Atkinson & Kelsey, P.A.
Local:505-796-6238 Toll-Free:888-350-5903
Map & Directions Menu

Divorce mediation has its advantages

Going to court is not the only way to reach a divorce settlement or decree in New Mexico. Divorce mediation may reduce the time, money and emotional stress that often accompany the end of a marriage.

The parties engage in mediation, also known as alternative dispute resolution (ADR), outside the court and without the attendance of a judge. A neutral mediator listens to both spouses and makes recommendations on how the couple can settle their differences. The mediator should be a person who is familiar with divorce issues and recommending negotiated and creative solutions, such as a retired judge, lawyer, social worker or mental health professional.

Mediation allows the couple to control the process if they enter ADR early and take this process seriously. Spouses can raise issues that they feel are important or which specifically impact them. The mediator guides discussions and makes non-binding recommendations based upon these discussions. Each spouse can reject these recommendations or help modify them.

Mediation statements and any settlement offers or rejections are confidential. These are inadmissible in any other proceeding if mediation is unsuccessful.

Court proceedings, on the other hand, are an adversarial process which may be delayed and costly because of crowded dockets or postponements by the court or parties. This puts off closure or resolution of issues and may even delay the payment of support.

Judges also control the divorce proceedings and the issues that are raised. They make rulings, not recommendations, that are binding upon both spouses and which may be unfavorable.

Mediation may also promote post-divorce compliance with the final order. Both spouses played an active role negotiating a settlement that is more favorable to them and within their ability to execute.

In addition to providing advice and preparation before the mediation, a lawyer can help spouses in this process by providing moral support and assisting a spouse if the other spouse is also represented. An attorney can help raise issues, follow procedures and join negotiations on their client's behalf.

Source: Huffington Post, "Why choose mediation over litigation?" Vikki Ziegler, July 18, 2017

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information