Here is a list of 10 things you should never do during a divorce. These things are based on my experience and through litigation results:
1. Never forget your children’s feelings and that they need you.
2. Never use the court system as a way of exacting revenge on the other side;
3. Never make big decisions based on emotional needs
4. Never refuse to communicate—with your attorney, your ex, your children.
5. Never think that you are 100% correct—when you do you get sorely dissapointed with the court and outcomes. Understand that you have to remove obstacles.
If you follow these pointers you will be better able to have a positive outcome in your case. If you or someone you know is going through a divorce have them call us so we can walk them through the expectations of a divorce along wtih pointing them in the direction they should go. We are here to help. 505-880-8737.
What is a no fault divorce? New Mexico is a no fault divorce. There does exist in New Mexico a statute that outlines the different grounds in which one can obtain a divorce. The list in the statute doesn’t necessarily sound like “no fault.” However, despite the grounds in which one can file under (abandonment, cruelty, etc.), New Mexico does not look to “fault” when dividing assets.
This means that you could be married to the meanest person around who has done horrible things and still they are going to be entitled to 50% split of community assets and debts. This is what is meant when one talks about no fault divorce. In addition, there is the catch all phrase of irreconciable differences that is generally used when seeking a divorce. However, our firm has used other grounds to obtain a divorce for an individual.
So, if you go and visit an attorney and think that telling him/her all of the bad things about the other person will somehow benefit you think again. Now be clear, some of those “bad” things may impact on custody issues but those “bad” things have no impact on the community property division or whether a divorce will or will not be granted. This is the general understanding of a “no fault” divorce.
If you have any questions regaridng your divorce case please contact us at 505-880-8737.
Below is an excerpt from a well known expert witness in custody disputes. The information provided herein helps you understand how to bolster or attack an expert in a custody case. These methods are employed by our firm in achieving great results for our clients.
Inductive reasoning, the “bottom-up” problem-solving approach discussed in our last Brief, characterizes the process by which psychologists conduct forensic evaluations: directed by specific referral questions, they gather data through their methods, reason from the data, and arrive at their conclusions and opinions.
This approach offers opportunities for convincing direct-exams and sharp cross-exams of the evaluator-expert. The key? Focus on the expert’s reasoning—the step that links the expert’s data to her conclusions and opinions. Although experts purport to bring the “knowledge and experience of their discipline” to the stand, they are vulnerable to the same reasoning pitfalls that affect us all: biased thinking that finalizes judgments too quickly. Competent expert testimony acknowledges and manages potential reasoning problems. Incompetent testimony glosses over, if not denies, those problems.
Expose the expert’s reasoning that supports her testimony by focusing on two caselaw and research-based lines of questions: Did the expert actively consider reasonable alternative explanations of her data? Is the expert aware of cognitive biases that may compromise her opinions?
The most effective strategy for experts to manage reasoning problems that could infect their opinions is to actively consider reasonable alternative explanations of their data until the best explanation survives—an effortful, critical thinking approach to which experts must commit themselves. Merely acknowledging that alternative explanations exist without purposefully marching the data through those explanations is insufficient. Psychologist Daniel Kahneman characterizes the effort that distinguishes the active from the passive approach: “Sustaining doubt is harder work than sliding into certainty.”
Law and psychology confirm the active strategy’s importance. Caselaw notes that considering alternative explanations is one indication of an opinion’s reliability. Cognitive research shows that an active strategy “breaks the inertia” that sets in if the expert is pulled by a particular view of the case.
Use this key principle, supported by the Brief Quotes below, when you examine experts by deposition or in court. For example, when an expert testifies that her data supports that a child has been abused or that a plaintiff has not sustained emotional trauma, ask the expert to list all other reasonable explanations she considered of the data and how she actively addressed each explanation before she settled on her opinions. Her answers will reveal the quality and extent of the reasoning that supports her opinions.
Our next few Briefs will address the second line of questions to expose the expert’s reasoning: cognitive biases that may compromise experts’ opinions.
References: Daniel W. Shuman & John A. Zervopoulos, Empathy or Objectivity: The Forensic Examiner’s Dilemma? 28 Beh. Sc. & Law 585, 595 (2010) (presents a model for managing biases by actively considering reasonable alternative explanations); John A. Zervopoulos, Confronting Mental Health Evidence 77 (2008).
• “Courts both before and after Daubert have found other factors relevant in determining whether expert testimony is sufficiently reliable to be considered by the trier of fact. These factors include: . . . (3) Whether the expert has adequately accounted for obvious alternative explanations.” Fed. R. Evid. 702 advisory committee’s note.
• “Forensic practitioners seek to maintain integrity by examining the issue or problem at hand from all reasonable perspectives and seek information that will differentially test plausible rival hypotheses.” American Psychological Assn., Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychology, Guideline 9.01 (2011).
John A. Zervopoulos, Ph.D., J.D., ABPP is a board certified forensic psychologist and lawyer who directs PsychologyLaw Partners, a forensic consulting service. Dr. Zervopoulos—combining the psychological and legal perspectives—assists lawyers to organize, critique, and use psychology-related materials and evidence in their cases. He also authored Confronting Mental Health Evidence: A Practical Guide to Reliability and Experts in Family Law, published in 2008 by the ABA. Dr. Zervopoulos is online at www.psychologylawpartners.com and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 972-458-8007.
If you have any questions regarding complex custody cases please contact us at 505-880-8737.