Figuring Out Who Keeps the Home When Couples Split Up
When married people decide they can’t be together anymore and get a divorce, a big question often comes up: “Who gets to keep the house?”
The answer can be a little complicated in Nevada, but we’ll explain it in a way that’s easy to understand.
Understanding Community Property
First, it’s essential to know that Nevada is a “community property” state. This means that most things the couple bought or got while married belong to both. Think of it like sharing a pie; both get an equal part. So, when it comes to the house, both the husband and the wife usually own it together if they get it after marriage.
Deciding on the House
When it’s time to decide who gets the house, there are a few ways it can happen:
- Agreeing Together: Sometimes, the couple can decide between themselves. One person may want to stay, and the other doesn’t mind moving out. They can tell the Court if they can agree, and it’s pretty simple.
- Selling the House: If the couple can’t agree or they both want to leave, they might decide to sell the house. After selling it, they split the money they get, usually in half.
- The Court Decides: If the couple can’t agree, a judge in Court will decide for them. The judge looks at many things, like whether there are children who might want to stay in their home, who have more money to keep the house, or who are more attached to the house.
Thinking About the Kids
The court usually thinks about what’s best for them if there are children. This might mean the parent who cares for the kids the most might get to stay in the house. The idea is to keep things as normal as possible for the kids.
Other Things to Consider
Some other things can change who gets the house, like:
- Pre-Nups: This might change things if an agreement was made before marriage about who gets what.
- Separate Property: If one person already owned the house before getting married, it might be considered individual property, and they might get to keep it.
- Buying Out: Sometimes, one person can pay the other person for their part of the house and keep it.
Looking at the Details
When a couple in Nevada goes through a divorce, they or the court have to look at the details of their situation to figure out what to do with the house. Here are some things that are considered:
- Who Wants the House?: Sometimes, one person might want to keep the house more than the other. This could be because they’re attached to it, or it’s close to their work or family.
- Can They Afford It?: It’s essential to consider whether the person who wants to keep the house can afford it. This means they can pay the mortgage, taxes, and upkeep independently.
What If One Person Can't Buy the Other Out?
If one person wants to keep the house but can’t afford to pay the other person for their share, there might be other options, like:
- Trading Assets: Sometimes, one person can keep the house in exchange for giving up their share of other things, like cars, savings, or other property.
- Payment Plan: They might work out a deal to pay the other person for their share of the house over time.
The Role of Mediation
Before going to court, some couples try mediation. This is where a neutral person (a mediator) helps them talk about and hopefully agree on who gets the house.
Going to Court
If the couple can’t agree, they’ll go to court, and the judge will make the decision based on:
- Contributions: Who paid for the house, took care of it, and invested more into making it a home?
- Economic Circumstances: The judge will look at each person’s financial situation, like how much they earn and what other property they have.
- Child Custody: If one person gets custody of the children, they might be more likely to get the house to stabilize them.
The Final Decision
When the judge decides, they’ll issue a “divorce decree” that says who gets the house. The decree will tell how the money should be split if sold. If one person gets the house, it might say how the other is compensated.
After the Divorce
Once the divorce is final and the housing issue is settled, the person who gets the house should ensure the mortgage and title are in their name alone. This makes it clear that they are the sole owner now.
Breaking It All Down for You
Because there’s so much to think about and every situation is unique, getting help from a professional such as a divorce attorney is a good idea.
They can help navigate the legal system, negotiate with the other person, and make sure that the division of the house and other property is fair and follows Nevada law.
Remember, while the process can seem overwhelming, with the right help and information, you can work towards the best solution for you and your family.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens to the house if both spouses are on the mortgage?
If both spouses are on the mortgage, they both remain responsible for the debt in the eyes of the lender. Even if the divorce decree assigns the house and mortgage to one spouse, if the other’s name remains on the mortgage, they could still be liable if the mortgage isn’t paid. The spouse keeping the house may need to refinance the mortgage in their name to release the other from financial responsibility.
Can a spouse refuse to sell the house during a divorce?
A spouse can refuse to agree to sell the house, but if an agreement can’t be reached, the court may order the house to be sold so the proceeds can be divided. The decision ultimately lies with the court if the spouses can’t agree on their own.
How is the house’s value determined for a divorce?
An appraisal from a professional real estate appraiser typically determines the house’s value. This assessment will estimate the home’s current market value, which can be used during negotiations or by the court to decide how assets should be divided.
Will I have to pay taxes if I keep the house or receive money from the sale?
Tax implications in a divorce can be complex. Generally, if you keep the house, you may not have to pay taxes immediately, but if you sell the house, there could be capital gains taxes if the profit exceeds certain IRS thresholds. It’s essential to consult with a tax advisor to understand the specific tax consequences for your situation.
What if my spouse damaged the house or reduced its value?
If it can be proven that one spouse intentionally damaged the house or otherwise reduced its value, this could affect the division of assets. The court may consider this when determining who gets the house or how much the other spouse should be compensated.
Does it matter who moved out of the house during the separation?
Moving out of the house does not necessarily affect who gets the house in the divorce. However, if one spouse moves out and leaves the other with the mortgage and upkeep, this could be considered when dividing assets and responsibilities.
What if I want to buy a new house while the divorce is pending?
If you want to buy a new house while the divorce is pending, it’s essential to consider how this might affect your financial situation and the divorce proceedings. It could complicate matters, especially regarding your financial obligations and asset division. Consulting with your lawyer before making significant financial decisions during a divorce is advisable.
Can the decision on who gets the house be modified after the divorce is final?
Once the divorce is final and the assets have been divided, it’s generally difficult to modify the decision regarding who gets the house unless both parties agree to a change. However, if there was fraud, duress, or a significant mistake in the original proceedings, it might be possible to revisit the decision.
What if I’m not on the title of the house?
Even if you are not on the house’s title, you may still be entitled to a portion of its value if it was considered community property. The court will look at the nature of the property acquisition and the marriage to determine how to divide it.
Community Property: This term designates the concept where most property and debts acquired during the marriage are owned equally by both spouses and divided equally upon divorce.
Divorce Decree: A legal document issued by the court that finalizes the divorce and outlines all of the divorce terms, including property division, spousal support, and, if applicable, child custody and support.
Mediation: A facilitated negotiation process in which a neutral third party, the mediator, helps disputing spouses discuss and resolve issues without going to court.
Mortgage: A legal agreement by which a bank or creditor lends money at interest in exchange for taking the title of the debtor’s property, with the condition that the conveyance of title becomes void upon the payment of the debt.
Refinancing: Replacing an existing mortgage with a new one, allowing one spouse to take over the house and mortgage solely in their name after a divorce.
Asset Division: The process of dividing assets and debts between the spouses during a divorce, including the family home, investments, and other property.
Appraisal: The process of evaluating the worth of a property by a licensed professional, which is used to determine the fair market value of the house during the divorce proceedings.
Capital Gains Tax: A tax on the profit from the sale of property or an investment, which may be relevant for one spouse if the family home is sold during or after the divorce.
Title: A legal document representing the right of ownership over a property. In a divorce, the person who gets the house will have their name on the title as the owner.
Custody: In the context of divorce, custody refers to a parent’s legal rights and responsibilities towards their child. Custody can be sole or joint and includes physical custody (where the child lives) and legal custody (decision-making power regarding the child’s upbringing).
By understanding these terms, individuals going through a divorce can better navigate the complexities of the process, particularly when it comes to the division of property, such as the marital home.
Additional Resources for You
Our readers should remember that our esteemed lead attorney, Molly Rosenblum Allen, Esq., has diligently prepared a suite of resources to assist you during challenging times. These resources cover a broad range of topics pertinent to divorce and its associated challenges:
Las Vegas Divorce Attorney: In-depth legal support and guidance for those navigating through a divorce in Las Vegas. Explore Further
Alimony in Nevada: Essential information about alimony laws and what to expect in the state of Nevada. Learn More
Divorce and Mortgage: Understanding the implications of divorce on your mortgage and housing situation. Get Informed
Divorce and Taxes: Key insights into how divorce can affect your tax situation and how to navigate these changes. Know the Impact
Health Insurance After Divorce: Guidance on managing health insurance coverage following a divorce. Stay Covered
Divorce and Bankruptcy: Navigating the complexities when divorce proceedings intersect with bankruptcy. Understand Your Options
Student Loan Debt Divorce: Insights into how student loan debt is treated and divided during a divorce. Manage Your Debt
How Much is Alimony in Nevada?: A focused look at determining alimony amounts within Nevada. Calculate Your Alimony
Divorce Attorney Fee: Understanding the costs associated with hiring a divorce attorney and how fees are structured. Plan Financially
How to Not Get Screwed in a Divorce: Strategic advice to protect your interests and secure a fair outcome in a divorce. Secure Your Future
We encourage our readers to use these resources for guidance and support. Molly Rosenblum Allen, Esq. is dedicated to offering professional and compassionate help throughout each phase of your journey.
Offsite Resources You May Find Helpful
Here are some offsite resources that can provide additional information and support related to divorce and family law. Each resource is linked to its home page for comprehensive access to their offerings:
American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) – A resource for those seeking highly skilled family law practitioners and information on aspects of family law.
National Association of Divorce Professionals (NADP) – An association that brings together professionals from multiple fields to network and support individuals going through divorce.
Wealthy Single Mommy with Emma Johnson – A blog and community focused on empowering single moms, including financial advice and tips on handling divorce.
LegalZoom Divorce Resources – Provides legal document services and general legal information on divorce proceedings.
Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts (IDFA) – Offers information on financial issues related to divorce and resources for finding certified divorce financial analysts.
Parents Without Partners – An international organization helping single parents and their children to cope with the challenges of single parenthood, including those arising from divorce.
A Special Message From Our Lead Attorney
Molly Rosenblum, Esq
Thank you for taking the time to explore our carefully compiled divorce resources. I hope you have found the information insightful and empowering as you navigate through this complex chapter of your life.
Should you feel ready to take the following steps or have any questions about your situation, please contact me and my dedicated team at The Rosenblum Allen Law Firm.
You can call us at (702) 433-2889 to discuss how we can assist you with your legal needs.
Remember, every situation is unique, and we are here to provide you with the professional guidance and support you deserve.
Molly Rosenblum, Esq.