Which Law Controls in a Divorce? Sounds Boring, but Can Be Huge!
Most people never even consider where their divorce will be filed, but for people who have homes in different states, this is a critical question that can fundamentally change nearly every aspect of the case. For a court to have jurisdiction over a divorce, most states require that at least one of the parties be a resident of that state.
Occasionally, one spouse dies while a proceeding for dissolution of marriage is pending. When this happens, several questions arise. Do the divorce proceedings continue? What happens to the deceased spouse’s property? Is a will or trust still valid? What if there is no will? The easiest question is the first, regarding whether the divorce proceedings continue. A specific New Mexico law addresses this issue. It provides that actions for dissolution of marriage do not die with one of the spouses, as long as the petition for dissolution was properly filed with the court and served on the other party before death.
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.
After a petition for dissolution of marriage is filed, the court will issue a temporary domestic order. This order gives the parties general instructions about how to interact with each other, as well as how to deal with their finances, children, and property until the divorce is final. In addition, at this point in the proceedings, either party can ask the court to provide temporary relief.
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.
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.
Have you ever wondered whether a prenuptial agreement is the same as a premarital agreement? If so, this is the blog for you. Indeed, they are the same. In fact, Merriam-Webster defines the word “nuptial” as “of or relating to a marriage or wedding ceremony.” The term “prenuptial” therefore means that something occurs before the marriage takes place. In New Mexico, prenuptial agreements are known as “premarital agreements.”
Child and spousal support are sometimes ordered when a marriage is dissolved. When that happens, the dissolution decree will specify the amount and terms of payment. As time passes, however, the ordered payments may not be made on a timely basis or for extended periods. If you are the payer, the amount you owe will accumulate quickly and accrue interest while you are not paying. If you are the payee, you will have to begin thinking about how to get the money you are owed.
Property Basics: How Is Property Divided in a New Mexico Divorce?
This sounds pretty simple, but, as the saying goes, "the devil is in the details." The presumption of the law is that any assets acquired belong to both.