A divorce is among the most stressful situations you may face. It is not only emotionally stressful, it can be financially disastrous. It is important to understand the divorce process, the potential costs of divorce, and most importantly, the New Mexico divorce laws.
Our goal is to help you to obtain a divorce that leaves you both emotionally and financially intact. This is a goal worth pursuing.
We have provided quite a bit of information here and on the pages that follow as well as on our Divorce Law Blog to help you understand what lies ahead.
The concept of no-fault divorce is very important to understand from the beginning. Understanding this, and accepting it as the law, can go a long way toward minimizing the stress and costs of a divorce.
No fault divorce means that there is no need to show spousal misconduct to obtain a divorce.
There are many ways to approach a divorce. The approach will dictate the outcome and the costs. Like many other states New Mexico has enacted no-fault divorce statutes. No fault divorce means that there is no need to show spousal misconduct to obtain a divorce.
Unfortunately, fault is often the only focal point of the parties. The divorce when approached in this manner becomes a grudge match with little compromise on either side. This approach has severe economic and emotional costs associated with it.
In reality, there may or may not be fault for the divorce. However, no-fault divorce means that the courts do not take fault into account in any legal decisions related to the divorce. In other words, one party will not gain an advantage by alleging fault.
No gain in child custody, support, alimony or any other aspect of divorce through allegations of fault of one of the parties.
This means, with no-fault divorce, that neither party will obtain greater child custody rights, pay less or receive more child support, get more property in the end, get higher alimony or any of the other benefit related to the divorce.
Negotiated Settlement Through Settlement Facilitation
The preferred route, and the route that we encourage is negotiated settlement or mediation of all issues related to the divorce. In divorce, the mediation process is referred to as settlement facilitation.
Settlement facilitation is typically required by New Mexico courts prior to a divorce trial setting.
More often than not, the Court will require that the parties to attend a settlement facilitation (mediation) prior to trial. So in the vast majority of cases, there is really no point in resisting or otherwise avoiding settlement facilitation.
In many cases, parties that seem to have irreconcilable differences will through settlement facilitation reach either total or partial agreement on the many issues related to the divorce.
Mediation or settlement facilitation is a highly effective and efficient means of dissolving the marriage. It is generally beneficial to begin the process with this goal in mind.
Contested Divorce and Litigation
In a perfect world, every divorce would be resolved without conflict and litigation. Unfortunately, the world is not perfect and sometimes litigation is necessary to protect your rights and the welfare of your children.
No fault does not mean uncontested. With or without fault, divorces can move toward high conflict if the parties allow it.
Whether your divorce is uncontested or highly contested, you would be wise to understand your rights so that you can make smart decisions moving forward. This is true whether you simply draw up the paperwork on your own, go through settlement facilitation or even go to a full blown trial.
Understand Your Many Rights in a Divorce
Whether your divorce is high conflict or uncontested, there are a number of issues common to most divorces such as the Division of Property & Debt, Child Custody and Child Support. Depending upon the length of the marriage along with a number of other factors, alimony may also be an issue.
There are countless other issues that arise depending upon your situation. You should understand all of issues going in to your divorce so that you will know how best to proceed. For instance, depending upon the circumstances, your situation may dictate the Interim Division of Income & Expenses, awards of temporary custody, issuance of protective orders, and many other interim steps along the way to the finalization of your divorce.
Collins & Collins, P.C. Can Help!
Divorce is an extremely difficult and stressful process. The stress and strain, emotional and financial, cannot be avoided completely. However, it can be minimized. This begins with the selection of an experienced New Mexico divorce attorney.