Albuquerque Family Law Attorney

family law

Family law focuses on the concerns central to our lives: family relationships, structures, and support. For this reason, choosing the right family lawyer— one whose approach to these essential matters aligns with yours — is vital. Matteucci Family Law is dedicated to working closely with clients to make the divorce process as bearable as possible with the least possible amount of adversarial actions, even when they are going through the challenges of divorce and the sensitive areas that accompany it: child custody, child support, distribution of assets, legal separation, and domestic violence. 

Bob Matteucci of Matteucci Family Law in Albuquerque, New Mexico, believes that the goal is to avoid highly adversarial, acrimonious divorces if at all possible. Wherever possible, he makes it a collaborative, non-combative process in which his clients get their needs well met without unnecessary trauma to themselves or their children. Contact him to find out more. Of course, sometimes divorces and child custody matters need to go to court and Bob is very effective in front of judges. You can rely on Bob to respond promptly to your questions and concerns and to give you the personalized attention you deserve.

Divorce in New Mexico

One way or another, divorce results in the legal termination of a marriage, but the various means through which that end is achieved may have different consequences, so you have to decide which method is likely to work best in your particular situation. Possible types of divorce in New Mexico include:

  • Uncontested divorce — in which the spouses agree on almost all issues
  • Traditional divorce — which is the most popular type of divorce 
  • Mediation — in which a neutral third party family law attorney helps the couple negotiate with one another
  • Collaborative divorce — in which each spouse has an attorney 

to represent them during negotiations

Settlement Facilitation Is Frequently a Part of Divorce in New Mexico

In traditional (and occasionally even in collaborative divorces) if the attorneys are unable to negotiate a settlement, the judge or the attorneys themselves schedule a one-day settlement facilitation — a procedure in which the attorney or judge selects a neutral third party to guide the parties towards common ground. The neutral parties are retired family law judges or seasoned family law attorneys. The neutral party works to find solutions that are reasonable resolutions to the contested issues such as the division of assets and liabilities, child custody, child support, and what happens with the marital residence. 

Many times the neutral party will give their opinion regarding what would happen if the case were to go to Court. The facilitator will recommend the parties avoid court and settle the matter at the facilitation where they can expect to get the same results they would obtain if they went to Court. It is a great opportunity for the parties to settle a case with the same ruling they would get if they went to an expensive drawn-out court trial.  If settlement facilitation fails, the parties’ case will probably go to court. 

Matteucci Family Law has extensive experience handling all types of divorce with assurance and empathy, no matter what the specific circumstances.  Regardless of your financial situation, age or gender, Bob Matteucci will treat you with the respect and personal attention you deserve.

Distribution of Marital Assets

One significant part of negotiating a divorce is finding a way to agree on how marital assets will be divided. New Mexico is a community property state, meaning that marital assets and family debts, once their values are determined, will be equally divided between the spouses. 

First, we will help you differentiate between marital assets and separate property since the former must be fairly divided and the latter can remain with the spouse who has sole ownership.

Typically, separate property is either [1] property you came into the marriage already possessing or [2] an inheritance, gift, or court settlement received during the marriage but meant solely for you. At Matteucci Family Law, we are adept at evaluating your marital assets and finding creative ways to distribute them equally to both parties. You should be aware that some debts are separate, belonging only to one spouse.

Spousal Support (Alimony)

There are three major questions surrounding spousal support: Is it necessary in this particular case? How much should spousal support be? How long should spousal support continue?

The answers will depend on variables, such as the length of the marriage, the age, and health of the spouses, the differential in their incomes, and other factors. 

For example, if after a 40-year marriage one of the spouses is incapacitated and living on disability, or has always been the homemaker and not worked outside the home, that spouse may be entitled to ongoing spousal support after the divorce. If one parent has been staying at home to tend to a child or children through the couple’s mutual decision, that parent may be entitled to spousal support for a certain length of time. 

On the other hand, if the parties have been married for less than 20 years and both spouses are fit and earning similar incomes, no spousal support may be necessary. 

Child Custody and Visitation (Parenting Time)

When parents part ways, whether they are married or not, child custody and visitation must be addressed. In many cases, this is the most stressful and contentious issue between the two parties, whether or not it involves a divorce decree. 

If the parents cannot agree on custody and parenting time, an experienced family law attorney can help create a parenting schedule or bring in a neutral party, like a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL), to evaluate the case. 

However, in the minority of cases when the parents still cannot come to an agreement, the court will determine custody and parenting time based on the best interests of the child. Specifically, the court will consider:

  • The age of the child
  • The access to friends and family members
  • The health and capability of each parent
  • The work schedule of each parent
  • The finances of each parent
  • The environment of each parent’s home
  • Any special needs or talents of the child that require accommodation

Bob Matteucci is a caring person as well as a skilled family law attorney. He is prepared to help you maintain your parental rights and protect the best interests of your child.  

Child Support

New Mexico has strict laws to ensure that both parents support their children regardless of marital status. However, in the large majority of cases, child support can be agreed upon without bringing the issue to the court. A skilled family law attorney, like Bob, can collect parents’ income information and financial documents in order to come to a child support agreement. 

Child support is almost always determined through explicit calculations based on custody arrangements, the parent’s income, healthcare costs, daycare costs, and any extraordinary expenses. Extraordinary expenses can include private schools, sports clubs, and any additional educational expenses. While the child support calculations are guidelines for the court, the court typically uses the exact amounts in child support cases. 

Discussing child support issues can become strained when parents don’t trust one another. For example, one parent may feel the other is failing to report full income or is hiding funds in unreported bank accounts to avoid paying support.

No matter which side of the fence you are on, whether you feel that you are being fleeced or that money you need is being withheld, Bob will get to the bottom of the situation to ensure that you are treated fairly and that your child’s care is the first priority. 

Legal Separation

The following reasons may lead an occasional couple to consider legal separation rather than divorce:

  • Practical considerations, such as maintaining medical benefits
  • Religious beliefs
  • Spouses who are not yet ready to declare the marriage irrevocably broken

If you and your spouse fit into one of these categories, Matteucci Family Law can help you. Bob will discuss the way separation agreements work and assist you in working out financial, child custody, and support issues. You should note, however, that he will also make you aware that separation can be an expensive proposition if the couple later decides to divorce and so has to go through the process with all of its attendant costs (time, expense, emotional distress) twice. In New Mexico, formal legal separation is usually not a good option.

Domestic Abuse

Though we would all like to feel that domestic abuse occurs in other people’s relationships, the dark reality is that domestic violence is all too common. Bob Matteucci understands the terrible consequences of domestic abuse and will work with you to protect your family. 

He will not only negotiate to protect your rights and the rights of your child; he will also assist you by connecting you with community resources to will help the family address domestic abuse.

Bob is also aware that some accusations of domestic abuse are manufactured out of whole cloth during vengeful attacks when a couple is feuding. Therefore, he will not make automatic assumptions, but will always listen carefully to what you have to say.

Unfortunately, many domestic abuse cases go to Court. Bob is skilled in presenting the cases effectively in front of the domestic abuse hearing officers. 

Contact Our Experienced Family Law Attorney Today

We know that you are calling us in a time of need — need of moral support as well as legal counsel. Bob Matteucci is here to help. He works with clients from all walks of life, including same-sex couples and high-net-worth families. If you want to move forward with the least turmoil possible, contact us. We will always have your back if the going gets tough but will do our very best to keep heads cool, blood pressures low, and children protected.

Matteucci Family Law Firm helps families with family law matters all across New Mexico including Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Los Lunas, and Rio Rancho.