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Want to keep your pre-marriage assets from spouse in divorce?

If you have significant assets before marriage you need to protect yourself from a costly divorce.

One legal tool available in Nevada is a prenuptial agreement. However, if that is not practical, there are things you can do during your marriage that can clarify property division matters in divorce, helping to ensure that you keep what you owned prior to exchanging rings.

For instance, you can make sure that during marriage all bank and brokerage accounts stay in your respective individual names. And, make sure that no earnings or community property monies get deposted into those bank and brokerage accounts. You can also make sure to keep all tracing documents to later prove how you have meticulously kept separate property separate. You can also establish a separate property trust, or have your spouse sign and notarize documents disclaiming his/her interest in accounts, real estate or even inventories of personal property.

But, the easist way to handle these matters is to see an experienced divorce lawyer and have a prenuptial agreement drafted and signed before marriage, or draft a post-nuptial agreement during marriage. The division of separate versus community property assets during divorce can be an expensive, tedious, and sometimes impossible task. And since it is presumed under Nevada law that assets acquired during marriage are community property, it will take clear and convincing evidence at trial to avoid equal division-abssent a prenuptial agreement that destroys such presumptions.

Forbes notes that property that you owned before the marriage can be “€œtransmuted”€ (converted) into community property if you treat it as community property during the marriage. For instance, if you have a bank account prior to marriage that is entirely yours, but you add community property assets to it while married, you could potentially convert your once-separate funds into community property.

You and your family law attorney would have several available options during divorce proceedings, however, explaining to the court that the commingling was done out of convenience, for example, and not because you intended to transmute your separate assets to community property.

Forbes adds that you could also create new accounts when you marry; accounts designed to hold community property funds. You can then keep your separate assets in your pre-marriage account. In that way, it will be clear that the funds were separately acquired and maintained.

Or you could create with your attorney a post-nuptial agreement that you and your spouse enter into that clarifies which assets are yours and which assets belong to your spouse.

These are just some of the options available. An experienced family law attorney can help you understand all available options and choose the best for your circumstances.

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