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Albuquerque Divorce Lawyers

If you live in Albuquerque and are considering filing for divorce, speaking with an experienced divorce attorney is a great first step. When dissolving your marriage, the Family Court will expect that you and your current spouse come to an agreement regarding the following matters:

Under most circumstances, the courts will attempt to divide property, child custody, and child support as evenly as possible between the two former spouses. However, “evenly” can have different interpretations within each specific situation. If a parent is unprepared to present a reasonable proposal along with justification for their proposal, then they may have their interests bypassed when a final divorce decree is issued. In other words: if you are not prepared and informed, you could end up very unhappy with the final divorce agreements.

New Mexico Financial & Family Law is here to make sure you are prepared and informed. We can help you analyze all the most important information about your current situation. This includes community marital property and what arrangements you currently have for raising your children. This information will form the basis of your proposal for what you prefer to happen once the marriage is dissolved.

Our goal is to keep you informed during every step of the process. We act as your legal advocates, voicing your interests, guiding you during the process, and help you avoid major pitfalls that many divorcing parties can fall into.

Learn more about the divorce process and how to represent your interests during a no-risk initial consultation. Call us at (505) 503-1637 or contact us online to schedule an appointment now.

Filing for Divorce in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Filing for a divorce is legally known as a “dissolution of marriage” in New Mexico.

Eligibility for Albuquerque Divorce

To be eligible to file for divorce, at least one of the spouses must have resided in New Mexico for at least six months, and they must also have a “domicile” in the state. Being domiciled means you have a place you reside, and you intend to remain in the state for the foreseeable future. The state courts lack jurisdiction if both of these criteria aren’t met.

Albuquerque Divorce Forms

An individual filing for divorce must fill out a series of forms, including a divorce petition. The divorce petition must be given “service of process” i.e. be “served” to the other spouse. That spouse must then respond using Form 4A-104 NMRA within 30 days.

“No-Fault” Divorce Allowed

A petitioner does not need a reason for filing for divorce. They can state that their reason is “incompatibility” and have their case processed without further need of evidence of incompatibility.

Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce in New Mexico

In order to file for an uncontested divorce, both spouses must agree to a single divorce decree arrangement for:

  • Division of property and debts
  • Spousal support
  • Child custody, Time sharing, and Visitation
  • Child support

It is strongly advised by the court that both spouses review their situation thoroughly with an experienced divorce attorney in Albuquerque before coming to a final decision on any of these matters. Requesting a modification to the divorce decree is possible, but it is easier to get it right the first time than to request changes later.

In the event that the couple is unable to agree to a single arrangement, then the court will order mediation until such time that the spouses come to an agreement. Only in rare instances will the court hold a divorce trial in order to rule on the major issues that must be resolved prior to a divorce decree. The court prefers the spouses to come to an agreement on their own.

What Courthouse Do I Have to Go to When I Get Divorced in Albuquerque?

The courthouse that will handle your dissolution of marriage case depends on where you live. For most Albuquerque residents, their case will go through the Second Judicial District Court Family Court. This court is located on the second floor of the downtown courthouse in Albuquerque on Lomas Blvd.

Address: 400 Lomas Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87102

Phone: (505) 348-2000

Please review the most recent public health guidelines. Your case may be conducted through online video conferencing technology, and you may be requested to submit all paperwork electronically.

Mediation Services

A contested divorce means that you and your spouse cannot yet agree on how to divide property and how to arrange visitation, custody of children, and child support. When your divorce is contested, the first step is that the judge presiding over your case will order mediation.

If your case is to be mediated, you can request that your judge order mediation through the free Court Clinic services. This can be done by completing a Court Clinic Referral Order (CCRO) and submitting it for approval. Note that the cost of mediation may be free, but you must pay for any legal representation. The mediator is a neutral party and is not allowed to offer legal advice or guidance on legal matters.

If mediation fails, then a divorce trial may be the last resort to resolve the dispute between parties.

Cost for Filing for Divorce in Albuquerque

Court costs vary. You will be required to pay a set amount of around $132 for the cost of administrating your case along with a $20 fee for paperwork, in addition to other fees for certification or notarization of documents. There may be additional fees, including the costs of any legal representation you procure.

Why Do I Need to Find a Divorce Lawyer Near Me Before Filing?

You are technically allowed to file for a divorce without an attorney representing you. However, legal matters pertaining to divorce can be quite complicated. The outcome of your divorce case could have major consequences for your future, especially if you and your spouse have children. Getting changes to your divorce decree can be difficult, and ignoring the divorce decree can result in fines, penalties, and even criminal charges.

In the court’s own self-help packet, it advises the following: “A divorce proceeding can be a very complicated legal process, and you may wish to talk to a lawyer before trying to do it yourself.”

The court gives the example that if a spouse fails to respond appropriately to a divorce petition within 30 days, “the court can grant your spouse the divorce and award some or all of what your spouse asked for in the petition.”

Because of the major consequences of your divorce decree, you will want to perform a thorough audit of:

  • All property, both community/marital property and your personal property
  • Your current child-rearing schedule and costs
  • Your expected child-rearing schedule and costs
  • Your desires for separation of property, child custody, and child visitation schedules
  • Whether you intend to ask for spousal support, and what costs you may use to justify this request

You don’t have to have an attorney manage your entire case from start to finish — although it is recommended. You can at very least perform a review of all relevant documents, holdings, and information so that you can prepare a reasonable divorce agreement before filing for divorce.

Remember that time is of the essence, and it is very much in your interest to complete all forms correctly and to provide the expected level of documentation and legal justification for your proposed agreements. Reaching out to an experienced divorce attorney in Albuquerque increases the chances that you are able to meet your obligations during the divorce proceedings and that your wishes will be included in the final divorce decree.

To speak with an Albuquerque divorce lawyer near you and start the process, call New Mexico Financial & Family Law at (505) 503-1637 or contact us online to schedule a confidential, no-obligation consultation.

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