If you have been accused or arrested for domestic violence, it can negatively impact your life on multiple levels. It could tarnish your reputation within the community, amongst family members and may put your parental rights in danger. Even if an arrest did not occur, a police report will be filed once the police become involved. If you are dealing with accusations of domestic violence or currently have a domestic violence case pending, you should speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
Domestic Violence Cases in New Mexico
Attorney Cynthia Payne Talks Domestic Violence
Child Custody and Domestic Violence
In some domestic violence situations, the court will grant restraining orders that require the allegedly abusive parent to stay away from the children and the other parent. The parent protected by the restraining order tends to have sole custody of the child in these situations. If the parent who is accused of being abusive is permitted to see the child, it is often with limited supervised visitation.
Objections to Domestic Violence Restraining Orders
In domestic violence cases, a temporary restraining order is entered. Under the New Mexico Family Violence Act, a person that has the restraining order against him has the right to dispute the entry of a long-term restraining order. During this proceeding, we assert certain defenses that are applicable to our client’s case and file a counter-petition if appropriate. Leading up to the hearing we will prepare a full defense to present in court or attempt to negotiate a beneficial resolution with the other side.
Even if a parent is accused of committing domestic violence, there still remains a responsibility to continue child support payments. If you are unable to keep up with the child support payments due to the ongoing legal proceedings or if alternative payment arrangements need to be made, we will help you handle those issues. We will work closely with you to come up with a solution that accommodates your current situation.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Are domestic violence charges a felony?
Acts constituting domestic violence can occur in several different scenarios. Sometimes a party has a mandatory criminal restraining order that stems from criminal charges (misdemeanor and/or felony domestic charges). Other times, there are no criminal charges, but a party still has grounds to secure a civil protection order.
Is domestic violence grounds for divorce in New Mexico?
New Mexico is a “no-fault” state. So, while acts of domestic violence may be a catalyst for seeking a divorce, neither party will gain a financial advantage or suffer a financial disadvantage based on a finding of domestic violence. If domestic violence is an issue within the marriage, it is advisable to speak with an attorney to find out the best way to approach a divorce.
Will being accused of domestic violence affect my child custody rights?
While domestic violence will not alter the financial outcome of a dissolution, if a criminal or family law court determines that you have committed acts of domestic violence, it may affect your child custody rights. If it is believed that you pose a danger to your child, the court may deny visitation or allow minimal supervised visits. It could also be grounds for one party to act unilaterally for the benefit of the children. This is why it is so important to get an experienced attorney involved in your case as soon as possible.
What is the difference between a criminal domestic abuse case and a civil domestic abuse case?
A criminal domestic violence case is handled by the state prosecutor. Domestic violence cases are classified as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the severity of the actions that are being alleged. A criminal case conviction could lead to serving time in jail or prison.
In a civil domestic abuse case, the accused will have a temporary order of protection issued against him that prevents him from having contact with the accuser. Within a short period of time, the case will be set for hearing. From there your attorney will prepare you for your hearing as well as attempt to negotiate a favorable resolution for you. If it is determined that without the issuance of a permanent protection order the behavior will continue, it could be grounds to make the protection order permanent.
Can domestic violence charges be expunged in New Mexico?
Yes, in certain cases, criminal domestic violence charges can be expunged after a certain period of time has passed and certain requirements are met. An attorney can help assess your specific case and when you may have the charges expunged.
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