Tip the Scales in your Favor
WHAT TO EXPECT
Divorces have a few potential components:
- Division of Assets (including retirement accounts)
- Division of Debts
- Child Custody
- Child Support
Division of Assets and Debts
Nevada is a community property state. This means that from the time of marriage to the time of divorce, all property (and debt) acquired during marriage is divided equally.
It does not matter who made the credit card charge. It does not matter whose name is on what. It does not matter who earned the income. In a community property state, you act as a “community” when married. This means that everything you do is equally imputed to your spouse. Your income is half the other spouse’s income. So, there is no such thing as “I paid for everything.” I find this is a harsh truth for many. But it is the law.
Another noteworthy thing is that date of separation is not legally relevant. This means that even if you have been living apart for a year, the community is still intact and the starting point for division is half.
Despite what I have just said, there are times where you can argue for an unequal division of assets or debts for a variety of reasons. You should know that this is the exception to the rule and you will need a solid legal basis to do so–but it is possible.
Currently, the law bases child support on a parties’ gross monthly income. For one child, it is 18%.
If a parent has primary physical custody, then the other parent pays this statutory percentage to the custodial parent.
If the parents share joint physical (not legal) custody, then you calculate each parent’s statutory percentage obligation and subtract the smaller number form the larger number with the result being the higher income earner’s child support obligation to the lower income earner. In short, if you have joint physical custody and make the same income, neither pays support.
The parties also should split the premium for the child’s health insurance as well as split unreimbursed medical expenses.
It is possible to deviate from the statutory formula and have parties agree to their own child support amounts. There are specific legal requirements when doing this however.
The answer: No one really knows.
Alimony is the hardest thing to predict because it is based on very specific statutory factors and an individual judge’s application of those factors.
That being said, there are some factors that that often control more than others:
- Length of marriage
- Respective incomes
- Whether one spouse advanced their career during the marriage more than the other
- Disability of a spouse
What these factors add up to in your case as to how much and how long, depends on the facts of your case and your judge. Some judges are alimony-heavy, some are not.
The best way to prepare or defend an alimony case is to know the law and know the judges so the attorney can properly present or defend the case.
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