Divorce and the Marital Home

Two people holding onto a piece of a house

A house is the most valuable piece of property that many married couples own. Beyond the market value of the marital home, it represents so much more:

  1. The culmination of dreams, savings, and hard work.
  2. A place with sentimental memories as a couple and as parents raising children.
  3. A source of comfort, familiarity, and stability for the children who live there.

The marital home is, therefore, a financially and emotionally valuable source of contention when couples divorce. So when it comes to the division of property, a significant focus is placed on what happens to the marital home, how it gets paid for, who gets to live there, whether it has to be sold, and who gets the home when the dust settles.

Nevada is a Community Property State

In Nevada, property acquired during a marriage is generally split equally between spouses. This is referred to as “community property”. So a house that is purchased during a marriage is generally going to be treated as the equal property of both spouses.

Further, even if one spouse owned a house coming into a marriage, there are still circumstances where the other spouse has an interest in the property. This is typically the case as most mortgages continue to be paid after marriage with the earnings of the parties, which are considered community property.

What Happens to a House that is Community Property?

It should be obvious that a house cannot be physically split down the middle in a divorce. It also isn’t feasible for a divorcing couple to remain co-owners of a property—unless the agreed intention is to sell the home and split the proceeds. Therefore, there are only two options to address the home: 1) sell it and divide the net sale proceeds appropriately; or 2) one party takes the home, pays the other party their share of the equity, and refinance any underlying debt to remove the other party.

Significantly, if there is a child custody issue, the courts may be more likely to order that the custodial parent remains in the home and that the house be awarded to that spouse, while community property of equal value is awarded to the other spouse.

Trust Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P.

Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman, L.L.P. is a full service law firm that provides family law representation to men and women in Nevada. We take pride in our ability to communicate with our clients and to develop custom tailored legal strategies in pursuit of their best outcomes. Our attorneys are hard working, well-respected, and proven. If you need help navigating a divorce or child custody issues, we are here to help. Call Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P. today at (775) 227-2280 to schedule a consultation or contact our office through our website.

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