If you’re in the unhappy position of seeking a divorce, or fearing that your spouse may wish to dissolve the marriage, you may have received a lot of advice from your friends and loved ones. Some of that advice may be useful, but much of it is not.
Some divorce-related advice is just plain bad. The bottom line is this: as long as you have good legal representation, you should not be at a disadvantage, whether or not you file for divorce first.
For instance, many people believe that it’s essential to file first. That’s often portrayed on TV courtroom dramas, where a person filing for divorce is seeking child custody or attempting to force the soon-to-be-ex spouse to provide equitable financial support. However, filing first does not provide the advantages many people believe it does, especially with a no-fault divorce in a state like New Mexico where divorce laws are equitable and fair.
It is true that the petitioner – the person filing for divorce in a no-fault case – sets the initial tone for the divorce, such as grounds, child custody, spousal support, and possession of marital assets. However, the respondent – the other spouse – is not powerless. Especially when represented by sound legal counsel, a respondent can effectively counter whatever claims the petitioner has made and receive a fair resolution.In fact, the role of the petitioner in a divorce case carries a significant amount of responsibility. The petitioner must have correct information about the other spouse and any children, including addresses and Social Security numbers. Of course, there are exceptions, specifically when the petitioner is alleging that the other spouse is hiding assets, or is keeping the petitioner from seeing the children, when the petitioner cannot supply this information. The court makes allowances for such circumstances.