What Unique Issues Do LGBTQIA+ Couples Face During Divorce in New Mexico?
LGBTQIA+ couples face added challenges when they divorce. Batley Family Law can protect you with a pre- or postnuptial agreement or skilled negotiation during the divorce process.
Determining the Start Date of Marriage
Although LGBTQIA+ marriage was not legally recognized in New Mexico until 2013, many LGBTQIA+ couples in the state took vows and joined their lives in a commitment ceremony long before then. These ceremonies were not legally binding, but an attorney could argue that they should be considered the legal or equitable start date for marriage for purposes related to divorce.
The start date of an LGBTQIA+ marriage also becomes questionable in situations where partners married in a state which recognized their union and then moved to a state that did not, or when a couple formalized a domestic partnership and then later married.
Establishing the date of marriage is important for any couple in New Mexico because it is a community property state and the community begins when the marriage starts. A longer marriage creates more marital community property to be split between each partner. The date of the marriage also affects other issues such as spousal support. We know how to build a case in favor of a start date that protects your interests.
Division of Property and Debts
In divorce, all of a couple’s assets and debts will be characterized as either community property or separate property. The determining factor is usually whether the property or debt was acquired before or after the start of the marriage or if it was acquired by gift or inheritance.
Couples may create their own plan for dividing their assets and liabilities or they may develop an agreement through mediation or a Collaborative process. If parties are unable to reach an agreement, then their divorce terms will be resolved through the court system.
We strive to make sure you receive your fair share of assets and do not take on too much of your partner’s debts.
Custody, Adoption, and Child Support
Other complex issues that affect many LGBTQIA+ in divorce involve children they are raising together. If one partner is not biologically related to the child and has not formally adopted the child, that partner could have problems acquiring parental rights. On the other side of the coin, if only one partner has parental rights but will need financial support from the other, that partner may have difficulty getting court-ordered child support without a legal connection.
We understand how to address these critical issues to support your objectives.
In New Mexico, spousal support is based on a variety of factors including the need for support and the ability to pay support. In addition, the length of the marriage, the parties’ ages, their health, and other factors affect the determination of spousal support.
The longer a marriage lasts, the more likely it is that one partner will have to pay spousal support to the other. That means disputes about the marriage date will affect the amount of spousal support you pay or receive.
Work with Attorneys Who Understand LGBTQIA+ Divorce Issues
Advice and assistance from an experienced divorce team can make all the difference when it comes to dealing with this traumatic time in your life. At Batley Family Law, we understand how to handle the complex issues that arise in LGBTQIA+ divorce and we can also help protect your interests in advance with a marital agreement.
What Our Clients Say
“Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness, Value
I had a great experience at Batley Family Law. They assisted me with my case. They were excellent and ensured that my case was handled as efficiently as possible and always made me feel informed. This firm helped me through a stressful time. Would absolutely recommend this law firm.”
“Thanks for everything yesterday! I had a very informative and meaningful consultation with Batley Family Law. I can tell that they are compassionate and strong which I admire in a law firm. Their firm has written a great book on New Mexico Divorce Law and they had recommendations for books to help my kids in this process! Thanks for the great gifts as well. I look forward to working with them in the process that lies ahead.”
Bobbie Batley is unquestionably the top family lawyer in New Mexico, largely because of the amazing team she leads. This firm cares about their clients, and puts those needs out front. I will never hesitate to refer to this firm!”
“Batley Family Law is an excellent place to work. I enjoy coming in everyday. It is clear to see how much our attorneys value New Mexican families. They work their hardest to advocate for their clients on a daily basis.”
“Batley Family Law provided me with excellent advice and service to effectively and efficiently resolve an issue with my best interests in mind. They did this with a great deal of compassion. I would highly recommend this firm.”