Going through the divorce process in New Mexico can be a challenging experience, particularly if one or both spouses are doing things aimed at undermining their partner when it comes to asset division or other areas of the divorce.
A family law attorney can help you tremendously in any divorce situation, but there are some scenarios that require the knowledge and skills of an experienced attorney for you to successfully navigate them, including the three outlined below.
Community Property Has Been Cashed Out
This is a common scenario. One spouse has decided he or she wants out of the marriage but doesn’t want to split common assets that have grown over the course of the union, so he or she cashes out his or her retirement accounts or investments or takes out a loan against the house without the other spouse knowing. To make the situation worse, this spouse may have also racked up debt against the couple’s community assets.
In New Mexico, there is what is known as a “community property” law, which states that any asset, property or debt that was accumulated during the marriage has to be split equally. If one spouse cashes out an account that is part of the community property, sells a community asset or racks up debt, it needs to be considered during property division so the other spouse still receives his or her fair share.
There Are Legal Document Signing Demands
After you separate from your spouse, don’t sign any legal documents presented to you by him or her without speaking to an experienced family law attorney first. Sometimes, one spouse will go along with whatever the other spouse wants because of the emotions, stress and complexity of a legal separation or divorce case. However, you could end up signing something that waives your rights to an asset you’re entitled to, or if you have children together, affects your rights when it comes to your kids.
Even if you trust your spouse, you should be concerned if he or she is trying to pressure you into signing a document. Never sign something you don’t fully understand because you may not be able to rescind it later, even if you weren’t completely aware of what you were signing at the time.
Child or Spousal Support Is Involved
Child support is a financial obligation that a parent pays to cover part of his or her child’s expenses. Spousal support is money paid by one spouse to the other to help him or her cover expenses as he or she transitions to post-divorce or separation life.
Both of these awards will have a significant impact on your personal finances now and in the future, regardless of whether you are the person paying the money or the one receiving it. Because of this, the amount ordered needs to be reasonable and fair. The calculation of these awards is based on the financial information provided by both spouses, which is why it’s important to have an attorney on your side. Your attorney will help ensure all the information provided is complete and accurate.
You may have well-meaning family and friends give you advice as you go through the divorce process, but keep in mind that they are not attorneys and do not have the full knowledge of the law. Everyone’s case has different facts and considerations – so what happened to one person, may not happen with your divorce. Before you go too far into the process, speak to an experienced family law attorney about your case so you have the best chance of a successful outcome. What happens in your case will affect your life for years to come, so it’s not something you can afford to leave to chance.