Getting Engaged? In Sickness and in Health… Here Comes the Will

Thinking of getting engaged this Valentine’s Day? You are not alone! Valentine’s Day is one of the most popular days to pop the question. Love often makes us see the world through rose-colored glasses with romantic notions and dreaming of riding off into the sunset into your “happily ever after.” While all these things are to be celebrated, there are … Read More

DIY Divorce

As a family law attorney, one of the most common questions I get asked from my friends and family is, “Do you have to have an attorney for a divorce or custody case?”  And the answer is: it depends! Part of answering this question is to help people understand that lawyers can assist you in a number of different ways. … Read More

Understanding child custody rights when going through a divorce

Often the most stressful aspects of divorce for people who have children is custody and visitation.  Here are some general principles to keep in mind if you find yourself in this type of situation. New Mexico law presumes it is in the best interest of a child to have a strong relationship with both parents, if possible. For that reason, … Read More

How Will Divorce Affect My Credit Score?

Man taking credit card out of wallet

As a family law attorney, a common question clients ask is, “How will the divorce affect my credit score?” The answer is: it depends. Below I discuss some factors in which divorce may affect your credit score. The Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA) and Your Credit Score In a divorce in New Mexico, the Court requires several documents to terminate the … Read More

Webinar: Special Needs Planning 2020 Update

On May 7, 2020, the attorneys of PBWS presented an update on Special Needs Planning, with a focus on: The ABLE Act IEPs special education Medicaid/Medicare the SECURE Act family law If you missed the Webinar, you can access it here. You will need to register with your name and email address and use password 9U#A2t55. If you would like … Read More

Legal Custody v. Physical Custody

Mother and two children walking in New Mexico open space

If you are involved in a custody proceeding in New Mexico, you will most likely hear the terms “legal custody” and “physical custody”. These two terms mean completely different things, are not interchangeable, and are often not explained in court. What is legal custody in New Mexico? Legal custody involves the decision-making power for your child. New Mexico has a … Read More

Co-parenting During COVID-19

Co-parenting with your child’s other parent can be stressful on a good day. Add in a worldwide pandemic, and the concept of co-parenting seems overwhelming and impossible. The most important thing you can do for your child right now is clearly communicate and continue to co-parent with their other parent, while putting your child first. Communication is vital right now, … Read More

What Is Co-Parenting and Why Is It Important?

Co-parenting is when two parents, who are not in a relationship, share the parenting duties for their child. Joint legal custody is very common in New Mexico, and this means both parents must communicate and work together to make joint decisions for their child. The parents must agree on everything, such as: changing the child’s pediatrician, switching which school the … Read More

Get Along With Your Ex for Your Kids’ Sake

Break-ups are hard, even more so if children are involved. Maybe you and your husband or wife of 15 years just separated, or you and your long-term partner just broke up, or you just got out of a volatile relationship. Regardless of the situation, if you have children together, you will be tied to this person until your children are … Read More

I was just served divorce papers. What do I do next?

You were just served divorce papers. You were most likely served with a Summons, Temporary Domestic Order, and the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. First – take a deep breath and try not to panic. The divorce process is stressful, but our attorneys are here to help you navigate the process and the court system. Second – do not call … Read More

Does Common Law Marriage Exist in New Mexico?

The short answer is no, with one exception. Common Law Marriage is defined as a couple living together for a period of time and holding themselves out to friends and family as “being married,” but not having actually obtained a marriage license in their state. Common law marriage is not recognized in the State of New Mexico as valid and … Read More

What to Expect Once Your Divorce is Finalized

Congratulations! Your divorce is final! You have made it through one of the most stressful times of your life. What do you do next? The divorce process lays out how the marital assets are divided and this is documented in the Final Decree and Marital Settlement Agreement. Once you and your ex-spouse know how things will be divided, the next … Read More

5 Things to Know Before Your Initial Appointment with a Divorce Attorney

You or your spouse may have decided to initiate divorce and now you are getting ready to meet with your divorce attorney. It can be a daunting process and it certainly can be stressful. Below are a few tips to keep in mind when meeting with your divorce attorney for the first time. Has a case already been filed? If … Read More

Engagement Ring: Who Gets To Keep It?

People often wonder if they have to return the diamond ring if the engagement is called off. The answer in New Mexico, as in most other states, is a resounding “it depends”. However, it is usually a pretty clear choice. An engagement ring is a conditional gift. This means if the condition, in this case, the wedding, occurs, the condition … Read More

Alternative Dispute Resolution for Seniors and Their Families – Blog Series Part 3

This is the third and final installation of the 3-part series: Alternative Dispute Resolution for Seniors and Their Families. Taking into account the previous questions addressed in this series, we will be discussing how to work through disputes with family members and the process for mediation. There are many reasons disputes might arise among families that act as caregivers. It … Read More

Alternative Dispute Resolution and Divorce

The Ugly There are many unflattering descriptions of the divorce process: “Knock down/drag out”, “scorched earth”, fight to the death”, “battle” and so on. Sadly, many divorces live up to these pejorative terms. Former partners fight for months or years. Unlike most lawsuits which occur between strangers, divorces or custody battles involve intimate partners who were once in love and living … Read More