It is easy to think “that could never happen to me” or “what is happening to me is not that serious,” but the truth is 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been abused by an intimate partner.
Domestic violence and abuse impact thousands of New Mexico families, regardless of the age, sex, marital status, or income of the people involved.
Although domestic abuse and violence are criminal acts, that the police and criminal justice system must address, there are legal actions that can be taken against abusers on the civil side of things as well. At Matteucci Family Law, Bob Matteucci has helped countless victims of domestic violence sever the ties binding themselves to their abuser, and protect themselves and their loved ones from further abuse.
Attorney Bob Matteucci also helps people who have been wrongly accused of abuse clear their name. Allegations of domestic abuse are treated very seriously by our judicial system, as they should be. Because of this, some people will falsely accuse a former partner or other family member of domestic violence, knowing it will make the accused person’s life more difficult. Unfortunately, this often happens while a family law case like a divorce or custody dispute is pending.
Whether you’re the victim of civil domestic violence or have been wrongly accused of abuse, Attorney Bob Matteucci is ready to listen to your story, and help you find the best path forward for you and your family.
What Is Civil Domestic Violence According to New Mexico Law?
Domestic abuse and domestic violence refer to a wide range of harmful acts committed by one intimate partner or family member against another. Although most people associate these terms with physical violence, domestic violence and abuse can take on many forms.
- Physical abuse — Any type of violent behavior inflicted on the victim – hitting, biting, slapping, battering, punching, and shoving.
- Sexual abuse — Coercing or attempting to coerce the victim into having sexual contact or sexual behavior without his or her consent.
- Emotional abuse — Constant criticism or name calling that harms the victim’s relationship with his or her children or otherwise interferes with the victim’s mental health.
- Psychological abuse — Intimidation or threats to physically harm the victim or children, isolating the victim from loved ones, or prohibiting the victim from going about their day-to-day life.
Specific acts that constitute domestic violence can include:
- Disorderly conduct
- Child Endangerment/Neglect/Abuse
- Stalking and Cyberstalking
- Sexual Battery
- Revenge Porn
- False imprisonment
- Property destruction
If you are experiencing any form of domestic abuse or violence, you may want to reach out to the New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence for local assistance and information at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). If you are in immediate danger, you should call 911.
Attorney Bob Matteucci is ready to help if you need to take civil legal action to legally distance yourself or your children from an abusive family member. Any contact you make with Bob will be held in the strictest confidence. Bob handles these cases quietly and confidentially to protect your privacy and keep you safe.
How Civil Domestic Violence May Affect Your Family Law Case
Many victims of domestic abuse are involved in a family law dispute with their abuser or will want to file for divorce or modify their child custody agreement post-abuse. While allegations of abuse or a pending criminal charge can make family law cases more challenging, that is no reason to delay justice.
If you are involved in a custody dispute with an abuser, the court may award you temporary custody of the children if the judge believes the abuser poses a threat to their safety. The judge may also place limits on the abuser’s ability to visit with the children – such as supervised visitation – or deny visits altogether.
If the Court makes a finding of abuse, a judge may take that into consideration when making decisions about your children’s custody arrangement and the abuser’s ability to interact with them. The abuser’s duty to provide financial support to his or her children does not end, even if he or she is criminally convicted and loses all parenting rights.
Victims of abuse are often afraid to take their abusers to court, and may even feel trapped in their relationship because they fear violence or are ashamed. Attorney Bob Matteucci wants every victim to know that they should not be afraid to share their story with him, and find out what their legal options are. Bob and his staff are very discrete and will keep the information you reveal in confidence. Although meeting with an attorney is a difficult step to take, he wants to get you the help you need and keep you and your children safe.
Protecting Yourself While Your Family Law Case is Pending
Many times when you petition the court for an order of protection, you will immediately obtain a temporary order of protection to protect you and the children until there is a hearing on the matter. Commonly referred to as a restraining order, an Order of Protection is a court order that can protect you and your children by forbidding your abuser from hurting, threatening, or harassing you. The abuser will be forbidden to be in the physical proximity of you, your children, your place of work or residence. If your abuser violates the Order, he or she may be arrested.
You can get an Order of Protection against your:
- Spouse or former spouse
- Child’s parent
- Former romantic partners
- Parent, present or former stepparent, or present or former parent-in-law
- Grandparent or grandparent-in-law
- Child, stepchild, or grandchild
An Order of Protection is also available if you’ve been sexually assaulted or stalked by another person, regardless of your relationship with that individual.
Attorney Bob Matteucci has helped many of his clients obtain an Order of Protection while their divorce or child custody case was resolved.
Defending Parties Against False Allegations of Civil Domestic Violence
New Mexico courts take allegations of domestic violence and abuse very seriously. As they should. Unfortunately, this means that some people who are involved in a bitter family law dispute will hurl false accusations of abuse at their former partners just to make their life more difficult.
False accusers are rarely punished, so there is little downside to trying to make a former partner look as bad as possible in hopes of getting full custody or “winning” a divorce. A false accusor’s sick behavior is itself a form of abuse. That’s why Attorney Bob Matteucci does not shy away from representing clients who have been wrongly accused of civil domestic abuse.
In cases where false allegations are made out of spite, particularly in contentious divorces and child custody disputes, Bob works to expose inconsistencies between the accuser’s claims, police records, and witness accounts. Nobody should lose custody of their kids, or have their name smeared in divorce court because their former partner is feeling petty.
Contact An Albuquerque Civil Domestic Violence Attorney Today!
Whether you’re the victim of civil domestic violence or have been wrongly accused of abuse, Attorney Bob Matteucci wants you to know that you do not have to face the challenges before you alone. He is here for you. He will handle your case with care, and treat you with the dignity and respect you deserve as you navigate the legal system together. Please contact the Matteucci Family Law Firm to schedule a meeting.
Matteucci Family Law Firm helps families with domestic violence matters all across New Mexico including Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Los Lunas, and Rio Rancho.