Rio Rancho wasn’t the site of an ancient civilization. It isn’t the location of an early trading post. The land here wasn’t coveted by early settlers. No family can say they have lived here for generations. History isn’t what attracts people here. The future does. 

People choose to live in Rio Rancho because it is an intentionally planned community that takes into consideration the wants and needs of its residents. That’s why Rio Rancho calls itself the “City of Vision,” and why it is one of the fastest-growing places in the country. 

This future-focused mentality appeals to Attorney Bob Matteucci of Matteucci Family Law because that is the mindset he brings to every family law dispute he handles. 

By encouraging his clients to look towards the future, Matteucci Family Law helps people throughout New Mexico survive what is often the most challenging time of their lives. Rather than letting a divorce or other family law dispute rip apart their family, destroy their business, or ruin their finances, Bob Matteucci helps his clients find a path forward.

Divorce in Rio Rancho

divorce rings

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 an empowering but often painful process. Nobody understands this better than Bob, who knows first-hand what going through a divorce is like.

Attorney Matteucci will make sure you understand all your options and can make the best decisions for yourself and your family. There are many factors to consider, such as the division of assets and debts, child custody and child support, and spousal support or alimony. If you or your partner are members of the military, or you were in a same sex marriage, additional issues may need to be addressed.

You will also need to decide which type of divorce is right for you:

  • Self-Help Divorce – If you have only been married a short amount of time, you don’t have any children or significant assets or debts, and you agree with your soon-to-be-former partner on all aspects of your separation, you can use the New Mexico court system’s self-help forms to divorce without the assistance of an attorney. 
  • Traditional Divorce – The majority of divorces filed by people in Rio Rancho 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 Rio Rancho 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 relies on the assistance of professionals like financial planners and counselors. 

The best method of divorce depends on you and your ex-partner’s perspectives and objectives. Attorney Bob Matteucci is prepared to help you pick your priorities and identify the challenges you might face as you navigate New Mexico’s family court system.

Division of Assets & Debts

Although every divorce is different, one thing every couple must do is divide up their assets and debts. This is more straightforward In New Mexico than in some other states because we are a community property state. This means that any asset acquired during the marriage or debt incurred by a couple is legally considered the equal property of both spouses.

Dividing everything up is a four-step process: 

  • Investigation. Bob will first work with you to make a list of all the assets and debts you and your spouse own. This can be a time consuming process. And if your former partner refuses to cooperate, it can be quite contentious. 
  • Classification. The next step is determining if there are any assets or debts that should not be subject to division — things one partner alone should take ownership of. This could include assets like inheritances or business interests that pre-date the marriage and were always kept separate from the family’s other funds. Or it may be debts that were incurred by a partner who was wasting the couple’s money on something like gaming or an addiction. 
  • Valuation. Any and all property that is classified as community property must then be valued so that it can be equally divided. To assist with the valuation process, Attorney Matteucci typically reviews bank statements, credit card statements, tax returns, loan records, deeds and titles, and any number of other documents. It may also be necessary to conduct a comparative market analysis or appraisal of any real estate or hire an expert to determine the value of business assets.
  • Distribution. Finally, the entire marital estate — all the community property and jointly owned debts are divided 50/50. This sounds simple in theory, but many assets are impossible to divide without selling them (think real estate and businesses). 

Throughout this process Attorney Matteucci draws on his MBA and past business experience to help negotiate an agreement on the division of assets that is agreeable to everyone involved. Getting the division of assets and debts worked out before heading to court speeds the divorce process and prevents a lot of headaches further down the line.

Child Custody & Support in Rio Rancho

child custody

If you have children, figuring out how you and your former partner will co-parent them once you are no longer a married couple is often the hardest part of getting divorced. 

Judges in New Mexico’s family courts generally prefer to grant joint legal custody (decision-making authority) to both parents. This gives each parent a say in the way their child is raised, no matter which parent has primary physical custody. When determining how physical custody will be split, or how things like schooling, extra-curricular activities, holidays, and relationships with extended family members will be handled, the best interest of the child is the main consideration. 

Once a child custody arrangement is nailed down, it is time to discuss child support payments. New Mexico has an algorithm that governs how child support is decided in most cases. 

Attorney Matteucci works with families in Rio Rancho to negotiate child custody agreements and child support plans without having to go to court. So long as a couple’s co-parenting plan is reasonable, the judge will typically okay it. This saves time and heartache and can help show your kids they are not the reason you are fighting.

Alimony & Spousal Support 

Spousal support, also known as alimony, is money paid by one ex-spouse to the other to help maintain their standard of living after a divorce. The amount paid and the duration of payments can vary wildly based on a former couple’s income and lifestyle. Attorney Bob Matteucci has helped many couples in Rio Rancho negotiate spousal support agreements that are fair and equitable considering their specific circumstances.

Serving Families in Rio Rancho with Dignity & Compassion

The people who founded Rio Rancho had a vision. They wanted to build a safe, modern city with a real sense of community. Decades later, we are reaping the rewards. 

Rio Rancho residents who are going through a family law dispute have the same opportunity to look to the future and focus on building a satisfying new life for themselves and their family. Attorney Matteucci is ready to discuss your priorities and pain points with you, and counsel you as you navigate New Mexico’s family court system. Contact him today to start moving forward.