Is New Mexico a Community Property State?
Did you know there are nine states on record that have "community property" laws? Community property laws are regulations relating to property division after a divorce. And yes, New Mexico is a community property state.
But, you're probably asking what exactly it means that New Mexico is a community property state.
What community property laws mean
Since New Mexico is a community property state, the division of personal property is pretty straightforward. Community property laws state that any "community property," AKA property acquired during a marriage, must be split evenly.
In the 41 states where there are no community property laws, divorces often result in extensive legal arguments about who is entitled to what. These states rely on a type of law called "common law" rather than "community property law" wherein property is legally obligated to go to the person who's name is actually listed as owner on any sort of documentation. However, as you might guess, this isn't always so straightforward — at least not like community property laws.
In community property states, any asset or income accrued during a marriage automatically belongs to both parties regardless of whether or not one's name is officially listed on any documentation.
Defining community property
We have to set a definition for what is considered community property according to the law.
What is community property?
Community property is everything acquired by a couple while together. Perhaps unfortunately, this includes the good and the bad. Sure income, real estate and personal property are included; but, so are debts.
- Community property is income from all sources earned by either spouse during the marriage
- Community property is any real estate purchased by either spouse during the marriage
- Community property is real estate purchased by either spouse before marriage where the other spouse's name was added to the deed or title
- Community property is any personal property including: valuables, automobiles and oftentimes investments or IRA assets accrued during the marriage
- Community property is any debts acquired during the marriage
What isn't community property
There are several assets you may have that do not fall under community property, even if you do live in community property state like New Mexico.
- Community property is not: real estate owned by either spouse prior to marriage where the other spouse's name was never added to the deed or title
- Community property is not: personal property acquired after a legal separation
- Community property is not: debts acquired before a marriage (including student debt)
- Community property is not: gifts or inheritance income from third-party sources. However, this income is considered community property it goes into a joint bank account
What happens to a home in New Mexico after a divorce?
Since New Mexico is a community property state, you might be wondering what will happen to your home after a divorce. Many times, divorces in community property states result in the sale of real estate owned by the divorcees. According to legalzoom,
"In most divorces, community property is sold unless both parties can agree on property distribution. Such agreements typically only occur in uncontested divorces where couples decide on the divorce terms."
If you're navigating a divorce and need to sell your home, we are more than happy to help. And, the best part is, we can help you sell quickly and for top dollar. Since we stage all of the homes we list for free, your home will spend less time on the market and you'll get better offers — and, you won't pay us a dime extra! A quick real estate transaction can make all the difference when dividing assets after a divorce.
If you're interested in selling your home with us, we invite you to contact us at no obligation. Fill out the form below to get started. Again, there is no obligation in speaking with us. We are here to help.
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