Dividing Uncommon Assets During a Divorce


Understanding What Is Typical in Property Division

Divorce is often emotionally charged and stressful. Many people find asset division the most challenging part of that process. The division of assets has the potential to shape your entire financial future. From impacting where you live and your lifestyle to whether or not you retain critical assets, property division is rarely an easy process.

Typically, the division of assets in a divorce includes:

  • Family home or other real estate
  • Bank accounts and cash
  • Investments, stocks, and bonds
  • Retirement accounts and pensions
  • Cars and other vehicles

But what happens when a divorcing couple holds more unusual assets? While many couples might find themselves quarreling over who gets the family home or the savings accounts, less conventional assets can complicate proceedings even further. These might be items that don't have a clear market value or aren't as easily liquidated.

Just a few examples include:

  • Intellectual property, such as patents or royalties
  • Art and antiques
  • Collectibles, such as coins or stamps
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Business interests, particularly in startup companies

When dividing such uncommon assets, special considerations must be considered—whether due to the impacts of their fluctuating values or the intricacies of their true worth.

Nevada's Property Division Laws

The State of Nevada follows community property principles when dividing assets during a divorce. This means any assets—and debts—acquired during the marriage are owned jointly and equally by both spouses. However, this doesn’t mean every item is divided in half during a divorce. Instead, an equitable division based on the value of the total community property is sought. Consequently, each couple's property division settlement will be unique.

For uncommon assets, the courts consider several factors:

  • The nature of the asset and how easily it can be divided
  • The asset’s liquidity and current market value
  • The economic impact of a sale of the asset for both parties
  • Projections of future value or income potential, especially relevant for assets like intellectual property or businesses

Understanding the actual value of such assets often requires professional evaluation, and agreeing upon a fair division can be particularly tricky.

Approaches to Property Division

Divining assets and debts during a divorce can take several forms. The approach taken greatly depends on the divorcing couple's relationship dynamics, the complexity of their assets, and their willingness to compromise.

Three of the most common methods divorcing couples use are:

  • Negotiation: Spouses and their legal representatives might conduct negotiations outside of court to reach an agreement on asset division.
  • Mediation: A neutral third party helps the divorcing couple come to an agreement on all matters of their separation, including property division.
  • Litigation: When spouses can’t resolve their disputes, the matter is taken to court, and a judge will determine how assets should be divided.

The Role of Attorneys in Dividing Uncommon Assets

The advice and guidance of experienced divorce attorneys can be invaluable when uncommon assets are in play. Your attorney can help identify and evaluate complex assets, represent your interests when negotiating their division, or advocate for you during court litigation. Achieving a fair distribution of assets during a divorce can feel like a struggle, but having an attorney by your side can significantly ease the burden.

For instance, an attorney may help guide you in:

  • Selling an asset and splitting the proceeds
  • Buying out the other's interest in an asset you wish to preserve
  • Structuring a co-ownership agreement for specified assets
  • Distributing other assets of equal value to offset the retention of an asset you want to retain

As client advocates, divorce attorneys like ours at Ford & Friedman work closely with financial advisors, appraisers, and other professionals to help you develop asset and debt division strategies.

For those going through a divorce with uncommon assets at stake, it's important to approach the property division process with a strategic mindset. Ford & Friedman is committed to helping individuals manage this complex process. Contact us online to schedule a consultation with our team.

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