Genus Law Group Feed Genus Law Group Feed en-us 2022 Genus Law Group, All Rights Reserved, Reproduced with Permission Tue, 25 Jan 2022 16:08:06 GMT Genus Law Group Feed <![CDATA[How divorce and financial planning go hand and hand.]]>Cash for New Mexico alimony

Calling a lawyer should be priority number one during the divorce process, but priority number two should be focused on your financial planning. Understanding the magnitude of sound financial planning during the divorce process will help with your new marital situation. You don’t want to deal with financial stress after court battles and conflicting settlements you and your previous spouse may have during a divorce. Divorce and the divorce process cause people to make irregular and illogical decisions more than we’d like to admit. If your line of focus is set on your current situation rather than a strategy for a better future, then you may lose a large portion of your money and mind in the process. 

Creating a settlement with a lawyer and financial planner would be an excellent way to start a financial plan; it’s common for people to lose a large sum of money due to shared income, so planning for a smaller sum of money after a divorce wouldn’t be wrong. However, having a settlement can make room for negotiation and better outcomes for you and your ex-spouse. Therefore, it’s critical to meet with a family lawyer and financial adviser consistently through the divorce process to keep up and negotiate your settlement to ensure you get what you need to from the divorce.

The five biggest things to consider during the divorce process

  • Mediation and litigation Litigation is time-consuming, expensive, and annoying due to long trials with judges to determine who was “wrong” before and during the divorce process. Mediation is a more palatable alternative and avoids some of the more unpleasant parts of litigation. Mediation consists of a third party that will hear the issues you and your ex-spouse are bringing forward.  A mediator will limit the dispute, try to resolve the conflict, and promote a productive discussion to resolve any problems you two may share. In addition, it’s less expensive than litigation and can limit some in-court divorce processes.

  • Invest in a long-term plan. Investing in a long-term plan means more than a two-year plan of action for financial stability. It’s about an extended plan of action, which may involve childcare, health care, living expenses for children if you have or plan on having some, and their needs and extracurriculars. Of course, getting the essentials for your kids is most important in the long run, so long-term alimony and child support should be at the top of your list of things to gain.

  • Understand the financial gain and loss of your assets The assets you hold dear might hurt your financial stance in the long hall. Retirement funds, bank accounts, land, and even your $10,000 fine china set are all worth something, but some assets are better left than taken. Having access to your savings account is better than the house you had your family in; Homeowners’ taxes can cause financial burdens you can afford in the long hall, so be confident with assets that will do you better in the next 20-25 years.

  • Divorce is synonymous with tax when financial planning. Divorce is costly. People can get frustrated, confused, and lose everything they own. So don't get the short end of the stick when you start financially planning out your new revenue stream and priority assets; you may bite off more than you can chew with the taxes you accrue. To ensure this doesn’t happen, make sure you split the assets evenly for fairness and as little tax as possible. 

  • Keep your life and legacy up to date. Factor in your will when financially planning; after a divorce settlement has been reached, update your will, powers of attorney, life insurance, and inheritors. Realigning your assets during a divorce is a pain, but having it all go back to the state if something happens to you is worse. If you were out of the workforce for a few years, seek options to better your chance at employment. Some possibilities could be training or getting better educated, doing everything you need to get back on your feet as fast as possible.

An Albuquerque lawyer can help 

Understanding the legal implications regarding financial planning and divorce will take more than quick searches and overviews. It’ll take more effort and time to consider what will be in your best interest, especially what you want from you and your ex-spouse’s past relationship. If you want a skilled advocate to accompany you with expert knowledge of financial planning and custody, our lawyers will provide the best service and know-how to accomplish what you need done. To learn more about how the professionals at Genus Law Group can help ease property division during divorce, please get in touch with uscontact us at (505) 317-4455 or chat with someone on our website chat function to schedule an initial consultation.

]]>, 09 Dec 2021 17:30:00 EST, 08 Dec 2021 23:53:05, 22 Nov 2021 17:11:14, 15 Nov 2021 16:42:43, 03 Nov 2021 14:59:43, 19 Oct 2021 22:32:25, 14 Oct 2021 21:39:09 EST<![CDATA[Can I Receive Compensation For My NM Personal Injury Case If I Am Partly To Blame?]]>Fault in NM Personal Injury

How “Percentage Of Blame” is calculated In New Mexico.

In New Mexico, the way compensation is calculated truly depends on how much percentage of blame the jury will assign to you (the plaintiff)  and the other person in the case. It is up to you to not only provide proof of the other person’s fault and show legal liabilities. The percentage of blame is calculated by the different aspects of your case. If you were in a car accident, each driver is completely responsible for their fault and the fault would automatically be divided 50/50. The elements that may be taken into consideration for changing that percentage are; Were you wearing a seatbelt? Were you traveling above the speed limit? Did you run a red light? Etc. 

What is “Comparative Negligence”? 

The judge will take that percentage and reduce it from the overall injury costs. This process is called comparative negligence. Negligence refers to a person being careless or reckless with their actions which ultimately resulted in someone getting hurt or injured in some way. If you are found to be 10% at fault, then you would be compensated for the remaining 90%. Other states in the U.S have modified versions of comparative negligence and some can be as strict as not granting you any compensation if you are more than 50% at fault. 

How “Several Liabilities” can affect your case. 

Personal injury cases can get even more complex when multiple injuries happen, or one injury leads to another injury or enhances the first one significantly. This kind of case can bring comparative negligence to more than just two people. The legal term for this type of complex case is called Successive tortfeasor liability.  This is when two or more negligent acts seam independent yet they injure the same third-party plaintiff. This sometimes happens when an accident occurs and the victim is brought to the hospital and the negligence of a doctor can result in a different injury altogether. 

Fault and no-fault accidents in New Mexico.

A fault accident is generally an accident that is caused by one driver or multiple drivers, but there is a possibility that an accident can occur and no one seems to be responsible for the incident and that is called a non-fault accident. Then the third situation is called a fault incident, which means that the victim of the accident (the plaintiff) is partially to blame. In New Mexico, it is rare that you can have an attorney file a claim for your injuries if you are responsible for the accident altogether. It also mostly depends on what type of insurance you have and what policies it covers. The best thing to do immediately after an accident happens is to call your insurance company within that same day if possible. If you were at fault, you may not be entitled to compensation, but if you had a passenger in your car during the accident and they were injured in some way, then they are considered an innocent party and they can claim even if they were in the at-fault vehicle or not. 

 If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident It is a good idea to seek legal help from New Mexico’s best personal injury attorneys at Genus Law Group. If you have been injured by the negligence of another individual or corporate entity in Albuquerque or surrounding areas, now is your time to focus on healing and recovering, let us deal with the legal aspects of your case, and get you the compensation you are entitled to. If there are any aspects of your case that you feel unsure about or would like to talk to a professional, you can schedule a FREE consultation with us today to confidentially discuss everything that happened in your accident. Call us at 505.317.4455, or chat online with a live representative. Do not let your injury go unresolved. 

]]>, 13 Oct 2021 17:13:00 EST
<![CDATA[What is the Difference Between NM Adoption and Guardianship?]]>There is a common misconception that adoption and guardianship are basically the same thing or at least very similar, and the two indeed are similar. However many differences set them apart from each other. The biggest difference between the two is that adoption is permanent and guardianship is temporary. Also, in a guardianship case, the parents still have rights over the child, but parental rights are terminated in an adoption. Both adoption and guardianship of a child require special circumstances, specific requirements, and special procedures that typically differ from one to the other. However, in New Mexico, the processes and rights for adoption and guardianship vary quite a bit. There are multiple ways to go through the adoption process and as well as guardianship, and those will be explained later in the article. The requirements for adoption and guardianship are different although they are complex for each case. There is no “right” way to adopt or become a guardian, and because each case consists of its specific circumstances, each process varies in its complexity. Crucial topics such as legal rights, biological parents, public benefits, and successorship are important to keep in mind during the process of becoming a guardian or adoptive parent.  

Adoption vs Guardianship Heart

Are The Processes Different in New Mexico?

The process to adopt a child is much different than the process to become a guardian of a child. Being that adoption is permanent, there are many more steps to take to become eligible to adopt and the process is longer. Although there is not a singular best way to become an adoptive parent, below you can find a general outline of what steps to take if you are looking to adopt: 

  • Attend your local foster/adoption information meeting.

  • Complete an application and provide personal references. 

  • Schedule and complete a background check to get your fingerprints taken. 

  • Attend 32 hours of required pre-service training. 

  • A home study must be completed and approved by the Children, Youth, and Families Department of the State of New Mexico. (This procedure will include interviews with members of your household and are used to define your strengths as a family).

  • You will also be asked to have a medical exam completed by your physician to ensure that you are healthy

  • Submit additional documents.

If you are licensed through the Children, Youth, and Families Department (CYFD), adopting a child is free. You may also receive financial support and other resources to aid during and after the adoption process. 

The process to become a guardian is not simple yet it is less difficult than applying to be an adoptive parent. Again, each circumstance is different therefore the application process may vary from case to case but below you will find a general overview of the guardianship process if you are applying under the Kinship Guardian Act: 

  • You'll first need to file a petition for guardianship with the district court where you and the minor reside. (You must file this petition even if their parents agree you should become the child’s guardian).

  • A full investigation is conducted to determine if you're a competent guardian and if your guardianship is in the child's best interests. (This may include an examination of the home you can provide, any criminal history, job stability, and the type of relationship you have with the child or children. Based on the findings, the court then makes a ruling). 

Note: Procedures for guardianship filing under the Uniform Probate Code or the Children’s Code are similar: a petition to the court, a competency investigation, and a court ruling.  

Depending on the exact circumstances, the court may deny your petition for guardianship, grant temporary guardianship, or award permanent guardianship of the child.

What Rights Do Adoptive Parents and Guardians Have? 

The rights of adoptive parents and temporary guardians are what set each other apart. This link is a great resource for reviewing the specific differences between adoption and guardianship. 

How Do The Two Differ From Custody?

Although custody and guardianship are completely different, they are commonly mistaken for being the same thing. Custody refers to the parent’s care of a child, whereas guardianship refers to a person who assumes responsibility for a child. For example, parents may still have legal custody over their child even though the child is under the guardianship of someone else. In some cases, although there may be a custodial parent, the child’s guardian is the person who makes decisions for the child. With adoption, parental rights are terminated therefore the adoptive parent(s) have exclusive custody rights over the child. 

Can Guardianship Turn Into Adoption?

    The short answer is yes, a guardian may adopt the child that is in their care. Although the child has presumably been in the guardians' care already, the process for adoption is the same as if the child had not lived with their guardian before. Typically in a guardianship case where the child and guardian are related, the child welfare agency likes to opt for adoption so that the child has a permanent home because guardianship is not a permanent option as it can be contested at any point. A home inspection is typically done to determine where the child would be in a safe environment. The next step is for the legal parents to surrender their paternal rights. If the parents decline to do so then the courts may intervene and if they think that it is in the best interest of the child a judge may terminate the parental rights. 

Is Guardianship Reversible? 

Unlike adoption, guardianship is not permanent, therefore it may be reversed. Reasons for reversing guardianship may include the following: 

  • Guardian is no longer able or willing to carry out the duties of guardianship

  • The guardianship expires on its own

  • Legal parents want to regain custody of their child 

  • Child no longer seeks guardianship or believes guardian is not fulfilling their duties 

  • A third party believes the child is not taken care of due to abuse or neglect

The process to reverse guardianship is started with a petition to the court. Then the court revises the petition and sets a hearing. At the hearing, evidence and testimonies will be heard to help the judge determine the outcome of the petition. 

How Can a NM Family Law Attorney Help You

At Genus Law Group we understand that family law is complex and sometimes confusing. If you or someone you know is dealing with a case involving custody, adoption, or guardianship, you may need to consult with a professional in the family law field. Our Albuquerque Family Law Attorneys will be more than happy to provide you with a consultation as to how best to achieve your goals. Feel free to contact us at 505-317-4455 or chat with a representative online.

]]>, 04 Aug 2021 16:38:00 EST, 10 Jun 2021 21:41:09 EST<![CDATA[Military and Veterans Divorce 101]]>In New Mexico, active military members and retired veterans make up a rather large portion of the population. Since New Mexico hosts multiple military sites and bases including Kirtland, Holloman, White Sands Missile Range, and Cannon Air Force, we see many active and former members around the state. Many military spouses face trials and tribulations in and outside their home life, so soldiers and veterans want to be prepared for the worst when it boils down to it. As a former military member, owner and founder of Genus Law Group, Anthony Spratley, served in the Air Force as a Judge Advocate General (JAG). He has experience serving military members on and off duty and veterans. In the case of a divorce, it is crucial to seek assistance from an experienced New Mexico Military Divorce Lawyer. 

American flag, Veteran, Military

Are Military Divorces Different Than Non-Military Divorces? 

As we know, any divorce has its struggles and pitfalls. Military divorces and civilian divorces alike are made up of a plethora of components that can become problematic. Important matters including custody, timesharing, spousal support, division of property and assets among other underlying issues must be addressed during any divorce process. However, there are some differences between civilian divorces and military divorces. Things like custody and timeshare can be unique due to deployment factors and assets like military benefits are sometimes divided differently.  

How To File For Divorce In the Military 

Filing for divorce while in the military calls for different protocols than divorces for civilians. There are various laws put in place to protect service members so that legal proceedings are fair for both parties. Typically during divorces, once you are served you only have a certain amount of time to respond and if you do not the process may not work in your favor. To assure that both parties in a military divorce have equal opportunity to a fair divorce, section 521 of the Servicemembers' Civil Relief Act (SRCA) provides protection against default judgments, which is when one party fails to respond to the legal divorce action. According to this act, if a service member is on active duty, then divorce proceedings may be postponed for the duration of service and up to an additional 60 days thereafter. 

To file for divorce in New Mexico at least you or your spouse must either live or be stationed in New Mexico. To begin the process, personal service with a summons and a copy of the petition must be granted up to the active service member. In cases of an uncontested divorce, service may not be needed as long as the active duty spouse signs and filed a waiver affidavit acknowledging the divorce action. 

What Benefits Do I Receive After My Military Divorce? 

If there is not a 20 -year overlapping period between the marriage and military spouse service, the other spouse is entitled to certain benefits. The non-military spouse will continue to receive TriCare coverage if they do not qualify for health insurance through your employment, have not remarried, and meet the requirements of the 20/20/20 rule, meaning the marriage lasted for at least 20 years, the military spouse has at least 20 years of military service, and there was at least a 15-year overlap between those two time periods. 

There are lesser benefits available to spouses who do not meet a 20/20/15 rule. In addition, the non-military spouse is entitled to some portion of the military retirement, this is an important reason to have an attorney that can help you determine what your interest is based on the overlapping period of military service and marriage. 

Along with the normal New Mexico property division laws, the federal government has enacted the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA) that governs how military retirement benefits are calculated and divided upon divorce. The USFSPA is the governing body that authorizes a direct payment of a portion of a military retiree’s pay to the former spouse. Note that, federal laws will not divide and distribute any of the military member’s retirement to the spouse unless they have been married 10 years or longer while the member has been active duty military. As far as child and/or spousal support, they are calculated in the same way as they are calculated for civilians. Additionally, child support and spousal alimony may not exceed 60% of a military member's earnings. 

Can The Divorce Process Affect my Security Clearance? 

The Federal government gives selected personnel or companies a security clearance to determine their eligibility for access to classified information or facilities. There are three levels of security clearance: Confidential, Secret, and Top Secret. If you are undergoing an investigation to receive security clearance while getting a divorce, remember this will be known by the security manager and investigators.

With that, it is also important to remember to be respectful and on as best terms as possible both during and after your divorce from your spouse. This will help ensure your security clearance is not compromised. In relation, domestic violence can play a huge role in affecting your security clearance. This can lead to a suspension of your security clearance as well as a denial of clearance. When going through a divorce and/or fighting for custody it’s best, to be honest, and upfront with your security manager so they are fully aware of the current situations.

How We Can Help

If you are a current or former service member, or their spouse in Albuquerque or anywhere else in New Mexico looking to file for divorce, our experienced divorce attorneys can assist you during the process. An attorney like Anthony Spratley can be a huge asset to you during your divorce, due to his extensive knowledge and experience with family law and military divorce. While many law firms claim to be experienced with military divorce, few have actual veterans representing you. Having an attorney on your side who understands your situation and knows how to get you the best outcome can be a game-changer. Schedule an appointment to speak with an attorney by contacting us at (505)317- 4455 or chat with someone online today!

]]>, 09 Jun 2021 15:54:00 EST, 08 Jun 2021 22:28:33, 08 Jun 2021 20:42:06 EST<![CDATA[How To Prepare For Your Custody Hearing In New Mexico ]]>Typically, contested divorces or contested custody cases call for a hearing so that the matter may be heard before a judge. During the hearing, questions will be asked by one party to the other and vice versa. Oftentimes attorneys will ask precise questions in order to prove or disprove the close relationship between parents and children. It is a general expectation that a primary caregiver knows various aspects of their child’s life including medical and school information. When going before a judge in a courtroom, you will be asked a number of questions regarding your relationship with the child you are attempting to gain custody of. Parents are trying to earn the right to care for their child, and each parent thinks that he/she is the most fit to do so. In many custody cases, you will most likely need to settle disputes in court. Our experienced family law attorneys are ready to represent you in your New Mexico custody case. 

]]>, 08 Jun 2021 17:13:00 EST, 08 Jun 2021 17:08:09, 03 Jun 2021 22:26:37 EST<![CDATA[What is an Ex Parte Motion In New Mexico?]]>Custody order, gavel, ex parte

Today I want to talk to you about ex parte custody orders. Orders like these are commonly issued in cases where there appears to be some sort of emergency related to a child or children. Oftentimes when one party wants to get custody of their child(ren) in an emergency situation, they will file a motion for ex parte custody order because they believe there is some imminent harm or danger that may come to the child because of the other parent or a guardian

Typically these cases involve alcohol or drug abuse. For example, an adult may drive a vehicle while they are intoxicated and get in an accident with a child(ren)in the car. This would be grounds for someone to file a motion for an ex parte custody order. In any case where there is  a concern regarding irreparable harm to the child(ren) this motion may be put in place.

What is an Ex Parte Motion In New Mexico?

Once a motion is filed, notice to the opposing party isn't required with regards to the court issuing an order or having a hearing to determine whether or not it is in the best interest of the child to change custody. Normally when someone files a motion in Family Law Court like to modify custody, notice must be provided to the other party first. However, ex parte motions are exceptions to this rule. Otherwise, once provided with notice the other party has the opportunity to respond, when they respond, the court sets a hearing on the matter. At the hearings both parties have the opportunity to present their case to the court on why custody should remain the same, otherwise known as the status quo, or be changed for the best interest of the child. That whole process provides notice to the defendant in this case to be prepared to defend the motion to modify time sharing, but that's not necessarily true for ex parte custody orders. In most cases there won't be the opportunity for the other party to respond mainly because the person filing the motion is not obligated to provide notice to the other party that they filed this motion for ex parte custody order. 

What does this mean? It means that if a child is in your custody and an official knocks on your door because there is an order placing the child in the care of someone else, you will have to turn over that child. Under the circumstances, courts issue ex parte custody orders without the respondents knowledge. 

However, there are certain processes to ensure that courts issue an ex parte custody order with due process for the defendant, which is the person that the child is being taken away from. The court is required after they issue that order to set a hearing. It is crucial that if the child is taken from you due to an ex parte order, that you check in with the court to find out when the court hearing is, which is usually within 10 days.  

Typically, the reason for filing a motion for ex parte custody order has to do with substance abuse and or neglect from the custodial parent. In cases like these, CYFD may get involved in and file an ex parte motion on behalf of the child. Additionally, courts have the authority to issue ex parte custody orders without an initial hearing. The courts do want to avail all parties proper due process to ensure that the best interest of the child(ren) are being met. 

If you are involved in a case where you think an ex parte custody order is crucial because you feel the child is in danger while in the care of a parent or guardian, with this information you will have a general understanding of how to proceed in the matter. 

How We Can Help

If you find yourself in an uncertain situation with regards to your custody agreement our experienced Albuquerque custody lawyers are here to help. Every family law case is different with its unique trials and tribulations, with the help of a professional you are more likely to obtain your desired outcome. You can contact us at (505) 317-4455 or chat with someone online to schedule an appointment to speak with an attorney.

]]>, 03 Jun 2021 18:37:00 EST, 01 Jun 2021 22:14:07 EST<![CDATA[What a great team!]]>, 26 May 2021 16:05:00, 25 May 2021 21:51:28 EST