Family Law

What is Family Law and how can we help?

Family law is a term that encompasses the areas of Kinship Guardianship, Grand-Parent Visitation, child support, child custody, divorce, dissolution of marriage, spousal support, property dissolution and restraining orders.  Family law centers around issues that families face.  The Salcedo Law Firm is experienced in all of these facets.

Property Division

We represent spouses and domestic partners throughout the State of New Mexico, including Tribal Courts of Isleta Pueblo and Pueblo of Santa Ana, in divorce and dissolution matters concerning the distribution of community property and separate property.  New Mexico is a community property state.  This means that both parties are entitled to a 50% share of the property obtained during the marriage.  There are exceptions such as whether separate property contributed to the community property in which case the funds would have to be traced to determine the percentage of the community and separate property interest in the property.

Child Custody

It is our belief here at Salcedo Law that child custody is the most important issue in all the family law matters.  The emotional stability of the children, along with the parent’s time and relationship with the child, are at stake and it is the center of most clients concern.  For this reason, we take child custody matters very seriously and work hard to determine a plan that works for our client and children, as well as the opposing party.  It is important to keep in mind that in child custody matters, the child’s best interest is first and foremost. In most cases, if both parents are good parents, then a plan needs to be discussed to enable the child to have a healthy relationship with both mother and father.  The courts do not favor one parent over the other in child custody matters.  In fact, in a divorce proceeding in New Mexico, both mother and father are granted joint physical custody unless one party can show how joint physical custody is not in the best interest of the child. In some cases, joint physical custody of the child is not ideal as one parent may be abusive or lack the ability to communicate and build a healthy relationship with the child. At the Salcedo Law Firm, the children’s best interest comes first.

Child Support

Child Support is based on guidelines which calculate the amount of time each parent spends with the child and the parties net income, as well as same expenses.  The courts provide us with a guideline that calculates this for both parties.

Spousal Support

Spousal support is based on the parties income.  Sometimes, during a marriage one party contributed to the household while the other party earned an income.  New Mexico does provide for spousal support if appropriate.  The supporting spouse may receive spousal support for their life unless the spouse dies or remarries if they were in a long term marriage. 

At the Salcedo Law Firm, we know that couples faced with divorce are going through a very difficult time filled with confusion, stress and anxiety.  We try to alleviate these concerns by placing our clients on a path to enter the new stage of their lives, having obtained their full entitlement in the divorce.

Restraining Orders

In some cases, an individual can become abusive towards a spouse or child.  In these cases it is best to obtain restraining orders.  Courts will usually grant a temporary restraining order with sufficient evidence.  At a hearing on a temporary restraining order courts will usually set a hearing date for permanent restraining orders which can last up to 5 years.  This requires more evidence as a permanent restraining order is lengthier in time.

Native American Child Custody

The Indian Child Welfare Act protects Native American children in adoption and foster care placement and in the termination of parental rights. This generally doesn't come into play when parents are divorcing.

That does not mean that tribal courts don't have jurisdiction for child custody.  If you're going through a divorce and either party is Native American, call us. We have vast experience working with several Pueblo tribal courts here in New Mexico.