Community property: what it is and what it means for you


There are two types of property division: equitable distribution and community property. Neither form necessarily leads to an "even" division of property. Equitable distribution seeks to find a "fair" division of property. What "fair" means in the context of a given divorce changes from case to case. Meanwhile, community property often leads to the spouses dividing the shares of an asset 50/50 -- but again, it depends on the state laws.

In Nevada, we follow community property, so for divorcing couples it is important to realize what assets and property will be considered "community property" under these laws.

Community property is generally anything acquiring during the course of the marriage. So a wife's income during the marriage is community property; a husband's income during the marriage is community property; any home, or furniture purchased during the marriage is community property; interest accrued during the marriage is community property.

But there are other assets that don't fall under the community property umbrella. For example, any gifts received by a spouse during the course of a marriage are not considered community property. Instead, they are considered "separate property" and are not subject to community property laws in a divorce. In addition, any inheritance is not considered community property, and anything acquired outside of the marriage (either before or after it) will be considered separate property.

When dividing community property in a divorce, a judge will look at many factors, including child custody, marital fault, the health of the spouses, and the continuation of benefits for spouses in addition to many other elements.

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