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Hanging on to what is yours

One of the areas of divorce in which there can be significant disagreements is property division. When the marital estate contains substantial assets, the stakes are high and emotions can run even higher.

While there are often disagreements over valuation of a Las Vegas business that is part of the marital estate, for instance, or art pieces, collectible furniture, automobiles, real estate and other things people buy during the course of a marriage, there are just as many disagreements over whether or not the property should even be included in the marital estate.

Because Nevada is a community property state, inclusion means the asset is equally owned and is to be divided equally between spouses. A recent column on third-party trusts addressed a question some Nevada residents with substantial assets will ask: can the trust my parents or grandparents created for me be compelled to pay to my soon-to-be-former spouse?

It’s a question without a definitive answer, Forbes columnist Jeff Landers writes. But he notes that there are steps you can take to protect the trust and yourself. For example, you and your family law attorney can create a prenuptial agreement that specifically states that the trust cannot be included in a property division settlement.

Landers also advises you to keep the funds from the trust separate from bank accounts shared with your spouse. If you share the trust funds during the marriage, it is difficult to argue at the end of the marriage that the property is yours and yours alone.

An experienced Las Vegas family law attorney can discuss with you other options available in your particular circumstances. A skilled lawyer protects you in negotiations as well as at trial.

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