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Albuquerque Divorce Law Blog

Unpacking divorce mediation myths

Despite it being a viable way to settle a divorce out-of-court, some individuals in Albuquerque may be reluctant to participate in divorce mediation. However, if they can look past their misgivings and consider the positive aspects of divorce mediation, they may find it is the right choice for them.

For example, sometimes if a spouse doesn't want to divorce, he or she does not see why he or she should be a part of the mediation process. However, what they fail to recognize is that, in general, even if one spouse does not agree to it, the other spouse can still seek a divorce. Mediation allows both spouses to retain control over the divorce process, which may provide some stability during an emotionally difficult period in their lives.

Can an amicable divorce keep kids from getting sick as adults?

Parents in New Mexico going through a divorce may want to keep things as amicable as possible. Not only does this help the child emotionally but, as one recent study claims, it may also affect the child's future physical health as well.

According to researchers, children whose parents had an acrimonious divorce were more likely to have colds as adults. Specifically, when a child's parents were on non-speaking terms when they divorced, the child was three times more apt to catch a cold as an adult. Adults whose parents were able to communicate after a divorce were no more apt to catch a cold as adults than adults whose parents did not divorce.

What types of alimony might a New Mexico court award?

Couples in New Mexico going through a divorce often have many disagreements, especially where money is involved. One often contentious issue that comes up when a couple in New Mexico goes through a divorce is that of spousal support, also known as alimony. Per New Mexico statutes, there are several types of alimony a court in New Mexico may award: rehabilitative, transitional and indefinite. Alimony may also be paid in a single sum, either all at once or in installments.

Rehabilitative alimony is meant to give the receiving spouse the opportunity to obtain the necessary education or work experience that the receiving spouse needs to support him or herself financially. Sometimes the court will include, along with the award of rehabilitative alimony, a specific plan that the receiving spouse must comply with in order to continue receiving alimony.

Bill addressing grandparent custody introduced

For a variety of reasons, there are many grandparents in Albuquerque and nationwide who are raising their grandchildren. In fact, according to one source grandparents are caring for around 2.6 million children in our nation. While sometimes this is done when both of the child's parents passed away before the child is grown, other times it is done because the child's parents are unfit to care for the child. For example, grandparent custody may be the best choice if the child's parents are addicted to drugs. Opioids and heroin in particular are two drugs which are seeing an upsurge in use across the nation. Moreover, two out of every five children currently being cared for by foster parents were taken out of their homes because their parents were abusing drugs.

With this in mind, two U.S. Senators drafted the Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act. The bill, which has been introduced, aims to create a task force with the mission of providing grandparents raising grandchildren with the information they need when they assume the role of parent of their grandchild. For example, they will need to have an understanding of how the child's school system works. In addition, many children in these situations may have mental health issues that need to be dealt with. Finally, it is always important for grandparents raising grandchildren to have a network of support.

U.S. Supreme Court issues ruling in military divorce case

As Albuquerque service members and their spouses can attest, active deployment and other aspects of being in the military can take its toll on a marriage, sometimes leading a couple to decide that divorce is their best option. Asset division, however, can be more complicated in a military divorce than a civilian divorce, as one recent case shows.

In the past, when a service member divorced, his or her retirement benefits would be subject to asset division. However, sometimes a service member would relinquish part of his or her retirement benefits in exchange for disability benefits, which are not counted as marital property. However, because of that some states (but not all) mandated that service members had to pay their ex the difference to make up for the loss of the retirement benefits they would have had. However, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a lower court cannot issue such an order.

Settle an uncontested divorce through mediation

Even though divorce is often the best choice that Albuquerque couples stuck in a crumbling marriage can make, that doesn't mean that it's not stressful and confusing. This may be especially true for those whose divorce will ultimately go through a courtroom trial. However, there is an alternative to a lengthy and emotionally difficult courtroom trial -- divorce mediation. This may work especially well in an uncontested divorce, in which there aren't very many disagreements.

Mediation offers a number of benefits. Because it is non-adversarial in nature, mediation can help couples going through a divorce resolve their divorce issues together, rather than pitting one spouse against the other. In mediation, the spouses are ultimately in control of what will be discussed and what the final terms of their divorce agreement will be. Mediation may also be less costly and save time in comparison to the costs and time associated with a courtroom trial.

What does it mean for parents to share joint custody?

When parents in New Mexico decide to end their relationship, they naturally want to stay involved in their child's life. After all, even though their relationship with the child's other parent did not last, they still want to have a meaningful relationship with their child. This includes not just the amount of time they will spend with their child, but also what parenting rights they will have with regards to their child.

In New Mexico, courts in general start with the assumption that it is in the best interests of the child for the child's parents to share joint custody. Joint custody includes the right to make major life decisions on behalf of the child. These include where the child will go to school, who the child's medical care providers will be and what kind of extracurricular activities the child will be involved in.

A spousal support award should be both fair and appropriate

Sometimes, after years or even decades of being married, a couple in Albuquerque will decide their marriage can no longer last, and they are best off getting a divorce. For some long-term marriages, there is a significant income discrepancy between each spouse, with one spouse earning a great deal more than the other spouse. This is especially true if one spouse stayed out of the workforce to raise a family while married.

Therefore, in situations like this the issue of spousal support is likely to come up. In New Mexico, there isn't a standard formula for calculating spousal support. However, there are a number of factors courts may consider when determining how much spousal support to award.

Grandparents' rights benefit both grandparents and children

For most grandparents in Albuquerque, their grandchildren are a source of pride and joy. They love their grandchildren with all their heart and naturally want to spend as much time with them as possible. However, this precious time can be cut off if the child's parents divorce. Sometimes, during a messy divorce, one parent will try to keep his or her ex's parents from seeing the child. This can have a detrimental effect on both the child and the grandparents. This is why, over the past few decades, grandparents' rights have been granted by courts in certain situations.

It is basically recognized that in order to mature into a healthy adult, a child needs to have contact with his or her grandparents and other relatives. In general, visitation rights may be given in situations in which the child's parents are divorced, and one parent is preventing the child from letting the grandparents have a chance to be a part of the child's life. This may also be the case if the child has been adopted or if the child has been placed in foster care.

What factors are considered when awarding alimony in New Mexico?

Usually when two spouses in New Mexico divorce, they do not want much to do with one another. However, one way that they will stay tethered to one another (whether they like it or not) is through alimony. While a spouse may be reluctant to pay alimony to their ex, it is often necessary for the receiving spouse to get back on their feet financially. Moreover, alimony payments need not continue indefinitely. Therefore, individuals who are getting a divorce may wonder how courts decide upon an appropriate amount of alimony.

Under New Mexico statutes section 40-4-7, there are several factors the court will consider when determining how much alimony should be awarded in a divorce. One factor that will be considered is how old each party is and the condition of their health. Each party's current earning potential and future earning potential may also be considered. Each party's good-faith efforts to find or keep a job so that they can support themselves may also be considered.