One of the main issues in almost any divorce is community property—items and debt that a couple own together—items or debt of which neither party has a clear individual ownership.
Property division, determining who exactly owns what and all the nuances of your division of assets, can be a challenging process requiring an in-depth knowledge of New Mexico’s complicated community property laws. In Albuquerque, the professional and experienced divorce attorneys of Cortez & Hoskovec, LLC can help you navigate New Mexico community property law.
Our Albuquerque divorce attorneys can help you to go about the division of assets the most efficiently, painlessly, and fairly way possible. We want you to keep what is yours.
Community property law is not as simple as whose name is on what. Regardless of the name on a title, or who bought what vehicle or possession, the questions of ownership can be much more complex, involving a serious examination of how and when all assets were acquired.
For example, even if a couple has been married for decades, and within that time one of the partners within that relationship saved up his or her own money and paid for a vehicle him- or herself, that vehicle would still be considered community property.
Two items that would not be considered community property, however, are gifts or inheritances—even if that gift was given or that inheritance was received during the marriage.
Things bought with gift or inheritance money may or may not be considered community property. When in doubt, it is critical that you seek legal counsel to confirm the appropriate legal status or “characterization” of specific property items.
Many people become fixated with whose name appears on a loan document or credit card and presume it to be the sole debt of the person named. In divorce, the characterization of any given debt has much less to do with whose name the debt is in and much more to do with when and how the debt was incurred.
Individual debt accrued during a marriage generally is community debt—except for gambling debt, which is individual debt—and generally student loan debt, which is debt that individual takes on, as that debt helped increase that individual’s earning potential.
One exception to this is if that student loan money helped to supplement the couple’s community income—in that case, that portion of the student loan debt may be treated as community debt.
At Cortez & Hoskovec, LLC, we understand the complexities of community property and the division of assets. And we have the experience and knowledge to help you divide your assets in a way that will be the most satisfying to you and to everyone involved.