ABQ Family Law Attorney

At Stratton Family Law, our New Mexico family law attorneys tirelessly stand up for your legal and financial rights. While the case is active, we proactively communicate with you, so you can make the best possible decisions for your family in any of the areas we routinely handle.

Pre-Divorce Services

New Mexico lawmakers recently adopted the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act. The UPAA streamlines the complex laws and procedures which once controlled this area. So, an Albuquerque family law attorney can draw up a solid premarital agreement, along with wills, trusts, and other executory documents, in only one office visit.

The UPAA also standardized enforcement matters. Previously, individual judges could endorse or disregard prenups almost at will. Now, these agreements are enforceable, unless they are unconscionably unfair or there is clear evidence of extreme coercion. Additionally, most other states are also UPAA states. So, if you move across state lines, your prenup may still be enforceable.

Marriage Dissolution

The divorce rate has dropped recently, mostly because the marriage rate has declined as well. Nevertheless, the divorce rate is still about twice as high as it was in the late 1900s. Then as now, a marriage dissolution involves some complex emotional and financial issues. Some recent laws have streamlined the process, to some extent. But these procedural changes haven’t affected the underlying issues in these cases.

At Stratton Family Law, the legal professionals in our divorce division strongly advocate for our clients. At the same time, we look for long-lasting and cost-effective solutions to the difficult issues that arise during a divorce. Our goal, like your goal, is to make the process as painless as possible, so both spouses may live the rest of their lives.

Post-Divorce Services

Although a judge issues a “final” order at the end of a divorce case, these matters never entirely close. Instead, they simply lie dormant for a few years at a time. Child custody and financial support matters usually require frequent modification.

Changed emotional or financial circumstances could require a motion to modify. Most people change jobs frequently. These job changes usually involve a new paycheck size and a new address. Both these changes could substantially affect child visitation and child custody provisions, as well as spousal and child support obligations.

Most family law matters, including most modification matters, settle out of court. At Stratton Family Law, our lawyers aren’t just good litigators. They are also good negotiators. So, we are well-positioned to successfully resolve these matters without running up large legal bills and without an emotional courtroom showdown that no one really wants.

Many divorce orders, especially financial support, often require enforcement as well. We offer these families a wide range of solutions, whether that’s firing a warning shot, throwing the book at a serial offender, or something in between these two extremes. Our goal in enforcement matters is to cure the immediate problem and short-circuit the need for future motion to enforce.

Non-Divorce Services

Paternity, adoption, and grandparents’ rights are the most common non-divorce matters our New Mexico family law attorneys handle.

Many paternity cases immediately follow an out-of-wedlock birth. If a father signs the birth certificate, that move creates an administrative relationship, mostly for child support purposes. A paternity action creates a legal relationship. This relationship allows a father to have a say in important matters, like where the child lives and what doctor the child sees. More importantly, a legal relationship creates a predictable end enforceable visitation schedule. This contact enables a biological father to become an emotional father.

Other parents in these situations follow informal custody and support orders for months or years. They simply don’t see the need to go to court. However, without judicial intervention, either party could unilaterally back out of the existing agreement. This potential instability is bad for everyone, especially the children.

Adoptions are nearly always a very exciting time. At Stratton Family Law, we deal with several different kinds of adoptions, including:

  • Agency Adoptions: Although the adoption agency does most of the work, the adopting parents still need an attorney to represent them and ensure that their legal and emotional interests are protected.
  • Private Adoptions: New Mexico has very strict laws in this area, regarding things like when a mother may relinquish her parental rights and how much financial support an adopting family can pay.
  • Step Parent Adoptions: Courts usually streamline these adoptions, since a step parent steps into the shoes of a parent. However, these matters are still complex, especially in areas like termination of a mother’s or father’s parental rights.

Grandparents have limited visitation rights in New Mexico. However, if continued contact with the grandchild is in the child’s best interests, court-ordered visitation is usually available.

If your family is in transition, you need solid legal representation. For a confidential consultation with an experienced family law attorney in Albuquerque, contact Stratton Family Law. The sooner you reach out to us, the sooner we start working for you.