Divorce can be a daunting prospect, and you may be feeling a little overwhelmed by the idea of it right now. Fortunately, you do not have to try to handle it all yourself. An attorney who is well-versed in divorce law in Santa Fe, New Mexico can provide you with answers, advice and guidance throughout your entire divorce.
In order to find the right attorney, you will have to have an initial meeting, known as a consultation, first. This is something you may do with more than one attorney to ensure you find a professional you are comfortable with and confident in. For the best consultation experience, you will need to be prepared to answer all of their questions at this important meeting.
Why Are You Divorcing?
While you do not need to provide a reason to the Court for wanting a divorce in New Mexico, there are some situations where the reason will impact how the attorney approaches the case. For example, a divorce in which one spouse is being abused by the other spouse is not handled the same way as an amicable split with no abuse involved. Another example is where a spouse is spending excessive amounts of money or making reckless financial decisions. Yet another example is where a spouse is abusing or neglecting your children or interfering with your ability to bond or spend time with your children.
There are many reasons for wanting a divorce. Although it can be difficult to talk about, it is important that your attorney knows and understands the reasons behind your divorce. They will use this information in their handling of your case.
What Are Your Priorities and Goals in the Divorce?
Most people enter divorce with goals and priorities in mind, including which areas are non-negotiable. If you have not thought about it yet, now is the time to do so. You need to be able to explain those goals and priorities to your attorney so they will know how to represent you and fight for your best interests and goals. Be clear about all of your priorities, from child custody to asset or debt division. If your attorney does not know exactly what you hope to achieve, they cannot devise the best plan for your case.
When you are at the consultation, you may find yourself wondering if you really need to tell the attorney everything. You may also be tempted to leave some details out or represent them in a way that casts a better light on yourself. However, your attorney is not there to judge you; they are there to help you. Attorneys cannot do their job unless they know about everything that could be used against you during the divorce.
Do You Have Minor Children with Your Spouse?
Your attorney will need to know if you and your spouse have minor children together. During the proceedings, you and your spouse will need to decide on issues such as child support and parenting time, so you will have to discuss your children and your relationship with them.
What Is Your Living Situation?
Your living situation does impact your divorce, including whether you and your spouse own a home and if you are living together or apart right now. If you have children together, they will want to know what the children’s living arrangements have been and with whom they are living now. The attorney will also want to know who each parent is living with, as that may be important for determining custody later.
Does Your Spouse Have an Attorney?
If your spouse already has an attorney for the divorce, your New Mexico divorce lawyer will need to know their name so they can contact that attorney during the different phases of the divorce as needed and attempt to negotiate on your behalf the parts of the divorce that can be negotiated.
Be sure to give the attorney complete and honest answers to all the questions they ask. The answers you give will form the basis of the attorney’s approach to your case, so they must have accurate information.