Divorces Involving Separate Property

Property division in divorce is in most cases complicated. During a divorce, a judge, a mediator or the parties will make decisions regarding how to divide the marital property including the residence(s), vehicle(s), and bank and stock accounts. Reno property division divorce attorney, Gloria Petroni, is effective in negotiation or litigation of separate property disputes. She can represent either party in divorce and can address assets that are separate from the estate, or in contesting separate property status when those assets would deprive her client of a substantial portion of their rightful distribution.

Nevada is a “community property” state. Community property is all property acquired during a marriage by either spouse. This property will be divided equally by the court if the parties are not able to come to an agreement that states otherwise.

Nevada law states that the court shall distribute among the parties of any property held in joint tenancy (community property). If one spouse has made a contribution of separate property toward the acquisition or improvement of property held as a joint asset, it is possible the court may provide for the reimbursement of that party for his or her contribution. However, the amount of reimbursement will not exceed the amount of the initial contribution of separate property traced to the acquisition or improvement of property held in joint tenancy. In other words, interest or any adjustment due to an increase in the value of the property held in joint tenancy would not be awarded to the contributing party. The amount of reimbursement must not exceed the value, at the time of the disposition, of the property held in joint tenancy for which the contribution of separate property was made. In determining whether to provide for the reimbursement, in whole or in part, of a party who has contributed separate property, the court shall consider the following factors:

(a) The intention of the parties in placing the property in joint tenancy;

(b) The length of the marriage; and

(c ) Any other factor which the court deems relevant in making a just and equitable disposition of that property. (Nevada Statutes – Chapter 125./50.)


Nevada is a community property state. In order for the court to determine an equitable distribution of property, it is necessary to distinguish between separate and “community” property.

Marital property applies to any and all assets acquired during a marriage regardless of which spouse owns the property. In some states, marital property also includes the increase in value of separate property. Property division becomes especially complicated when retirement funds, mortgages, and marital debts are to be divided. Typically, the longer the duration of a marriage, the more these factors may exist.
Compared to separate property, marital property is a very broad category. In other words, just because an asset may be titled in one spouse’s name only, doesn’t mean the other is not entitled to it. This can apply to real estate, assets such as vehicles, 401Ks, stock options, etc.

Each and every marriage of course includes different factors, timelines and assets. A qualified divorce attorney who understands proper distribution of assets can help you sort through all the details of your particular case. Gloria Petroni has years of experience in divorces involving separate property. Nevada marital law is complicated. Contact our office today.

To protect separate property from marital assets, you need an experienced attorney who knows how to help you clearly classify your assets to ensure that they are protected should a division occur. At the Petroni Law Group we have handled many complex cases involving separate property. We are experienced in helping clients protect their financial interests as well as isolate separate property that should not be divided in a divorce. Contact our office today at 775-420-4221 for an initial consultation.

At Petroni Law Group, our goal is to provide each and every client with an unobstructed view of all aspects of a case by aiding in informed decision-making and clear understanding of possible outcomes.

Contact Info
5470 Kietzke Lane, Suite 300
Reno, NV 89511