If you have children and are involved in or contemplating dissolution of your marriage, you are likely very concerned about how your relationship with your children will be impacted. We are often asked questions about how custody arrangements work in New Mexico. This article will explain the general concept of custody and will distinguish between legal custody and timeshare, sometimes known as physical custody.
Have you ever wondered whether a prenuptial agreement is the same as a premarital agreement? If so, this is the blog for you. Indeed, they are the same. In fact, Merriam-Webster defines the word “nuptial” as “of or relating to a marriage or wedding ceremony.” The term “prenuptial” therefore means that something occurs before the marriage takes place. In New Mexico, prenuptial agreements are known as “premarital agreements.”
Divorce is so common today that news of a divorce is just as likely to produce a yawn as a gasp. In the 1950's and 60's, however, divorce was much less prevalent, and when it happened, it was often seen as a sign of serious moral decay. It comes as no surprise, in retrospect, that the early reactions of researchers and pundits to the ever-increasing divorce rate were that children of divorced parents would be tainted for life and follow the same horrible path as their parents.
If you are faced with marital dissolution, legal separation, custody, guardianship, or other family law issues, you will probably hear many legal terms along the way. As with the vocabulary of any profession, specialized terms serve as shortcut references that can be used by those who speak the “language.” Law school prepares lawyers to understand and use the language of the law. But for those inexperienced in the area, legal language may be intimidating. This article aims to help you understand some of the basic terms used by lawyers and judges every day in family law proceedings, such as those relating to the people involved, the gathering of information the court’s file, and court actions.
In some cases, divorced parents may attempt to change or misrepresent their financial conditions so as to affect the amount of child support that will be awarded. This may be done by either parent, one to minimize what he/she has to pay, or the other to increase what he/she will receive. The primary method of doing so is working in a lower-paying job to reduce earnings. Particularly crafty persons will temporarily reduce their income, and once the support amount is set, seek out higher-paying employment. They may also earn “under the table” income in the form of cash that is not recorded and untraceable
Child and spousal support are sometimes ordered when a marriage is dissolved. When that happens, the dissolution decree will specify the amount and terms of payment. As time passes, however, the ordered payments may not be made on a timely basis or for extended periods. If you are the payer, the amount you owe will accumulate quickly and accrue interest while you are not paying. If you are the payee, you will have to begin thinking about how to get the money you are owed.
In a proceeding for dissolution of marriage or legal separation, there is sometimes hostility between the parents. Fortunately, New Mexico has programs in place to ease this heavy burden on the state’s children. The safe exchange and supervised visitation program supports the relationships of children and their parents, with a focus on protecting the best interests of the child.
Legal proceedings to end a couple’s relationship frequently causes significant distress for children. Young children may not understand what is happening, but teenagers do. It can be very difficult for teens to adjust to the end of their parents’ relationships. After all, they love both of their parents, and they often do not understand all of the considerations that go into the decision to dissolve a marriage or request a legal separation. Many parents have heard that courts will listen to the wishes of teenagers, and may think that the teens’ wishes are automatically followed by courts. This is not true. In fact, by law, courts must consider several factors when making custody decisions. The wishes of a teenager are just one of them.
Service in the armed services, particularly during this time of overseas deployments, puts a particular strain on families. For families that have been fractured by a dissolution of marriage, the impact of active military deployment on child custody and visitation can be especially difficult. Fortunately, many states, including New Mexico, have adopted laws that help courts deal with issues of deployment and child custody.
We are often asked about the extent to which adultery affects the amount of spousal support in New Mexico. Some people believe that those who cheat on their spouses should be punished and that the non-cheating spouse should receive a higher award of spousal support. Others believe that adultery should have no effect on the amount or duration of alimony. New Mexico law allows courts to award four different types of spousal support.