If you and your spouse have been able to come to a complete agreement regarding the division of property and time-sharing with the children, an uncontested divorce may be your best option. In an uncontested divorce, an attorney is hired to represent one party and the other party represents him or herself. The attorney will give guidance to the client on the law and how that Court might rule on certain issues and will address numerous issues the client may not think to address—tax consequences of property exchanges, federal law requirements regarding the division of retirement accounts, etc. Ultimately, however, it is up to the client to reach an agreement with his or her spouse. Once a complete agreement has been made, the divorce attorney will prepare the divorce packet memorializing the agreements made between the parties and file all documents with the Court. No appearance before a Judge is required.
New Mexico Uncontested Divorce Lawyers
Can You Make an Uncontested Divorce Work?
The Difference Between Uncontested Divorce and Mediation
If you and your spouse have reached an agreement on some terms of your divorce, but would like an attorney to help you resolve the remaining issues, another good option can be a Mediated Divorce. In a mediated divorce, however, the attorney acts as a neutral third party who facilitates a settlement based upon his or her understanding of New Mexico law. In a mediation, the attorney usually prepares all paperwork necessary to finalize the divorce.
Can You Prepare Your Own Uncontested Divorce Documents?
Every year, couples throughout New Mexico successfully handle their own uncontested divorces. At the same, many couples create even further problems for themselves because of mistakes or oversights they make preparing their own documents or by using online companies who promise a cheap divorce packet. A few things you should consider when deciding whether to handle your own divorce rather than hiring an attorney are:
- The complexity of your divorce – People with few assets and debts have a far better chance of doing this successfully than people with complicated issues, especially involving child custody, spousal support, and real estate and retirement accounts.
- How well are you getting along? Completing an uncontested divorce packet does require that you and spouse spend some time and effort completing and filing the correct documents. We have certainly seen parties do this successfully. On the other hand, we have also seen many cases that should have settled, that instead fell apart because the parties could not cooperate sufficiently.
- How much work are you willing top put in? While most courts will provide you with an uncontested packet, there are still many questions you are going to have to figure out how to resolve, as well as determining which documents should be filed in your case.
- Unforeseen issues – Where we see the most problems in pro-se uncontested divorces are usually in the areas of taxes, child custody, retirement, how to deal with the marital home, and properly dividing debt. Even divorce packets you obtain from court do not explain how to draft things like enforcement provisions and alternative to returning to court. This means that in some situations, parties are creating problems around issues they do not even know exist.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is an uncontested divorce?
An uncontested divorce is a divorce in which the parties have agreed to resolution of all (or at least most) of their legal issues before filing their divorce petition. This allows for a much more flexible and speedy resolution of the divorce case.
How long do uncontested divorces take?
An uncontested divorce is beneficial for clients largely due to the speed at which a case can start and end. How long an uncontested divorce can take ranges from a few weeks to a few months. Sometimes,a short hearing may be necessary prior to the decree entering, but many uncontested cases do not require appearing in court.
How do uncontested divorces work?
Uncontested divorces can be done with or without lawyers. If lawyers are involved, one lawyer usually prepares documents that reflect the agreements of the parties. Some additional negotiation is often done, then the parties sign and file the documents, resulting in a final decree of divorce being issued by the court. The same process is followed in cases without attorneys, except the parties themselves, rather than the attorneys prepare the documents, which are often obtained online or from the courthouse.
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