Once you made the decision to divorce in New Mexico, your next thoughts likely focused on how to get it done quickly so you can begin to move on with your life. However, divorces can take months–and sometimes even years–to make it to the finish line. While some things are going to be out of your control, such as the court calendar, there are mistakes you can make that will hold up your own divorce, including the common four missteps below.
Not Knowing What You Really Want
Before you and your spouse have meetings about the divorce agreements, you should already know what your real priorities are and which areas you are just not prepared to negotiate over. If you arrive without knowing exactly what you want, it can drag out the negotiations and the entire process.
As you consider what your goals are for the Divorce outcome, don’t forget to think about the following key areas.
. How to handle property with sentimental or financial value
. The approach to child custody and support, if applicable to your case
. Whether to seek spousal support
. How to handle pet ownership
. How any real estate is to be handled
. The approach to dividing financial obligations and debts
Representing Yourself Instead of Having an Attorney
It can be very tempting to represent yourself to save money, especially if you believe your divorce will proceed smoothly. However, this can come with a steep price tag, and you may find yourself making crucial errors and dragging the divorce out. Work with an experienced divorce attorney to avoid the pitfalls many people experience with “DIY” divorces. Even if you opt for mediation or another type of divorce resolution outside of a trial, your attorney will offer you valuable legal advice and guidance throughout the process.
Not Listening to Your Lawyer
Your attorney has the experience and knowledge you lack when it comes to divorce, and they are drawing on that well to advise you. Make it a point to listen to your lawyer, even if you do not always like what you hear. They have likely handled divorces with issues similar to yours in the past and have an idea of how your case may play out, so their advice is coming from an informed place.
If you find yourself not understanding the reasoning behind some of your attorney’s guidance, ask for a full explanation. Once you have the reasoning underlying your attorney’s advice, you may find it easier to accept. Evaluate how your own emotions may be clouding your judgment during this time to ensure you are making decisions based on information and not on your personal feelings.
Changing Your Mind on the Issues Halfway Through
If you change your mind on things that were previously settled, it may prolong your divorce because you and your spouse will be back at square one for that particular issue. This can even have a domino effect and cause prior agreements over other issues to fall apart. This is why it is so important to have a clear goal list before you begin divorce negotiations. When you sit down at the table for the first time knowing just what you are after, it is far less likely you will change your mind later.
Work with your attorney at every point in the divorce process to keep things moving as quickly as they possibly can. A divorce will ultimately take some time, but you can make it a sprint instead of a marathon by doing whatever you can to help keep things on track.