Whether you’re either contemplating divorce or have already decided that moving on from your marriage is the healthiest way forward, it’s time to start thinking about dividing your marital property. Being as proactive as you can about this process will better ensure that you don’t make any missteps that could cost you the opportunity to receive a fairly-valued divorce settlement.
The most critical thing you’ll want to keep in mind when thinking about dividing your marital property is that New Mexico is a community property state. This means that both you and your spouse are entitled to half of the total value of your marital estate.
Community property and your marital estate
Many states in the U.S. allow judges to approve asset division scenarios that entitle one spouse to a greater share of their marital estate than the other spouse affected by the order. As New Mexico is a community property state, the value of any assets classified as part of the marital estate must be divided equally between spouses.
A marital estate is comprised of all property that belongs to a married couple. Generally speaking, any assets that were acquired during the course of a couple’s marriage are classified as jointly-owned property. There are very few exceptions to this rule, although it is possible that an exception applies in your case. Unless you are advised otherwise, however, you’ll want to begin with the assumption that the value of all assets acquired during your marriage will need to be divided evenly between you and your spouse.
Looking ahead to your divorce
Spouses who divorce in New Mexico are each entitled to half of the value of their marital estate. Yet, the process of dividing marital assets can be anything but straightforward. Learning more about your rights and options under the law as you begin the divorce process can help to ensure that your interests remain protected as you navigate this major life transition.