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Divorce is a challenging journey on its own, and when numerous assets are involved, the complexities can escalate. In the enchanting state of New Mexico, high asset divorces come with a unique set of considerations and legal nuances. This article will delve into the intricacies of high asset divorce in the Land of Enchantment from a professional’s perspective.

Understanding High Asset Divorce

A high asset divorce typically involves substantial financial holdings, intricate property distribution, and often, complex business valuations. In New Mexico, marital property is called “community property,” where each spouse has an equal interest in the property.  In New Mexico, each party’s financial contribution to the property is not taken into consideration if the property was acquired during the marriage.  In circumstances where money or property held by one party prior to the marriage is used to purchase property during the marriage, certain calculations are done to determine what percentage of the property is community and what percentage is one spouse’s separate property.  Property titled in one name alone does not necessarily make that property separate property, as defined by New Mexico law.

Valuing Assets

One of the key challenges in high asset divorces is accurately valuing assets. This includes real estate, investments, business interests, and even intellectual property. New Mexico Courts aim for a fair and just distribution, and accurate valuation is paramount in achieving this. Professional appraisers and financial experts often play a crucial role in ensuring an accurate valuations for the distribution of assets.

Spousal Support Considerations

In high asset divorces, spousal support, or alimony, can become a significant factor. New Mexico Courts assess various factors, including the duration of the marriage, the age and health of the parties, the standard of living during the marriage, the ability of each party to be employed, and their individual needs. The goal is to provide financial support in a manner that allows both parties to maintain a reasonable standard of living post-divorce.

The Importance of Legal Counsel

Given the intricate nature of high asset divorces, seeking legal counsel is not just advisable; it’s essential. Knowledgeable family law attorneys can guide individuals through the legal process, ensuring their rights are protected and advocating for distribution of assets. Moreover, legal professionals experienced in New Mexico family law are well-versed in the state’s specific statutes and can navigate the complexities efficiently, giving you confidence that no details are overlooked.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Options

New Mexico encourages alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation or collaborative divorce, especially in high asset cases. These approaches allow couples to work together to reach mutually acceptable solutions, often resulting in a more amicable and less adversarial process. However, even in ADR settings, having legal representation is crucial to ensure that one’s interests are safeguarded.  Collaborative divorce attorneys receive special training to approach a divorce in this way while protecting their client’s interests.

Confidentiality and Privacy Concerns

In high asset divorces, privacy is often a concern. New Mexico, like many states, allows parties to file for a confidential non-disclosure agreement, shielding sensitive financial information from public scrutiny. This confidentiality preserves the privacy of both parties involved, mitigating potential damage to personal and professional reputations.

Conclusion: Navigating High Asset Divorce

In the realm of high asset divorce in New Mexico, meticulous planning, accurate valuation, and experienced legal representation are the compass points that guide individuals through the process. As the legal landscape evolves, it is crucial for those navigating high asset divorces to be well-informed and surrounded by professionals who understand the intricacies of the state’s family law rules and procedures. In the end, a carefully steered course can lead to a resolution that not only protects financial interests but also preserves the well-being of all parties and their children.

Kelly Squires, Managing Director of Terry & deGraauw, P.C. June 2024

Written with the assistance of ChatGPT

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