Divorce Trials in New Mexico Is An Option When Parties Cannot Come to An Agreement.
New Mexico Financial and Family Law, led by Don Harris, approaches each case individually. Although most New Mexico divorce cases address common issues, each of our clients has specific needs and goals and we design a strategy that considers all of their personal needs and goals. We always thoroughly explain the legal options and the likely consequences to the client so our clients can make an informed decisions about the best course of action for them. We discuss with our clients whether divorce litigation, or mediation may be the best course of action to take to meet both short term and long term issues. A divorce trial is always an option if parties cannot come to an agreement.
Although litigation is always an option the first thing one needs to understand about divorce litigation is that, if possible, litigation (going to trial) is something to avoid. The reasons are numerous and some of them are addressed in our Divorce Mediation page. However, there are times and circumstances where divorce litigation is not only unavoidable but the best option available. Sometimes the other person is so dishonest or uncooperative that divorce litigation is essential. You can contact our firm for information or an initial consultation.
New Mexico Divorce Law – Divorce Trials Documentation
For both mediated and litigated divorces much of the same documentation and many of the same processes are involved. The collection and documentation of marital assets, the status of the children, documentation of all financial assets, liabilities, and obligations are some of the common features.
Where the difference lies is in how this information may have to be collected in an adversarial environment and depositions may have to be taken, experts in valuation of property and businesses can be called upon by, for example a Forensic CPA. Forensic accountants not only utilize their accounting and auditing skills, but also use their investigative skills to determine what events actually took place in a financial setting. New Mexico Financial and Family Law, when appropriate, calls on highly qualified financial experts to support our clients in divorce litigation proceedings.
New Mexico Divorce Law – Divorce Trials Investigations
Investigation is the act of determining whether criminal matters such as theft, financial fraud, child or spousal abuse activities, either currently or in the past are involved. Forensic accountants may be retained to search for hidden assets in a divorce case. Private investigators may be hired to perform background or past histories or current activities investigations. Social services and psychiatric specialists may be called on to provide expert testimony or opinions where abuse has occurred. New Mexico Financial and Family Law maintains relationships with specialists in investigations and calls upon their services as needed to support their client’s divorce litigation.
New Mexico Divorce Law – Trial Expectations
What can one expect in a litigated divorce? The likely answer is a long and expensive process. This is why New Mexico Financial and Family Law works toward a mediated divorce rather than a litigated divorce. We recognize that there are circumstances when a trial (litigation) is either necessary or desirable and properly represents his clients interests when perusing either form.
Interviews – Counsel (Lawyers in New Mexico Financial and Family Law)
Depositions – Opposing party and/or third parties
Stipulations – Specifying or arrange in an agreement
Filing complaint for divorce and have a summons and copy of the complaint served on your spouse.
Motions (written requests to the court) for temporary orders may be filed and served on your spouse.
Hearing on motions will take place after your spouse directly or through opposing counsel have been notified.
Temporary orders are issued by the court after a hearing. Both parties have a chance to speak through their lawyers or may speak for themselves.
Discovery and Exchange Financial statements and other information must be exchanged. The investigation or discovery of information relative to the case, like the identification and valuation of assets; psychological profiles of the parents and children, if custody is an issue; employability of the parties, etc. occurs here. It is at the conclusion of this phase that many divorces pursuing a litigated path may be settled.
Request for Pretrial Conference: If the case is not settled after discovery is completed, your attorney will ask the court to schedule a conference with the judge. Prior to meeting the judge, you and your spouse must meet in person with your lawyers. The only exception: if you have an abuse prevention order, you are not required to meet in person. If you do not reach an agreement, your lawyer must prepare a pretrial memorandum outlining your case, including the relevant facts and law.
Pretrial Conference: The judge will read the pretrial memoranda prepared by both parties’ lawyers and will give an oral opinion on the parties’ respective presentations. The conference usually takes place in the courtroom.
Request for Trial: If the parties fail to settle as a result of the judge’s remarks, the lawyers will request a trial date. Depending on the court’s docket, the parties must wait many months before the trial date is scheduled.
Trial: Divorce trials take place before a judge without a jury. Most divorce trials take two to three days.
Proposed Findings of Fact, Rulings of Law and Judgment: Your lawyer prepares and submits what you would like the judge to do after trial.
Final Decree: This is the final judgment in your case. At this point the marital community is “severed” meaning your income and property awarded belong to you alone, and the same for your ex-spouse. It also means that there is no possibility of accumulating any more “community debt.” You are legally allowed to remarry after the Final Decree. The child-related terms and alimony provisions of the judgment remain in effect unless and until a material change in circumstances occurs, in which event you may file a complaint for modification. Property issues are not subject to modification.