Previously, we looked at what community property is. Now let’s talk about separate property in a Nevada divorce.
So then what is separate property? Separate property is anything you owned prior to marriage, inherited, received as gift, or were awarded for personal injury. Keep in mind that any award for lost wages as part of a personal injury settlement is likely community property.
Separate property is not divided in a divorce. It stays with the spouse it belongs to. While it can be considered when looking at an award of alimony, it is not treated the same as community property.
Just because the law protects your separate property doesn’t mean you don’t still have to take action to preserve it. Separate property funds should be kept separated from community property funds. Don’t deposit your paycheck into the same account where your have premarital funds or you could compromise your separate property by comingling it with community property.
Comingling happens when community and separate property have been combined to such a degree it is no longer possible to trace the separate property funds. This is especially important with liquid assets because money is fungible. If you put your income and your inheritance in the same account, then proceed to make regular withdrawal or deposits, it becomes impossible to tell whether the separate property still exists.
In order to protect your separate assets in a divorce, you’ll need to have records for your accounts at the date of marriage. This can be difficult if you have been married a long time. Financial institutions may not have records dating back to your date of marriage, so it’s up to you to keep good records.
Gloria Petroni is a licensed Nevada Attorney with over 40 years of experience. She is a family law specialist and practices in the areas of family law, probate and estate planning. This article is meant to be informative. It is not a substitute for legal advice. Every case is different. If you have questions about your case, you should contact a Nevada licensed attorney. We would love to hear from you.