While many people associate the term “divorce” with all out domestic warfare, stressful protracted litigation, and bitter conflict, this is not the approach that is most common or desirable. The most contentious divorces can be expensive, emotionally taxing, and time-consuming. Fortunately, many divorces can be resolved through forms of alternate dispute resolution (ADR) that prevent dissipating marital assets which would otherwise be available to rebuild following divorce. Our New Mexico Attorneys have provided an overview of the ADR options for those involved in a New Mexico divorce.
Collaborative Divorce Process:
This form of divorce offers a problems solving approach that is geared toward mutually reaching solutions that provide long-term success as opposed to judge imposed orders that may prove unacceptable and spur ongoing post-judgment litigation. Both parties are represented by attorneys who often include psychological counselors, forensic accountants, child custody experts, and others to assist the parties in finding mutually beneficial win-win solutions. The parties negotiate and work with these experts to resolve problems. The process promotes settlement because the collaborative divorce process must be handled outside the courtroom. If the parties cannot agree so that the case escalates into a litigated divorce, the attorneys must withdraw from the case.
This process involves a mediator who does not represent either party. During mediation, the parties work with the mediator to agree on terms of a marital settlement agreement. Because this process leaves both parties unrepresented, it is best suited when there is no disparity in bargaining power or sophistication between the parties in the areas of financial matters.
Attorney Negotiated Settlement Facilitation:
The family lawyers for each party exercise primary responsibility for meeting and negotiating settlement terms. While each attorney consults with his or her client, the clients generally are not in the center of the negotiation process. This type of ADR minimizes the amount of in-person negotiations between divorcing parties.
All of these approaches can have advantages over litigation, but they also have their own potential drawbacks, so it is important to seek legal advice about the best approach given your unique circumstances. There also are divorces where litigation is not only unavoidable but desirable, so it is important to have an experienced New Mexico Attorney with a focus in family law issues assess your situation and make recommendations.
The above information is designed solely to illustrate general principles of law, and does not constitute a specific legal opinion on individual cases. We suggest that you contact experienced legal counsel for a specific opinion tailored to your individual circumstances.
If you have questions about divorce options in New Mexico, Jay Goodman & Associates offers a free consultation in our centrally located offices in Santa Fe and Albuquerque during which we discuss your situation and answer your questions. Call us today to schedule your free consultation at (505) 989-8117 to learn about your rights and options.