Top 10 Things NOT to Do When You Divorce
are the top 10 tips onwhat to avoid when filing for divorce.
1. If you’re a woman, don't get pregnant.
If you’re a man don’t get anybody pregnant.
Having a new baby during the pendency
of your divorce is problematic. Not only is not healthy for you or the baby,
but it can be off-putting to the Court should the judge find out. Likewise, if you’re
a man, don’t get anybody pregnant. Although New Mexico is a no-fault state, the
Court won’t be happy to hear that Dad has a new family in the making before he’s
Eight Important Things to Do Before Filing for Divorce or
People often rush to moving out for filing for divorce without
thinking it completely through. Here’s Eight Important Things to Do Before
Filing for Divorce/Separation or Moving Out.
If possible, remain in the marital residence for
as long as possible. In most cases, both spouses have equal rights to the home
until the issue has been ruled on by a judge. It’s easier to keep that which
you have always had rather than fighting for a home you haven’t lived in for months.
In my fifteen years of experience, I have found that courts (not always to be sure) try to make child custody decisions
based on what is in the child’s best interest; simple as that.
Typically, the judge weighs a number of various interrelated factors. While the factors vary from state-to-state, they may generally include:
- The strength of each parent-child relationship. This is called "bonding". Sometimes a judge will hear evidence about the parent-child bond through a therapist's testimony;
If your custody case is OUTSIDE of Bernalillo County, chances are, at some point someone will mention an Advisory Consultant. In Bernalillo County, oftentimes families/parties are referred to the Court Clinic. The Court Clinic plays an integral part in custody decisions in many cases. However what happens when you don't live in Albuquerque?
If your case is in Valencia County, Sandoval County, or Cibola County you don't have access to a court clinic to help determine custody arrangements. Instead when parties reach an impasse they may be ordered to meet with an "Advisory Consultant".
One question people ask me is whether they need an attorney to represent them in their child custody and/or family law matter. Short answer...Nope! You do not need a lawyer to represent you.
In the United States and New Mexico specifically, you do not need a lawyer to represent you. You have a right to represent yourself in court. You can go to court, file pleadings, and argue your case. Many people do. I know this because they hire me to fix the mess.
Truth be told, many people have represented themselves in court and some folks have done pretty well for themselves.
New Mexico recognizes marriage between same-sex people. Our New Mexico Supreme Court "legalized" same-sex marriage in December of 2013.SeeGriego v. Oliver.
The Court said in an unanimous decision that it is unconstitutional to deny marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.
"We hold that the State of New Mexico is constitutionally required to allow same-gender couples to marry and must extend to them the rights, protections, and responsibilities that derive from civil marriage under New Mexico law," Justice Edward L.
There are three conditions where grandparents can petition the Children's Court for custody of their grandkids. The New Mexico Grandparents Visitation Privileges Act provides the following scenarios:
We discussed one of those scenarios in our November 28, 2014 installment. That article focused on the Kinship-Guardianship process whereby grandparents can petition for custody and guardianship for their grandchildren in cases where the biological parents have left the children with grandma and grandpa for an extended period of time and with no real end in sight.
People frequently ask me who gets to keep the house in a divorce case. Theoretically the marital home is community property and is legally shared by both parties. However in real life it really boils down to who can realistically afford to pay for the home. In my experience, most of the time neither party can afford to keep the house.
One of the major causes of divorce in the United States is financial stress. And New Mexico is not immune. No big revelations but stop and think if money is what is underlying much of your marital discord, how realistic is it for you to keep the home?
The Best Interests of
the Child Standard
The underlying goal for any children’s court judge or family
court judge is to determine what’s in the best interest of the child or
children. They do this in every child custody decision, every child support
determination, and in CYFD abuse and neglect cases. Parents believe their
ideas, goals, and plans are in their child’s best interests. Lawyers draft
motions and advocate for what they believe is in the best interests of
child-client or in the best interests of their clients’ children.
Recently a new client approached me about the differences between a divorce and legal separation. Often times legal separation can be an effective mechanism for people who are experiencing some very unique circumstances.
Despite what one might glean from the internet or television, in New Mexico legal separation and divorce are very similar. The basic underlying difference is that in cases of legal separation, the parties are unable to remarry. In other words, legal separation divides property, assets, debts, etc.