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Las Vegas Divorce Law Blog

The prenup primer, Part 4

Over the last week, we have talked about prenuptial agreements and the many aspects involved in them -- as well as the factors the spouses need to consider before signing one. Today, we conclude this four-part series by asking a simple question: is a prenuptial agreement right for you and your spouse?

Of course, the answer all depends on how that soon-to-be-married couple feels about a prenuptial agreement. However, allow us to make the case for getting a prenup. This contract provides such incredibly important protections that, in today's day and age, going without those protections could certainly hurt you down the line.

The prenup primer, Part 3

It is easy to think that prenuptial agreements are solid as a rock once they are signed. Prenups have a reputation of being impenetrable to a legal challenge, but in reality that isn't the case at all. Just like in our last post where we talked about things that actually can't be included in your prenup (even though some people think the prenup is like a blank canvas where anything goes), prenups can actually be successfully challenged if the document is not compliant or if nefarious circumstances are involved.

So what are some of these circumstances that can cause a soon-to-be-former spouse to successfully challenge a prenup? Here are a few:

The prenup primer, Part 2

In our last post, we talked about prenuptial agreements, gave a basic definition of prenups and explained why they can be beneficial to couples. But let's go a little further today as we talk about what the actual contents of a prenuptial agreement can be -- and what they can't be.

There are very specific topics that are forbidden from being included in a prenuptial agreement. One basic premise to understand is that if something is illegal, then you can't include it in your prenup. However, there are more specific topics that are off limits in a prenup. You can't include anything that involves child custody or support. You also can't waive your right to alimony in your prenup, nor can you include language that would encourage a divorce in the future.

The prenup primer, Part 1

One of the most important questions you will have to answer before you get married is whether or not you and your spouse are signing a prenuptial agreement This may not seem like something that carries such significance, mainly because prenups have a negative stigma. They used to be considered taboo contracts, and many people were afraid to utilize prenups because the prevailing thought was that these contracts were "anti-love."

But today, prenuptial agreements carry such vital protections for married couples and their assets. To not have a prenuptial agreements is to leave your marriage (and potential divorce) up to the basic laws and rules that are set forth by the state.

Children in court

Wearing blue robes, Judge Cynthia Dianne Steel sits in a big, leather chair. She's been a District Court Judge in the Family Division since 1997. Looking into the camera, the gray-haired judge speaks firmly and distinctly. When she talks about Nevada family law, people listen.

Last year, Judge Steel addressed divorcing parents on the subject of children in court. Is it OK for you to bring them in to watch and listen to your divorce proceedings? She answered that question and several others in her to-the-point talk available on YouTube.

Some factors to consider with interstate custody cases

There are many couples that live in Las Vegas that have children. Some of these couples may have homes in different states, considering that Las Vegas is in close proximity to California, Arizona and Utah. Should one of these couples decide that it is time for a divorce, they will obviously have a lot of questions about how child custody will work -- especially given their residences in multiple states.

So how does interstate child custody work, and what sorts of things do parents need to be worried about if it is involved in their divorce?

What does community property mean for a divorce?

In almost any divorce, property and money will be huge factors. It is simply inherent to the whole process. Some spouses will have their idea of how the property division process "should" go, and their soon-to-be-exes will probably have a conflicting view. However, there are overarching laws the preside over property division, even if in certain circumstances there may be some wiggle room.

Nevada is one of only a handful of states that abide by community property laws. The other form of property division is known as equitable distribution. That name is a bit of a misnomer, though. Equitable distribution makes it sound like each spouse will get an equal share during the property division process. To the contrary, that sentiment is truer under community property laws.

What it means to be legally separated

As many people know, a couple can be separated before they actually become divorced. But even though people may know that these are two different things, they may not be aware of what it actually means to be separated. So what is the difference between being separated and being divorced?

Being separated doesn't mean that the two spouses are just living apart, though that is a big factor in the separation status. Legal separation is more formal than this. A court order will announce the legal separation, and during the couple's separation, they have to live apart and the two have to abide by provisions and rules set forth by the court.

Suiting your situation

When Las Vegas parents divorce, there are enormous issues for them to settle in negotiations or litigation. Of course child custody is at the top of the list, followed by child support, asset division and spousal support.

With the help of a skilled, experienced family law attorney, those issues are resolved and the two halves of the former couple go their separate ways. However, as parents they will be forever united by their children and the endless responsibilities and tasks that go with raising kids. But at some point in the process -- perhaps during the divorce and perhaps afterwards -- the woman will ask herself whether she should change her last name. Should she return to her pre-marriage name? Stick with the name she might well share with her children? Come up with an entirely new, post-divorce name?

Anger goes missing

"You and Daddy yell at each other all the time," the boy said to his mom. "I'm afraid of the fighting." She thought about what the 6-year-old had just said and what his words meant to her and to her husband. She walked her son to school and then called her husband of 12 years. She set in motion their divorce.

Though they had been trying to shelter their three kids from their anger and fighting, she had to admit that in reality, "we weren't hiding anything, we were only hurting everyone."