Family legal issues can be as overwhelming as they may be stressful. Whether you are facing divorce, custody disputes, or other family legal battles, the Las Cruces family law attorneys at Sutherland Law Firm, LLC are ready to partner with you and aggressively advocate your rights to help you successfully resolve your case.
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for Essential Legal Advice & Insights Regarding Your Case
We can help you put the conflict behind you so you can focus on your new beginning. We welcome your calls and emails whenever you are ready for answers regarding your case. Until then, we invite you to explore the following, which sheds some important light on how to prepare for various types of family law cases.
How to Prepare for a Family Law Case: 4 Essential Facts about the Discovery Process
Discovery is the fact-finding process that takes place after a legal case has been initiated but before that case goes to mediation or court to be resolved. The intent of discovery is to allow both parties in a family legal dispute to gather evidence that may be relevant to their case. Consequently, the discovery process for a family legal dispute can be an important first step in building a strong case.
While an attorney at Sutherland Law Firm, LLC can oversee all aspects of the discovery process, as well as your case, the following are some important facts to generally understand this process:
- There are specific rules pertaining to the discovery process – New Mexico has enacted Rules of Civil Procedure1 that dictate how discovery works, the obligations of both parties involved in the process, and the timelines associated with the process. Failing to comply with the rules of discovery could result in court sanctions, the court prohibiting certain evidence from being presented in the case, and/or other penalties.
- The family court may order a discovery conference – At any point, a New Mexico family court can order both parties to participate in a discovery conference. This conference may also be ordered at the request of either of the parties unless the court deems the conference unnecessary. After this conference is held, the court may set limits on the scope of the discovery, establish a schedule for discovery to take place, and/or issue other orders related to this process.
- Discovery can involve the exchange of documents between both parties – This can include requesting and exchanging physical copies of documents and/or explaining where and how the other party can find electronic documents. Examples of the documents that may be exchanged in discovery for family law cases include (but are not limited to):
- Bank account statements
- Retirement account statements
- Business records
- Life insurance policies
- Debt records, like loan statements or credit card bills
- Ownership documents, like property titles or deeds.
- It can also involve depositions and other proceedings – A deposition is a process of providing sworn testimony outside the courtroom. Depositions can be conducted in person (orally) or via writing. During a deposition, the “witness” will be asked a series of questions and must answer those questions (and only those questions). Witnesses who can be deposed in a family law case can include either of the disputing parties, expert witnesses, or others whose testimony is deemed to be relevant to the case. In addition to depositions, other proceedings that may be involved in the discovery process can include interrogatories, as well as requests for admissions.
When it comes to discovery for family law cases, the bottom line is that:
- The process can be complicated.
- Knowing how to successfully navigate the discovery process can be integral to the strength and success of your case moving forward.
When custody issues arise, the family court will only intervene when parents cannot agree on how to share custody. In these disputes, the court will determine what lies in the involved child’s (or children’s) best interests by examining factors like (but not limited to):
- The wishes of each parent and of the child (if the child is mature enough to share these with the court)
- The physical and mental health of the parents
- Each parent’s willingness to support a loving relationship between the child and the other parent
- The location and proximity of each parent’s residence.
The Las Cruces family lawyers at Sutherland Law Firm, LLC are vastly experienced at representing clients in all types of child custody cases, including those involving paternity issues, multiple children, relocations out of state, and various other facets of complexities.
Child support can be an inevitable part of a child custody case. To determine child support obligations and amounts, a specific formula is used to evaluate factors like each parent’s income, the division of child custody, and the number of children involved.
Once child support has been established:
- The orders will be legally binding, and they can only be changed by going back to court and seeking a modification of child support orders.
- Failing to pay court-ordered child support can result in penalties like jail, wage garnishment, and drivers’ license suspensions.
At Sutherland Law Firm, LLC, our lawyers have helped numerous clients establish, enforce, and modify child support orders. We can effectively protect your rights and interests whenever you are facing child support issues.
When you’re ready to grow your family via adoption, you’ll have a number of options. While you may pursue an open or closed adoption, you can also adopt privately or via an agency. The best option will depend on your circumstances and needs.
Regardless of the nature of adoption, the process can be complicated – and taking the rights steps at each juncture can be critical to moving through the process efficiently, with minimal costs and delays.
That’s where an experienced adoption attorney at Sutherland Law Firm, LLC can provide invaluable support, guidance, and representation. Let us explain more about your options, the process, and how we can help you successfully pursue an adoption.
Domestic violence allegations can arise in or outside of a divorce case. In general, when these allegations arise, it’s important for victims to take prompt action to protect themselves and their children by, for instance, securing protective orders and temporary custody orders.
While many of these allegations are true and victims can turn to the courts for protection and support, it’s important to note that some accusations are false. In fact, false allegations of domestic violence may arise when one party may be trying to gain leverage in a divorce or custody case.
Whether you have been victimized by domestic violence – or by false allegations of domestic violence, you can turn to the attorneys at Sutherland Law Firm, LLC for extraordinary advocacy.
Get More Helpful Answers & Effective Advocacy for Your Case: Contact a Las Cruces Family Law Attorney at Sutherland Law Firm, LLC
When family legal issues arise, you are NOT alone. You can turn to an experienced Las Cruces family law attorney at Sutherland Law Firm, LLC for exceptional legal counsel and support.
Call 720-213-5555 or email our firm for important answers about your options, as well as more information about our family law services and how we can help you.
With more than 40 years of family law experience, our lawyers have the knowledge, commitment, and skills you can count on for effective representation and the best possible outcomes to your case. Our goal is to help you get through the difficult times so you can focus on the next chapter of your life.
1: New Mexico Law Regarding General Provisions Governing Discovery