Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorce is a type of alternative dispute resolution that is becoming more and more common in New Mexico. Collaborative divorce is an option that divorcing spouses may use instead of a formal, adversarial divorce procedure.

What Is Collaborative Divorce?

In collaborative divorce, the spouses each retain a lawyer trained in collaborative divorce procedures. The attorneys and the clients all sign an agreement that they will not litigate the divorce and that they will openly share all relevant financial and other information. The attorneys agree that, if the collaborative process is unsuccessful, they will not represent the clients in any divorce litigation. This agreement helps encourage settlement.

In a collaborative divorce, the parties share experts, which helps reduce costs. If a financial professional is needed to provide an opinion regarding property division, everyone agrees on a qualified expert and accepts that expert’s report. The same holds true for other types of experts whose opinions might be needed on matters of child support, child custody or alimony; such experts might include child development specialists, vocational experts and mental health professionals.

Because collaborative divorce requires everyone to commit to settle the disputed questions rather than litigate them, a collaborative divorce can relieve divorcing spouses of a lot of stress often associated with a divorce, which can be especially positive for any children affected by the divorce.

A collaborative divorce is also more private than a formal divorce trial, which may make it appropriate in divorces in families with very high assets.  Collaborative law is a kinder, gentler approach to divorce that meets the needs of many people who do not want to do battle with a wife or husband.

Clients who opt for collaborative divorce want a reasonable, rational way to complete the legal necessities of divorce. Collaborative law levels the playing field for clients pursuing a reasonable, amicable divorce, custody arrangement and property solution.

Collaborative divorce questions? Call Atkinson & Kelsey at 505-883-3070 or write us using this online form.