When choosing among the best divorce lawyers here in Albuquerque, you should find one who specializes in handling debt concerns on a divorce settlement.
Since New Mexico is a community property state, this means that all loans and financial obligations during a marriage fall under the responsibility of both spouses. There are, however, some ways to protect yourself.
Most people think that removing their name from a joint loan solves the problem, but not all lenders may agree to this. For instance, some credit card companies may hold you accountable whether or not you incurred the debt, even if you present a divorce agreement.
In case they reject your request, your spouse may refinance their debt by taking out a new loan under their name. You can include this as a clause in your settlement. This can still be problematic, especially if you are not on good terms with your partner, so selling assets to pay off the debt will be your last resort.
Aside from settling debt, divorcing couples should also try to hasten the process before the end of 2018 to avoid the new law on alimony payments. By 2019, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will no longer allow paying spouses to deduct alimony from their income taxes.
At the same time, recipients won’t have to pay taxes. This won’t be good for either party since the one who pays may argue that they should only pay a smaller amount, given that their net income would decrease due to paying taxes on alimony.
Divorce is already a bad thing in itself and paying for something you don’t owe often causes disagreements among divorcing couples. While New Mexico is a community property state, you can still find some ways of clearing your name from joint debt with the help of a lawyer.