Know Your Divorce Process Options

Your Initial "Cross Roads" Decision

Deciding to divorce carries significant impact emotionally and financially, and even extends to the supporting community of family, friends, and associates. Which divorce process you select is just as important as the decision to divorce. Many couples are not fully aware of the options available to them or their consequences.  This page is intended to provide a quick overview of these options. 

Litigation - The "Default" Option

There is no other way around it. Only a judge can divorce you. To get that judge's signature, you must file a lawsuit. If you do not avail yourself of another method, you will have to resolve all divorce issues by litigating it before a judge in an open court hearing. Sometimes, this is the only, if not best, way to resolve the divorce.  Fortunately, there are plenty of other options. 

Mediation - A Better Way - For Most Families

Please see our Mediation page that delves into this method more fully. Be sure that the mediator you consider to use is well trained and experienced to ensure a better settlement product and divorce process experience. 

Collaborative Practice - A Team of Experts

Most divorces of any significance (in terms of years married, kids, or money) require financial and custodial assessment, among others. Collaborative Divorce has been an option in New Mexico since 2001. In such cases, both spouses are represented by their own specially trained lawyer, and the team then uses the services of a Child Specialist (mental health professional) and Financial Specialist (e.g., CPA) in order to optimize information and keep a lid on costs. Much of the work is delgated down to the subject expert to also minimize costs. Such cases portend to offer excellent results, both in the short and long term. It is an excellent non-litigated process, more expensive than mediaiton.

Lawyer - Negotiated Divorce

Some cases just require that both spouses be represented by a lawyer throughout the entire process. They may not need to resolve all or most issues through a court hearing or trial. Depending on the lawyers chosen and the temperament and conflict dynamic between the spouses, some cases can be resolved just by lawyer negotiation. The problem is, the one spouse cannot manage, control, or influence which  lawyer the other spouse decides to hire.  

Spouse - Negotiated Divorce

The legal phrase "caveat emptor" ("buyer beware") applies to this option. Too often, there is a power imbalance between the spouses (i.e., informational, financial, educational, physical, emotional, etc.). Also, the spouses may make too many concessions because they  are just too tired of the conflict. Further, even more often, most spouses don't know many of the  legal and practical nuances that divorce decisions can affect. Contact us to schedule your consultation to better explore your options and to select the process that best suits your needs.