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Divorce Options in New Mexico – Part 2

This post is part of a two part series on divorce options in New Mexico. If you haven’t already read part 1, I recommend you do so first.

Divorce Options Continued

Option 3: Divorce Mediation

Divorce mediation is another method of divorce that avoids the time and expense of court proceedings. In a mediated divorce, the couple will hire a neutral mediator to facilitate the negotiation of their divorce. The mediator may be a lawyer, but if they are, they may not have a client relationship with either spouse. The spouses may also elect to hire attorneys to represent their interests during mediation, and those lawyers may attend the mediation sessions with their clients. However, having lawyers present at all mediation sessions will increase the cost associated with the process, thereby negating one of its central advantages. Another benefit of divorce mediation is that the outcome is entirely controlled by the spouses, and the agreements reached are voluntary. Consequently, mediated divorce agreements are more likely to be followed than those enforced via court order.

Option 4: Summary Divorce

A summary divorce, also known as an uncontested divorce, is the final step in a collaborative divorce or mediated divorce. Summary divorce means that in the eyes of the court you are in agreement on the terms of your divorce. As long as the court believes the agreement is fair, the divorce will be granted. All divorces besides traditional, litigated divorces fall into this category. However, it is possible to get a summary divorce without going through the collaborative process or going through divorce mediation. If the spouses can work out the terms of the divorce between one another, all they need to do is fill out the proper paperwork and pay the state a fee. For the majority of couples, it’s probably a better idea to hire some form of professional help, be it mediation or representation, than it is to try and go it alone.

Still not sure which type of divorce is the right choice for you? Ready to get started on the collaborative process, on divorce mediation, or on your traditional divorce? Give Don Harris a call. He has over 25 years of experience, and is a member of the International Association of Collaborative Professionals as well as the New Mexico Collaborative Practice Group.

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