This is the next post in my series on obtaining a postnuptial agreement in Las Vegas, Nevada. My prior article discussed how to ensure that your postnuptial agreement is enforceable. Steps to take, among other things, include making sure you do not commingle assets or debts with your spouse and making sure all assets are disclosed before signing the document. Retaining an experienced attorney to assist you with drafting the agreement can help to ensure that you meet the necessary legal requirements. In this article I will discuss how spouses should conduct their affairs after signing such an agreement. If you have questions about your situation then contact my office to speak with a divorce lawyer.
Las Vegas spouses should maintain separate finances after signing a postnuptial agreement
As I discussed in my last article, the commingling of assets between yourself and your spouse can result in your postnuptial agreement being ineffective. Commingling occurs when spouses take separate property or debt and place it in an account in the name of both parties. This can make the asset “community” in nature. If the parties subsequently file for divorce, and a party claims that the asset is wholly theirs, then the other spouse will have an argument that it should be equally divided instead. Consider the following example. A postnuptial agreement says that the parties’ wages and investments are considered separate. Both spouses, however, deposit their paychecks into a joint checking account from which they pay their bills. Now suppose that spouse “A” funds an investment account, which is in their name only, from that same checking account. At the time of a divorce, “A” claims that the investment account is their separate property. It is possible, however, that the Court will find it to be community property as it was funded by a commingled account. Bear in mind that this is just an example; how the Court will rule will depend on the specifics of the case.
The best way to ensure that you do not commingle your assets or debts is to maintain wholly separate finances. Typically, there will be fewer issues with enforcing the agreement if your finances are maintained in this way. This means that each party should typically have separate checking accounts, separate retirement accounts, etc. The parties’ wages and other income streams should only be deposited into their own accounts. Also, if the parties choose to take out debt, it should only be in the name of the spouse who will bear responsibility for it. These are just examples of situations where a Las Vegas area Judge will likely hold that such items are “separate” as required by a postnuptial agreement.
It is important to contact a lawyer if you have questions about the provision of a postnuptial agreement
If you have entered into a postnuptial agreement then it is important that you discuss your situation with an attorney if you have questions regarding the document. Parties, unfortunately, sometimes assume that the agreement will protect them at the time of a divorce. They are then surprised when they learn that a) the agreement did not provide as much protection as they originally thought or b) that their commingling of assets and debts has rendered the agreement ineffective. By discussing your situation with an attorney you can gain an understanding of the protections which the agreement does not provide. You can also learn how ways of conducting yourself impact your rights under the agreement. In short, discussing your situation with counsel can help to ensure that you remain protected.
I am a Las Vegas family law lawyer who practices solely in the area of domestic relations cases. I understand that your situation may require immediate attention and my office will give your case the attention it deserves. Contact us online or by telephone to schedule an initial consultation. We look forward to speaking with you.