Often the most highly-contested divorces in Nevada are the high asset divorces. These situations are also the most complex because of the business and financial consequences involved. It is important to ensure that your attorney understands how to protect your interests from the very start.
Once divorce terms are set, you will be expected to live with them. If it later turns out that your ex was hiding assets or you didn’t understand that you had a right to certain property, you will be out of luck.
Protect Your Separate Property
As part of the process of separating the financial lives of two partners, they need to determine which property is marital property belonging to them jointly and which property is their separate property that the other spouse has no right to claim. The general rule is that property owned before marriage is separate and property acquired during the marriage is joint, even if only one spouse earned it or the title only shows the name of one spouse. One spouse’s gifts and inheritances during the marriage are also considered separate property.
Problems arise when the separate property gets commingled with marital property. If one partner received an inheritance and deposited funds in a joint account, for instance, they may have a hard time claiming it as separate property. When a spouse owned real estate or a business and used family funds to pay for some of the expenses, that can also cause separate property to be treated as marital property. Your attorney can work with forensic accounts to trace separate property and protect it. Marital property is divided under Nevada’s community property laws while separate property is not, so the difference is crucial.
Locate All Marital Assets
It is not uncommon in high asset divorces for one spouse to have access to property that the other is unaware of. This could include:
- Artwork and collectibles
- Hidden cash or travelers’ checks
- Offshore accounts
- A custodial account set up with someone else’s Social Security number
- Bearer bonds that don’t show up on account statements
When one partner owns a business, they have even more opportunities to hide assets with tactics such as unreported income, phony debts, or delayed bonuses. Attempts to hide marital assets can easily backfire, but only if someone first investigates to discover the problems.
Get the Right Valuation of Complex Property
Interests in a closely-held business can be challenging to value and divide. Retirement holdings can pose similar difficulties. Working with a financial advisor and legal advocates who are prepared to determine the correct value for these assets is essential to protect your rights.
Both partners deserve a share of marital property, which can include the amount the value of the separate property increased during the marriage. It is important to make your attorney aware of all the property in your marriage and the ways you may have contributed to an increase in value to separate property.
Naimi & Cerceo Protects Your Interests in High-Asset Divorce
When both parties enter negotiations with a full understanding of their position, divorce does not have to become an ugly drawn-out battle. At Naimi & Cerceo, we know how to prepare a divorce case to protect our clients’ interests and support them as they move forward into the next phase of their lives.
To find out more about the solutions we can provide in your case, contact us today for a confidential consultation.