Myths Surrounding Divorce in New Mexico

A divorce is never easy, no matter how civil you are with your spouse during the process. As you are getting divorced, you’re probably going to hear advice from everyone, whether it’s your close friends and family or your coworkers and regular babysitter. Before you consider any well-intended advice, you need to make sure you have the facts. There are a lot of myths surrounding divorce in New Mexico, and you’ll find some of the more common ones below.

The spouse “at fault” in the divorce will be punished

In New Mexico, divorce is only no-fault divorce.  People mistakenly believe that if you can prove your spouse committed adultery, treated you cruelly or abandoned you, that spouse will be penalized in the spousal support or asset division areas of the divorce. However, this is not true; fault is not considered by the court at all in the property division or the awarding of spousal support. In a no-fault divorce you can avoid the emotional pain of having to describe your spouse’s hurtful behavior to the court. Speak to your family law attorney for advice if you’re not sure what to do in this regard.

Both spouses must agree on the divorce

This myth comes from the past, when consenting to a divorce was often necessary. Today, however, this is not the case. Even if your spouse doesn’t want a divorce or doesn’t agree that the relationship is past the point of saving, the court will still give you a divorce as long as you want one. In this situation, your divorce will be contested. If you and your spouse can’t come to an agreement on everything, the court will make the decisions for you. Unfortunately, these divorces tend to cost more in legal fees and emotional toll, but you may not have much choice in the matter if your spouse won’t negotiate.

Property can be hidden

When you are divorcing, you will have to submit a sworn statement about your finances to the court. This must be accurate and complete to the best of your knowledge. Lying on a sworn statement is perjury – a crime in New Mexico – and even if you’re not charged, you can be penalized for trying to hide any assets that you want to keep. It’s best to work with your family law attorney on this because he or she can help you negotiate with your spouse over the assets you want to keep and the ones you’re not as concerned about.

All divorces end up in court

A New Mexico court will have to approve your divorce agreement for it to be legal, but you don’t have to have the judge decide everything for you. Spouses can work with a mediator and their attorneys to reach an agreement on all the divorce issues on their own. You and your spouse will likely have to compromise in some areas, but the end result is often worth it. People tend to be more satisfied with a settlement they reached by themselves than what the court would decide.
A divorce is a serious legal process that will impact your life in the short and long term. If you do not have an attorney for your divorce yet, speak to one as soon as you can. Having experienced legal representation by your side will help you become knowledgeable about the process so you can make the most informed decisions possible.