Santa Fe is nicknamed “The City Different” because folks here like to do things their own way. That may be why a growing number of people in the area have turned to Attorney Bob Matteucci of Matteucci Family Law when they must face a family law dispute.
Bob isn’t your typical family law attorney. He knows first-hand what going through a divorce is like. And before going to law school, he got an MBA from Tulane and started, grew, and sold a successful company. But most importantly, he is laser-focused on the future.
By encouraging his clients to look towards the future, Matteucci Family Law helps clients 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.
Whether you have been married for three months or three decades, you deserve to work with a divorce lawyer who is dedicated to helping you move past this difficult period of your life as smoothly as possible. Attorney Bob Matteucci is ready to discuss your priorities and help you identify the challenges you may face as you navigate New Mexico’s court system.
Determining which type of divorce is right for you and your family is the first step.
- 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.
Determining which type of divorce is right for you will depend on you and your former partner’s attitudes and goals. You must 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. How easy it will be to make these big decisions will help determine the type of divorce that is appropriate. If you or your partner are members of the military, or you were in a same sex marriage, additional factors may come into play.
Division of Assets
The most difficult part of many divorces in the Santa Fe area is dividing up assets and debts. New Mexico is a community property state, which means there is an assumption that any asset acquired or debt incurred during the marriage is owned by both spouses — regardless of whose name is on the title to it.
Dividing up assets and debts 50/50 may work for some couples, but that would not be equitable or fair in all situations. For example, in the Santa Fe area, we see a lot of divorcing couples get into bitter disagreements over the division of their art collection. Attorney Bob Matteucci does everything possible to negotiate an agreement both parties can agree to in these situations because the alternative is often being forced by a judge to sell the collection and split the proceeds down the middle.
Child Custody & Support
For most parents in the Santa Fe area, negotiating a child custody agreement is the most important and difficult issue handled by family law attorneys. Even when a divorce is a mutual decision, being denied the opportunity to live with your child full-time can feel unfair or even cruel.
While New Mexico courts generally prefer to grant joint legal custody (decision-making authority) to both parents, figuring out which parent has primary physical custody and how things like schooling, extra-curricular activities, holidays, and spending time with extended family members will be handled is up for debate. Maximizing the quality time both parents get to spend with their children is always Bob Matteucci’s end goal.
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.
When possible, Attorney Matteucci works with families to negotiate a child custody agreement and a child support plan that compliments it without heading to court. As long as it 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 or alimony is money that is paid by one former partner to another to help the recipient maintain his or her quality of life post-divorce. Spousal support is not paid in every divorce, but every former couple must consider whether it should be. Most of the Santa Fe area couples that Attorney Bob Matteucci works with are able to negotiate a spousal support agreement that is appropriate in their unique situation.
Serving Families with Dignity & Compassion
Instead of withering away when the railroads bypassed it, or letting its rich history get paved over and painted to look like the Anywhere, USA, civil leaders in Santa Fe embraced the opportunity to become a quirky and restful retreat. The City Different is now a thriving community that celebrates art, with scenery that soothes the soul.
Divorcing couples in the Santa Fe area have the same opportunity to look to the future and focus on building a satisfying new life for themselves and their family. If you are looking for an experienced and empathetic attorney that will guide you through a family law dispute, Bob Matteucci is here for you. Contact Bob today to discuss your concerns and get answers to any questions you may have, and start moving forward.