November 17, 2018

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New Mexico Family Law

Albuquerque Family Law Firms

Family law includes matters pertaining to marriage, divorce, legal separation, children, domestic abuse, and more. New Mexico family law affects some of the most important and most sensitive areas of life. Like all areas of law, family law varies greatly from state to state. Whether you live in New Mexico or are considering moving to the state, you should take the time to learn about how these laws could affect you.

Divorce

Issues which are addressed in New Mexico divorce include:

  • Property and debt division
  • Spousal support
  • Child custody
  • Child support

New Mexico is a community property state, meaning that all property acquired during a marriage is considered community property and is divided equally between the two spouses in a divorce. Debt is included in community property. Property acquired before the marriage and after a divorce decree is separate property and is not divided. Property which is inherited or received as a gift during the marriage remains separate property.

Spousal support, or alimony, may be ordered under New Mexico family law on a transitional, rehabilitative, or indefinite basis. Indefinite alimony is paid until the receiving spouse dies or remarries. Rehabilitative alimony helps a spouse pursue the education or training they need to become self-support. Transitional alimony is paid for a short amount of time while the receiving spouse gets back on their feet.

Child Custody

Child custody and support are addressed in divorce or legal separation, but are also an issue for unmarried parents. Legal custody is decision-making power. New Mexico favors joint legal custody, meaning that both parents participate in the important decisions in a child’s life. Physical custody, meaning who the child lives with and how much time he will spend with the non-custodial parent, is a separate issue from legal custody.

Child Support

Under New Mexico family law, child support is calculated using the New Mexico Child Support Guidelines. This follows the income shares model. The child support amount is calculated based on the combined income of the parents, each parent’s percentage of that total, and the amount of time the child spends with each parent.

Prenuptial Agreements

A prenuptial agreement is a contract which is agreed upon and signed by both spouses before they marry. A prenuptial agreement can outline how property will be divided and other issues which may arise in the event of a divorce. However, New Mexico family law includes strict rules for the creation of a prenuptial agreement. Any violation of the Uniform Prenuptial Agreement Act can make your agreement difficult or impossible to enforce.

Common Law Marriage

New Mexico family law does not generally recognize common law marriage, but will in some cases for couples who have established a common law marriage while living in another state.