Consulting with a divorce attorney in New Mexico can feel final and even intimidating, but it’s a wise move. An attorney will be able to give you advice specific to your situation and work to protect your interests. They will also address your concerns, answer your questions and act as your guide as your case moves through the legal system.
Your first major point of contact with a divorce attorney will be the initial consultation. Here, you will be able to ask the attorney questions, and they will also ask you questions. Before you meet with a divorce attorney for the first time, learn some of the questions they may ask so you can feel more comfortable going in.
What Is Your Living Situation Right Now?
Some couples will live in different places before they actually file for divorce, while others are still living in the same place. Alternatively, you and your spouse could be coming and going in the same place on a schedule meant to allow you to avoid each other as much as possible. Overall, there are many different types of living situations possible for a divorcing couple, and an attorney will want to know what yours currently is and whether it is working for you. They will ask whether you rent or own your home and what the costs associated with it are.
If you own your home, the attorney will ask whether both of you are “in title”, or on the deed, to the home and if there is a mortgage with both or just one of you on it. If you do have a mortgage, they will also want to know how much you still owe on the loan.
Do You or Your Spouse Have Any Separate Property?
Sometimes, property owned by one spouse isn’t considered “marital,” meaning it solely belongs to one spouse and the other spouse cannot make a claim on it. An inheritance of one spouse, for example, may not be marital property. If you think you or your spouse may have separate property, be prepared to discuss that with the attorney. They will be able to determine whether the asset is likely separate property or may be treated as marital property.
Do You Have Minor Children Together?
Child support and custody issues are central in a divorce. The attorney should discuss how the child support will be determined and the factors New Mexico considers when awarding custody.
What Are Your Biggest Concerns and Your Goals?
Your attorney needs to know what your true priorities are. This allows them to focus on your long-term goals and prepare a strategy to help you reach those goals. If, for example, your main goal is to keep the marital home, your attorney needs to know that early on. Otherwise, they could enter the property division negotiations part of your divorce with the false belief that the family home isn’t an asset you really want to keep. Be honest about what you really want, and your attorney will give you an honest assessment of what’s possible and what may be out of reach.
Reach out to a divorce attorney as soon as you can. Even if you’ve already filed for divorce, you can still benefit from having an attorney on your side. Keep in mind that if you do not feel comfortable with or confident in the attorney after your initial consultation, you should not sign an agreement with them. Instead, schedule a consultation with another attorney. Your attorney and your comfort level with them can have a profound impact on the outcome of your case and your personal experience as you go through the process of the divorce.