Matters of the family can be extremely personal and leave parties emotionally distraught and vulnerable. As your family law attorney, we see it as our job to inform you of your rights, walk you through the steps of each process, keep proceedings civil, and try to make a distressing situation a little easier to deal with.
Dissolving a Marriage
Dissolving a marriage can be a heart-wrenching, intricate and often drawn out process. After separation, divorce proceedings can go through mediation, collaborative practice and court. Proceedings become increasing complicated if abuse was present, if there are large amounts of property or debt, and if children are involved.
In New Mexico, one spouse must be a resident of the state for at least six months before filing for divorce. Divorces can be filed as fault or no-fault. Fault means that there is evidence against one spouse for wrongdoing, such as adultery or abuse. If fault exists, you may want to file for divorce on grounds of fault to help gain child custody, to ease any disputes about dividing assets and to help determine the amount of alimony. As a community property state, any income earned and all property from that income is considered to be owned equally. The marital property is then split equally during the divorce.
Preserving the Best Interest of the Child
When children are involved in divorce, child custody and support must be determined and this can be a hard battle. While it is New Mexico’s goal for both parents to have continued contact with children after divorce and the state aims for joint custody, it is not always possible or in the children’s best interest. Many factors will be considered for child custody, such as the children’s age and health, the parent’s health and lifestyle, emotional bonds between parents and the children and the children’s preference.
Physical, legal, joint, and sole custody may be assigned. Physical custody means that a person has the right for a child to live with him or her, whereas legal custody means the person has the right to make decisions about how the child lives. In joint custody, people share the decision-making and/or physical custody, while sole physical or legal custody is assigned to just one person.
Both parents are expected to support their children. Like child custody, child support is determined using a variety of factors, including each parent’s income or potential income, available resources and how much time is spent with the children. Attorney Vanessa L. DeNiro strives to mediate the potentially treacherous process of child custody and child support, always keeping the best interest of the child as the highest importance.
Domestic Violence Changes the Rules
Domestic violence changes processes and rules in many ways. Victims of domestic violence have the right to be protected and be safe. If you are the victim of domestic violence or know someone who is, the first step is to get away from the violence. If children are involved, the next step is to get an emergency protective order which assigns custody to you and enacts a restraining order against the abuser. It’s important to make and keep good records of the abuse and contact the Law Office of Vanessa L. DeNiro at the earliest opportunity: (505) 252-1697. We will think practically while you may not be able to and help to ensure everyone stays safe.