Divorce crosses all boundaries, such as age, race, religion, and socioeconomic status. In the news as of late is former NBA player Rasheed Wallace and his wife, Fatima Sanders Wallace. In addition to bringing the location of filing to the forefront of public discussion, the Wallace cases provides a primer on prenuptial agreements. Mr. Wallace filed an action for divorce in North Carolina, and Mrs. Wallace filed her action in Michigan three weeks later. The parties had been married for about 16 years, through most of Mr. Wallace’s NBA career. Mr. Wallace played basketball for the Portland Trailblazers, the Detroit Pistons, the Boston Celtics, and the New York Knicks. He also worked as an assistant coach for the Pistons. The Wallaces did have a prenuptial agreement, which included spousal support.
If you have ever wondered what happens to family pets after a divorce, you are not alone. The future of our animal companions can be as contentious in a dissolution proceeding as other important issues, such as custody, property division, and support. The traditional view, and the one still followed in New Mexico, is that family pets are personal property, just like cars, tools, and furniture. Under this view, family pets are treated as any other property issue in a divorce. Although people may refer to it as “custody,” awarding a pet to one spouse or the other is not a matter of custody under the law.
A central concept in New Mexico family law is that the way property is titled does not necessarily dictate who owns it, at least where spouses are concerned. This can be a difficult concept to come to terms with. Often, people understand it, but they don’t want to believe it.
In a New Mexico dissolution proceeding, the court must determine how to divide the debt of the spouses. This generally requires the court to do three things: identify all debts, classify the debts, and divide the debts.
New Mexico is one of only a few states that follows the law of community property. In general, this means that when either spouse acquires property during the marriage, that property is presumed to be community property. Community property laws apply to real property, such as land and houses thereon, as well as personal property, such as cars and home furnishings.