Mediation, Negotiation, and Collaboration-from Chapter 6-Divorce in New Mexico

If your marriage is full of conflict, you might be asking how you can make the fighting stop.


You picture your divorce as having vicious attorneys, an angry spouse, and screaming matches. You wonder if there is a way out of this nightmare. Or, perhaps you and your spouse are parting ways amicably. Although you are in disagreement about how your divorce should be settled, you are clear that you want the process to be respectful and hostility-free. You’d rather spend your hard-earned money on your children’s college education than on legal fees. In either case, going to trial and having a judge make all of the decisions in your divorce is not inevitable. In fact, most New Mexico divorce cases settle without the need for a trial.

The processes of mediation, negotiation, and collaboration can help you and your spouse to resolve your disputed issues and to reach your own agreements without taking your case before the judge who will make the decisions for you.

Resolving your divorce through a mediated, negotiated, or collaborated settlement has many advantages. You can achieve a mutually satisfying agreement, have a known outcome with little risk of appeal, and often enjoy significantly lower legal fees. Despite the circumstances that led to the end of your marriage, it might be possible for your divorce to conclude peacefully with the help of these tools.

Both mediation and negotiation are methods used to help you and your spouse settle your divorce by reaching a written agreement rather than going to trial and having the judge make decisions for you. These methods are sometimes referred to as alternative dispute resolution (ADR).

Collaborative divorce is a method of resolving a divorce case where both parties have a strong commitment to settling their disputes and avoiding litigation. You and your spouse each hire an attorney trained in the collaborative law process. You and your attorneys enter into a written agreement (referred to as the disqualification agreement ) that provides that in the event either you or your spouse decides to take the case to court, both of you must terminate your representation by your collaborative attorneys and both parties must start anew
with litigation attorneys.

If a settlement is reached through negotiation or mediation or collaboration, one of the attorneys will put the agreement in writing in the form of a marital settlement agreement and final decree of dissolution of marriage for approval by you and your spouse.

For more information our book Divorce in New Mexico is available on the home page of our website for $14.95.

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