Read the transcript of this video below.
New Mexico is a true no-fault state. In other words, fault is not considered in determining any of the major factors in the case. Fault is not considered in determining custody of the children; it is awarded based upon the best interests of the children. Child support is based upon guidelines, not on fault. Spousal support, also known as alimony, is based primarily on factors that by statute are set for it, again not on fault, including one of the parties having an affair.
The court’s jurisdiction is awarding community property, which are assets minus the debts, equally between the parties.
The affair will have little or no legal ramifications unless there has been a dissipation of marital assets, which means that the spouse having the affair used money from the marriage to purchase items for the person they had the affair with – for example, jewelry, a car, or a house. In that case, your attorney would help you recover your share of those dissipated assets.
Normally, the problems with affairs are the emotional ramifications to the spouse who considers himself or herself injured. But it’s a practical matter; the courts will not really consider the affair in any award of property.
Tatiana D. Engelmann is an Associate Attorney at Atkinson & Kelsey, P.A. in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She graduated from the University of New Mexico School of Law in 2004, and currently focuses her practice in family law, including divorce, custody, child support, spousal support and collaborative law matters. She has previously practiced in many other areas of law including water, natural resources and real estate law, as well as construction and employment law. Ms. Engelmann volunteers by serving as a board member for the Children’s Grief Center of New Mexico, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping children who are grieving the death of a loved one. For more information about Tatiana D. Engelmann and her firm, please visit www.atkinsonkelsey.com.