In addition to retirement accounts, real estate is one of the most valuable types of property that people own. Real estate is highly valuable, symbolizes success, elicits pride, and is generally expected to appreciate in a way that provides you financial security. When couples divorce, real estate rights are a highly contested issue that requires thought, attention to detail, and proper appraisal. A proven family law attorney can help you resolve these critical property rights.
Real Estate Obtained During Marriage is Community Property
Unless you have an existing prenuptial agreement, your property rights are subject to community property laws if you divorce. Nevada’s community property laws give each spouse an equal stake in the couple’s marital property. This includes all property (except for gifts or inheritance) that either spouse obtains from the date of their marriage.
Significantly, community property does not touch each spouse’s separate property—which is everything they already owned coming into the marriage. So real estate that a spouse owned before the marriage generally remains with that spouse. However, if mortgage payments or improvements were made with community property or with earnings during marriage, the community estate may have an interest in the property. In addition, exceptions exist to this rule if there was a co-mingling of marital assets with the property, or if a spouse specifically gifted real estate rights to the other spouse.
Real Estate is Not Split in Half
An equal stake does not mean that property is actually split in half. For example, just because a couple owns a car together does not mean that they will walk away from their marriage owning half of the car. Instead, the law authorizes courts to take the value of a couple’s marital property, then to make an equal division. This means dividing property in a manner that each leaves the marriage with property that totals half of the total value of the marital estate. In practice, this may mean that one spouse receives business interests, stocks, or retirement accounts, while the other gets title to the primary residence or vacation home.
Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P. is Here for You
Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman, L.L.P. is a top-class law firm that provides family law advice and representation in Reno, Nevada. Our attorneys are client-focused professionals who routinely help resolve high asset divorces. We understand the high stakes involved in resolving divorce and child custody issues and want to help you. Call our office at (775) 227-2280 to schedule a free case consultation or contact our office through our website.