One of the most important aspects of a divorce is for the court to determine how assets and debts are divided among spouses. New Mexico follows the “community property” legal system, which holds that all assets acquired during a marriage that are not considered separate property are community property and will be split during a divorce. The same also holds true of community debt.
How to determine separate property in a divorce in New Mexico
Property defined as “separate property” can be protected from your spouse in a divorce. Here are some instances that could exempt you from having to split your property with your spouse:
- The property was a gift, or it was inherited.
- It was acquired before the marriage or after the “Petition of Dissolution of Marriage” was filed.
- In some circumstances, judgement by a court or a written agreement signed by both parties can designate certain property as separate.
How is debt divided in a divorce in New Mexico?
In New Mexico, spouses are expected to split the debt they accumulated during a marriage. However, just like with separate property, some debt can be considered separate if the debt was:
- Incurred before the marriage or after the “Petition of Dissolution of Marriage” was filed.
- Designated as a separate debt by the court or in a written agreement.
- Incurred due to one spouse’s gambling.
- Incurred while the spouses were living apart.
If you and your spouse are on good terms, you can come to your own agreement about how to split property, assets and debts, and the courts will usually respect your decision.
When that’s not the case, reviewing your property, assets and debt to determine what is community property and what is separate property will be important to the outcome of your divorce.
Seek experienced legal counsel in New Mexico
Consult with an experienced New Mexico divorce attorney to review your property, assets, and debt before the divorce process begins. Contact New Mexico Financial and Family Law or call us at (505) 503-1637 today.