Divorce mediation is an option in New Mexico, and it can be a great way for you to settle your divorce without having to have a judge decide crucial matters for you. In mediation, an independent third party will work with you and your spouse to help you come to a settlement agreement. You can bring in experts to help deal with areas you may be struggling with, such as a financial professional for asset division, and both you and your soon-to-be ex can have an attorney on your side so you have someone there to guide you, give you advice and answers questions that the mediator cannot address.
Despite all the benefits mediation has to offer, people are sometimes hesitant to try it, and that is partly due to some myths surrounding the process. If any of the common misconceptions covered below are keeping you or your spouse away from this route, you could be missing out on the best approach to divorce in your situation.
A divorce is not wanted by one of the parties
Mediation can still be a possible option if your spouse does not want a divorce, but you will need to try to get him or her to understand that consent is not needed for a divorce in New Mexico. You will still be able to file for a divorce even if your spouse is not in agreement about it, so it’s important to explain to him or her that if you file in court and go through the entire process that way, both of you will lose control over it. It makes more sense to attempt mediation if you think it’s possible you can reach an agreement. This way, you and your spouse will be able to make these life-changing decisions for yourselves.
Mediation is therapy
Therapy and mediation are two entirely different things. The mediator will work to help you and your spouse settle your divorce, not repair your relationship. He or she may provide communication tips so that you can get through the process more easily, but your mediator will not offer marital advice or counseling of any kind. If your mediator does talk to you about communication, try to follow his or her advice because it will help to move the process along and increase the odds you’ll be successful.
Attorneys aren’t allowed
As noted above, you can hire an attorney to represent you during the mediation process to protect your rights, and your spouse can, too. Your attorney is involved in the process so you understand exactly what is happening and what your rights are throughout the negotiation and settlement phases. He or she can explain the upsides and downsides of any proposed agreements you’re presented with and help you create potential agreements and counter-terms of your own. The mediator must remain neutral, which means he or she cannot provide either you or your spouse with this type of legal advice.
The finances are too complicated
Sometimes, spouses with a large amount of assets believe that their financial situation is just too complex to be handled via mediation. However, you can bring in experts to deal with just that and other complicated areas, like child custody or a family business. While hiring experts as part of the mediation process will increase the overall cost, it can be worth it if it helps you reach an agreement with your spouse that is fair and acceptable to you. Don’t be afraid to ask the experts questions or speak to your attorney about any information you receive that you don’t fully understand.