in keeping your home, which is worth $400,000. You and your spouse would be entitled to one-half this value, so in a typical situation, you would retain $200,000. However, one way to keep the entire value of the home is to ensure that your spouse enjoys a greater amount of other assets equal to that half the value of the home, which would be $200,000. If you have other property or investments that you do not mind parting with, you may have the option of forfeiting your portion of those assets in favor of the home.
Similarly, the second option also involves a method of equalizing the financial standing that each party will end the case on. This second option involves the debts. Perhaps you would like to keep the full value of your retirement account, but you and your spouse have racked up quite a bit of credit card or other debt over the years. You can choose to take on a greater portion of the debt, provided it equals the amount of your retirement. By forfeiting your interest in an asset and/or taking responsibility for more than your share of debt, you may be able to retain the full value of an asset. For example, if your IRA is worth $100,000, you would be normally be entitled to half its value, which would be $50,000. However, if you choose to take on a greater portion of you and your spouse’s joint debt, equal to at least $50,000, you may be able to retain your entire IRA. Remember that once you have chosen one of these options and the divorce is concluded, the division of marital property is finalized. This is why it is crucial that you discuss these matters with a lawyer before making a decision you may regret.
Dividing marital property can be quite a confusing process, but an attorney with experience in family law can help you with choosing the best option for your situation. I strive to provide my clients with the highest level of service. Contact my office today to schedule an initial consultation with a Las Vegas lawyer.