Divorce is a profound, life-altering event. It signifies not only the end of your marriage, but the end of the life you had planned to lead. It is natural to grieve that loss. In fact, many divorcees go through all five of the Kübler-Ross stages of grief — denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance — before their case is finalized. 

As a seasoned family law attorney, and a divorcee, Bob Matteucci of Matteucci Family Law understands better than most people in the Albuquerque area the toll a divorce can take on you and your loved ones. He and his team are ready to help you navigate the legal, financial, and emotional challenges you are facing. 

Understanding the Emotional Impact of Divorce

The emotional toll of divorce can be overwhelming. It is crucial to acknowledge the difficult task you face, and validate your emotional response to it.  

Many Albuquerque area divorcees go through the five stages of grief as they come to terms with the fact that the life they had planned, had pledged themselves to, is over. This is natural. Even if you are happy to be getting divorced you will likely grieve your marriage and what it meant to you. 

It is necessary to accept and process your emotions so you can start to look toward the future. Thanks to your divorce, your future is in flux, and how you feel about that change can influence where you are headed. Focusing on how you want to live out the rest of your life determines what goals you should have in mind going into your divorce. 

As legal counsel, it is part of Bob’s job to help you look to that future and figure out what is important to you so he can advocate for your best interests as your divorce settlement is negotiated. 

Seeking Professional Help

New Mexico licenses a variety of mental health professionals and counselors who specialize in divorce-related issues. 

Working with a therapist can help you navigate the emotional complexities of divorce, providing a safe space to express feelings and develop coping strategies. 

You may also want to consider joining a divorce support group. There are many of these in the Albuquerque area. Participating in one can offer you the chance to connect with others who are experiencing similar challenges.

If you are concerned about the potential stigma of working with a mental health professional, don’t be. Hiring someone to help you address your emotional needs should be viewed in the same light as hiring an attorney to handle the legal side of your divorce. You are hiring a professional to give you the support you need to end your marriage and move forward with the rest of your life. 

Leaning on Your Family & Friends

Getting divorced can leave you feeling isolated and overwhelmed. In these times of distress, the importance of leaning on family and friends cannot be overstated. 

Whether it’s a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear, or words of encouragement, the emotional support from loved ones can help alleviate the loneliness that often accompanies divorce.

Friends and family can step in to provide practical support as well. You may need help finding a place to live, figuring out childcare, prepping meals, or even making it to appointments with your attorney. 

Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need because you know if the roles were reversed you would do anything you could to help. 

Practicing Self-Care 

At Matteucci Family Law, we encourage all of our clients to intentionally practice self-care as they navigate New Mexico’s divorce courts. A failure to do so can leave you mentally and physically debilitated.

What self-care looks like is different for every person. The easiest way to figure out what it means to you is to think about activities that make you feel recharged or relaxed, and try to make time to do at least one of these activities each day. 

To make sure you are able to do this, you need a diverse array of activities that fits this description. Add small things and big things to this list. Think of some things you like to do at home, and others that you have to leave the house to do. Some that involve other people, and some that give you some alone time. Activities that cost money, and others that are free. Taking the time to actually write out a list of things you enjoy can itself be a form of self care! 

Setting aside time to do one of these feel-good activities each day can dramatically improve your outlook on life and help you rediscover who you are without your former spouse at your side. 

Taking a Different Path to Divorce 

Nobody who gets married plans to get divorced. The plan is “until death do you part.” Letting go of the future you once imagined and making room for a new vision is painful, but can also be empowering.

Tapping into this future-focused mindset is what modern-day divorce is all about. Gone are the days where you had to name and shame your former partner because the state would only grant you a divorce if you could prove your spouse had treated you cruelly, abandoned you, or committed adultery. 

Today, New Mexico is a no-fault divorce state. You simply inform the court you and your former partner are incompatible and want to separate. Rather than presenting evidence and letting the court decide your fate, most couples choose to negotiate a divorce agreement and ask the courts to rubber stamp it. 

This negotiation can be done in a variety of different ways:

  • Traditional Divorce – The majority of divorces filed by people in the Albuquerque area are traditional divorces. One party files for divorce, and serves the other with divorce papers, and each spouse hires an attorney to represent their interests. The attorneys will negotiate the terms of the divorce, and draft all the documents that need to be filed with the court — like a marital settlement agreement, parenting plan, and petition for dissolution. Sometimes it is also necessary to hire a third party settlement facilitator to smooth the negotiation process. The vast majority of couples reach an agreement that avoids the need to litigate their divorce in open court. 
  • Mediated Divorce – Mediation is the preferred choice of couples who generally agree on the terms of their divorce but need assistance resolving a few high-stakes conflicts or fairly dividing complex assets. The mediator, a neutral third party, works towards steering both sides to a mutually acceptable resolution, and drafts all the paperwork necessary to formalize the divorce. 
  • Collaborative Divorce – Couples in the Albuquerque area who still trust and respect one another, but no longer want to be married to each other, are increasingly opting for collaborative divorces. Attorney Bob Matteucci is one of a handful of lawyers in New Mexico who are certified to guide couples through this process, which brings other professionals like financial planners and counselors to the negotiating table.

These different methods of divorce fit the unique needs of modern families who aren’t fixated on “winning” a divorce by reopening old wounds. The flexibility they provide is helpful as you and your former partner come to an agreement on the division of assets, negotiate a child custody and child support arrangement, and determine if one of you should be paying the other alimony.

Serving New Mexico Families with Dignity & Compassion 

By seeking professional support, relying on friends and family, practicing self-care, and taking full advantage of modern methods of divorce, you can navigate the emotional roller coaster of divorce with resilience. 

If you have questions about the different types of divorce mentioned above, Attorney Bob Matteucci would be more than happy to discuss them with you. Please contact us today to schedule a consultation with our experienced family law team.