New Mexico is a no-fault divorce state, which means you don’t have to prove your spouse did something terrible such as domestic violence in order to obtain a divorce. If you want to keep what is going on in your personal life quiet, you can simply inform the court that you and your former partner are incompatible, and file a divorce agreement negotiated outside the courtroom for the judge to rubber stamp.
However, if you are the victim of domestic abuse or violence, there may be additional steps you need to take to sever ties with your abuser and protect yourself and your family during and after your divorce. Evidence of abuse may also shape your divorce, particularly if you have children.
If you are being falsely accused of abuse by your former partner, that itself is a form of abuse. There are several steps you must take to limit the impact these false allegations will have on your divorce and your life in general.
Attorney Bob Matteucci is an experienced family law attorney who has helped countless New Mexicans move forward with their lives after experiencing domestic violence or abuse. Bob is ready to listen to your story and help you rebuild your life.
Domestic Violence Comes In Many Forms & Divorce Is Always An Option in New Mexico
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 — Examples of physical abuse are hitting, biting, slapping, battering, punching, shoving, and even property damage. It refers to any violent behavior towards the victim.
- Sexual abuse — This refers to forcing or attempting to force the victim in engaging in sexual behavior without their consent. This also can also include exposing children to sexually explicit materials.
- Emotional abuse — Name-calling and constant are considered emotional abuse–anything that negatively affect the victim’s mental health and interferes with their relationships.
- Psychological abuse — This can include intimidations, threats to inflict physical harm to the victim or to their loved ones, isolating the victim from friends and family, stalking or harassing, or restricting the victim from doing day-to-day activities.
If any of the abuse described above sounds familiar, you may want to reach out to the New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence for additional information or help to connect with victim support services in your local area: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). If you are in immediate danger, you should call 911.
When you are ready to take legal action to distance yourself from an abusive partner, Attorney Bob Matteucci is ready to help. In order to protect you and your loved ones, the fact that you have contacted Bob, and any information you share with him, will be held in the strictest confidence until it is necessary to reveal it in order to move your case forward.
Filing For Divorce From Your Domestic Violence Abuser
In the past, New Mexico residents who wanted to file for divorce had to prove to the court that their marriage had failed because their partner wronged them by:
- Cruel and inhuman treatment (abuse)
If you wanted a divorce, you had to present evidence to the court that proved you deserve it. The details of your personal life were on full display and often reported in the local papers.
These old methods of divorce are still on the books, but today, New Mexico only allows residents to file no-fault divorces. You simply inform the court you and your former partner are incompatible and want to separate.
Depending on how reasonable your former partner is, you may be able to negotiate a divorce agreement outside of court and get the judge to approve it without disclosing any details about the abuse you have endured.
The problem is many abusive partners are not reasonable. They may be worried you will reveal their abuse to others, or they may simply be upset you are no longer under their thumb. Whatever their reasoning for doing so, they make divorce difficult — as if it too is a form of abuse.
Attorney Matteucci knows how to handle every hurdle thrown in front of his clients. There are few antics abusers can pull that will prevent Bob from getting his clients a fair and final divorce.
Reasons to Reveal Abuse
While most victims only want to get away from their abuser and move on with their lives, some want revenge. And they think they can get it in the courtroom. However, outing your partner as an abuser is not going to help you “win” your divorce.
New Mexico courts do not take allegations of abuse into consideration when making decisions about asset division or alimony. The only reason you may want to disclose your abuse is to protect yourself and your children from further abuse.
- Obtaining an Order of Protection — 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 or your kids. The abuser will be forbidden from contacting you or being in physical proximity to you, your children, your place of work or residence, and your children’s school or activities. If your abuser violates the Order, he or she may be arrested.
- Child Custody — New Mexico courts generally prefer to grant joint legal custody (decision-making authority) to both parents and to allow ample visitation time between the non-custodial parent and the child. However, if abuse is found, the judge will typically limit the abuser’s interaction with his or her children.
If protecting yourself or your children from ongoing abuse is a concern, you should not hesitate to talk to Attorney Matteucci about your options. Bob and his staff are very discrete and will keep the information you reveal in confidence until it must be revealed to the court. His number one priority is always protecting you and your children from harm.
Fighting False Accusations of Abuse
Because New Mexico courts take allegations of domestic violence and abuse very seriously, some people will falsely accuse their former partners of domestic violence or abuse while their divorce is pending. They do this to try and “win” the divorce, or simply make their former partner’s life more difficult.
This sort of sick behavior is itself a form of abuse, and it should not be tolerated. Nobody should risk losing custody of their kids, or have their name smeared in divorce court because their former partner is feeling petty.
Attorney Bob Matteucci does not shy away from representing clients who have been wrongly accused of domestic abuse. In cases where false allegations are made out of spite, Bob works to expose inconsistencies between the accuser’s claims, police records, and witness accounts so he can clear his client’s good name.
Contact Our New Mexico Domestic Violence And Child Custody Attorney
Attorney Bob Matteucci wants every victim of domestic violence or abuse to know that you are not alone. Domestic violence and abuse impact thousands of New Mexico families, regardless of the age, sex, marital status, or economic status of the people involved.
You should not be afraid or embarrassed to share your story with Attorney Matteucci or file for a divorce. Bob 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 victims of domestic violence and abuse from all across New Mexico — including Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Los Lunas, and Rio Rancho — get a divorce and move on with their lives.