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Community Debts In Nevada


Nevada is a community property state, meaning that when couples divorce, all the property acquired during their marriage is generally split equally, with few exceptions. However, many couples forget that the couple’s debts must also be paid. It is important to keep in the debts in mind when addressing a divorce, lest your ex-spouse’s financial woes wind up affecting you.

Both Spouses Are Responsible

Unlike in equitable distribution states (a state in which property and debt acquired during the marriage is divided equitably, rather than equally, between the spouses), debts incurred by the couple are not specifically addressed by statute in Nevada. However, couples in community property states are seen as partners in all things, debts included.

This does not mean that Nevada courts will not take outside factors into account in determining who should pay a specific community debt. While a court may order one spouse to pay a specific debt, or in rare cases, all of the community debt, this type of determination is made not simply by rote. The division of debts is within the discretion of the Court. The determination is not entirely unlike the decisions made in cases where alimony is an issue – multiple factors are considered by the court before determining who pays which debts.

If Community Debts Go Unpaid

While it may be tempting to refuse to pay a debt in order to save the money, or to have some kind of petty revenge on the ex-spouse, this can backfire. Nevada law holds that if, for any reason, a community debt goes unpaid, third party creditors can reach either spouse and the property granted to them in an effort to collect. Be advised that if bankruptcy comes into the equation, that can complicate matters further. In some cases, the court that oversees the divorce case, may be allowed to provide recourse to the harmed spouse with regard to unpaid debts through other avenues unique to divorce cases.

Contact an Experienced Attorney

While it seems complex, the business of paying community debts can be greatly simplified by having a knowledgeable divorce lawyer on your side. The attorneys at the Kainen Law Group have years of experience in this type of case, and are happy to share it with you. Contact the office today to set up an initial consultation.

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