Divorce Process

Divorces can vary as much as the people who are in them, and each divorce has its own unique challenges and issues. Some divorces are fairly simple and straightforward. Others are more complex and costly, especially if high net worth and complex assets are involved. At its core, however, there is a basic outline of the divorce process when ending a marriage in New Mexico.

At the law firm of Stephen P. Eaton, Attorney at Law, we can guide you through the divorce process and help you understand your rights and your best options. We can help you make decisions regarding child custody, child support, alimony/spousal support, property division and other issues. Our firm will tailor our legal service to your individual needs and provide the personal attention that your situation deserves.

If you are considering filing for divorce, it is in your best interests to consult with an experienced Albuquerque divorce attorney. Call us at 505 837-9200.

The Divorce Process in New Mexico

Not all divorce cases go to court. Most people choose some form of resolution that avoids court completely, including divorce mediation or collaborative divorce.

We feel it is usually best to try to resolve your issues without going to court. When that is not possible, the legal divorce court process can be outlined as follows:

  1. One spouse consults with a lawyer and drafts a petition to the court requesting a divorce and identifying the issues to be resolved.
  2. The petition is filed with the court and served on the other spouse.
  3. The served spouse is required to respond to the petition within the prescribed time limit or it will be assumed that the divorce petition is not contested. The response lets the court know what matters are at issue and what matters are agreed.
  4. Both spouses engage in discovery, where they exchange documents and information that relate to issues of their divorce, include finances, business information and child care information.
  5. At any time in this process, or before the formal court process begins, the spouses may engage in collaborative divorce, mediation or other forms of resolution in order to reach a settlement.
  6. If a settlement is reached, it is submitted to the court from approval and the judge will issue a divorce decree.
  7. If a settlement is not reached, the case will go to trial.
  8. At trial, all the evidence and arguments will be presented for both sides and the judge will make a determination about the divorce, which can be appealed by either party.
  9. Divorce trials in New Mexico are brief. The evidence is usually limited in a way that rarely makes people feel the judge who decided their case really understood them or their situation. That’s why most people try to settle their claims before having a trial.

How Long Your Divorce Will Take Depends on You

When everyone is in total agreement about the issues of divorce from the outset, the process may take less than three months to resolve. If issues need to be negotiated, the process may take anywhere from three to six months. When a negotiated resolution is reached, often neither party has to go to court.

If the divorce goes to trial, the process can take much longer. As the length of time necessary to resolve the divorce goes up, so does the cost of the divorce. When couples agree to cooperate and come up with a settlement prior to court, they can usually save a great deal of time, money and frustration.

Contact Santa Fe Divorce Settlement Attorney Stephen P. Eaton

For more information about how to get a divorce in New Mexico and how to protect your rights, contact Stephen P. Eaton, Attorney at Law. Call us at 505-837-9200. We accept all major credit cards as payment for our legal services.