When you’re preparing to get divorced in New Mexico, there are some important steps to follow that can make the process as smooth as possible and ease some of the stress associated with it. Take a look at this checklist to help position yourself in the right place from the start.
Find the right attorney
During the divorce process, you will spend a lot of time with your attorney, and he or she needs to be someone you feel you can trust and talk to openly about your situation. A divorce can be an emotionally exhausting event, so you don’t want to feel taxed when talking to your attorney, too. Speak to more than one attorney before selecting anyone. There may be a consultation fee involved, but it’s well worth paying to find an experienced person you’re comfortable with. Go with a professional, some one who is certified by the State Bar in Family Law.
During the early stages of your case, if you find that you just can’t communicate with your lawyer, you need to get another family law attorney as soon as possible. Trying to change your counsel too far along in the case will be far more expensive, and it’s also possible the court won’t let you change counsel at that point.
Know your finances
If you weren’t privy to the details of your family’s financial planning and bills, now is the time to become familiar with all the debts, assets, retirement account and investments. Having a clear picture of your financial state will help ensure you are treated fairly in the divorce. You may need expert help, such as an accountant, if your finances are complex or you feel as if your spouse may be hiding assets. While bringing in an expert will result in an upfront cost to you, the result may be worth it.
Be ready to be patient
The process for divorce can be long and stressful. It’s important to remember that you will probably regret quick decisions regarding property or your kids later, when it will be much more difficult to fix. While it’s not always going to be easy to do, it’s important to try to keep your patience the entire time so you can work toward getting the best possible settlement.
Remember divorces are different
When you speak to other divorced people you trust, you will likely find their property was divided different from yours and your parenting plans aren’t the same. Child support and spousal support may be different, too. Bear in mind that child support is specific and calculated based on a formula set out in New Mexico laws, and the amount will depend on many factors, including income, daycare expenses and other factors specific to your situation. Spousal support is often more subjective, and the judge will only rule once he or she has considered all the variables, including your lifestyle during the marriage, health, age, levels of education and other aspects of you and your spouse’s lives.
You’ll also want to keep your expectations realistic. Chances are you will have to compromise, much like you had to during your marriage. Entering into divorce proceedings believing all your wants will be met simply isn’t realistic and can make your case go on longer than it should, which is emotionally and financially draining. When everything from your finances to your children are in a dispute, you need to focus on solving the problems.
A divorce is never an easy situation, but if you enter into yours prepared, you’ll have a better chance of getting results you are satisfied with. Keep yourself focused on the matters at hand and remember to always communicate honestly with your attorney.