A common question our lawyers receive is the extent to which one spouse is responsible for the debts of the other after the spouses separate. This can be a significant issue when an angry or irresponsible spouse racks up debt either to spite the other spouse or in spite of the other spouse’s interest. Generally speaking, courts divide the debts of the parties similarly to the way they divide assets. First, they identify the debts, then they classify the debts as either separate or marital. Lastly, they divide the debt. The far majority of debts are considered marital debt for which both parties are responsible.
Divorce, commonly called “dissolution of marriage” in New Mexico, brings about many changes. One great change is in financial status. Dissolution of marriage also means separation of a couple’s financial lives.
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.