When marital partners consider the prospect of terminating their marital status, it is inevitable that there will be a torrent of questions because of the sweeping changes that marital dissolution brings for both spouses. Divorce often impacts their financial security, monthly household income, place of residence, parent-child relationship, portfolio of assets and more. Put simply, the effects of divorce touch on virtually all aspects of the lives of the divorcing spouses. Although there are many concerns and questions that are common, our Family Law Attorneys in Santa Fe, NM have provided answers to five of the most common questions we receive from those contemplating a divorce in New Mexico.
Can my spouse stop the divorce if I want to move forward?
Because a no-fault divorce in New Mexico can be obtained on the grounds is incompatibility, either spouse may obtain a judgment of dissolution of marriage without the consent or even participation of the other party when the other spouse chooses not to participate in the proceedings. There is no truth to the claim that your spouse can refuse to “grant” you a divorce.
How is legal separation different from divorce?
Most of the issues that may be resolved in a divorce may also be handled as part of a legal separation, such as parenting plans, property/debt distribution, spousal maintenance and child support. The primary difference is that legal separation does not result in the termination of marital status so the parties are not free to remarry.
What will the process of seeking a divorce in New Mexico cost?
The cost of a divorce in New Mexico can vary greatly based on whether the divorce is litigated or uncontested. Further, there are alternate dispute resolution approaches like collaborative divorce, mediation or other forms of settlement that can make the cost of divorce less expensive. If you have concerns about the source of funds for attorney fees, the court may order a higher or primary wage earner to contribute to the costs of attorney fees for the other spouse if there is a gross disparity of income.
Will alimony be awarded in my divorce?
There are several forms of spousal support. When you speak with our Family Law Attorneys in Santa Fe, NM, they will ask about the length of your marriage, relative income of the parties, the health and age of the parties, each party’s assets/debts and other factors so that you have some guidelines for what to expect in terms of spousal maintenance.
What does the court consider when determining child custody?
The judge will base parenting time and other custody orders on the “best interest of the child” standard.
The above information is designed solely to illustrate general principles of law, and does not constitute a specific legal opinion on individual cases. We suggest that you contact experienced legal counsel for a specific opinion tailored to your individual circumstances.
If you have questions about the marital dissolution process, Jay Goodman & Associates offers a free consultation in our centrally located offices in Santa Fe and Albuquerque during which we discuss your situation and answer your questions. Call us today to schedule your free consultation at (505) 989-8117 to learn about your rights and options.