Albuquerque Family Law Attorney

Family legal disputes can be as financially costly as they may be emotionally taxing. When families find themselves entangled in legal conflicts, an experienced Albuquerque family law attorney at Sutherland Law Firm, LLC can provide them with the support, guidance and representation necessary to:

  • Protect their rights and interests
  • Take the right steps and avoid costly mistakes as they proceed
  • Set their case up for the best possible outcome.
Parentage & Paternity

Call 505-539-3232 or Email Us for Answers about How to Proceed with Your Family Law Case

We can help you put the conflict behind you so you can get a fresh start and focus on the next chapter of your life.


Family law cases can include a range of legal issues, and it is not uncommon for a single case to involve multiple legal matters. Uncovering more about this legal practice, the following presents an overview of the most common types of family law cases and the specific legal issues they can involve.

When you are ready to discuss your family legal issues, please do not hesitate to contact Sutherland Law Firm, LLC.


When a marriage is over, spouses can have a few different options for legally ending their union. These options can include:

  • Annulment, the legal process of voiding a marriage – With an annulment, it will be as though the marriage never occurred (from a legal standpoint). There are specific grounds for seeking an annulment in New Mexico, such as bigamy or underage marriage without the consent of a parent/guardian.
  • Legal Separation, the legal process of establishing certain rights and duties between spouses who are living apart – Legal separations can be useful when spouses do not meet the residency requirements for divorce in New Mexico or when they want to take an interim step towards divorce. This can also be a good option for separating marital property while still retaining a spouse’s benefits (like Social Security benefits or health care coverage).
  • Divorce, the legal process of dissolving a marital union – As the most common option for ending a marriage, divorce can involve the division of marital property (assets and debts), as well as future support payment obligations and custody issues. Divorce cases can be uncontested or contested, depending on whether spouses dispute the issues of the case. In the event of contested divorce cases, spouses may be able to resolve them out of court, via divorce mediation. If that fails, the case will go to family court to be resolved.

The best option for you will depend on the details of your situation, along with your needs and goals. If you are unsure how to proceed with legally ending your marriage, simply contact a divorce attorney at Sutherland Law Firm for essential advice regarding your best options.


Whether custody disputes arise in or outside of divorce, they can be just as contentious and complex as a divorce case. Some of the issues that commonly arise in custody disputes can include (and many not be limited to):

  • The division of parenting time – The Court will focus on dividing physical custody (i.e., parenting time) in a manner that promotes the best interests of the child involved. Best interest factors include (and are not limited to) the child’s relationship with each parent, each parent’s overall health and the wishes of the parents and children.
  • The division of legal custody – Legal custody is the legal authority to make decisions about a child’s wellbeing, education and upbringing. While the courts will use best interest factors to resolve disputes over legal custody, it is important to understand that physical and legal custody do not have to be divided up the same way. In other words, a court can order 50-50 legal custody and 70-30 (or any other split) for physical custody.
  • Paternity disputes – DNA testing will be ordered by the court when paternity disputes arise. Resolving these disputes can be important to establishing rights to custody and/or child support.
  • Child support disputes – When determining whether and how much child support should be ordered in a given dispute, the court will rely on a complicated formula, which takes into account each parent’s income, the number of children involved and the division of parenting time (among other factors).