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Divorce Options in New Mexico – Part 1

No Fault Divorce

In New Mexico, we have what is known as unilateral no fault divorce. This means that anyone who wants a divorce can get one, no matter what their reason is or if their spouse also wants the divorce. As long as one party sees irreconcilable differences, the divorce will proceed. It is also important to note that in order to get divorced in New Mexico, one spouse must have lived in the state for at least six months. With these factors in mind, what are your options for divorce in New Mexico? Four things you should be aware of are traditional divorce, collaborative divorce, divorce mediation, and uncontested divorce.

Option 1: Traditional Divorce

Traditional divorce is likely to be the slowest, most expensive option. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t the right choice in many cases. If you feel your spouse is out to get you financially, or the two of you have little to no ability to negotiate and come to agreement regarding your divorce, then traditional divorce may be the best way to ensure that your rights and interests are protected. Just be aware that a traditional divorce will be subject to the scheduling constraints of the court system, which adds time, and that each step in the process will be litigated, which adds attorney’s fees. For a traditional divorce, you’ll want to select an attorney with a wealth of courtroom experience and a proven track record as a litigator.

Option 2: Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorce is a method of dissolving marriage that has been steadily gaining in popularity since its inception in the early 90s. In a collaborative divorce, both parties begin by signing a participation agreement. In this agreement, they pledge to resolve their divorce outside of the court system. Their attorneys are also bound by this agreement, therefore, if the divorce does end up in a courtroom, both spouses will have to hire different lawyers. By avoiding the courtroom, collaborative divorce avoids much of the delay and expense of traditional divorce. After the participation agreement is signed, the spouses will engage in a series of four way meetings (with their respective attorneys) to negotiate the terms of the divorce, from child support, custody, and visitation to division of property. Since the outcomes are negotiated exclusively between the divorcing spouses, collaborative divorce also avoids much of the uncertainty that comes along with the litigation of a traditional divorce.

Check back soon for Divorce Options in New Mexico – Part 2

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