Virginia Dugan, a Family Law Specialist at Atkinson & Kelsey, P.A, answers:
Is there something someone can do to stop – or at least to slow down – the divorce process?
When someone comes in for a consultation, they either know they’re getting a divorce or they’ve been completely blindsided by a petition. And the first thing they’ll say is, ‘What am I going to do? I don’t want a divorce. We have kids, we have a home, we have a business. I’m sure we can work this out. How can I slow it down?’
You can’t stop it but you certainly can put the brakes on. You can respond at the end of the 30 days if you’ve been served. You can respond at the last of the 30 days for your discovery. You can be not forthcoming with a lot of discovery, which means you would have to go through a motion to compel. You can kind of put the brakes on things, but you are not going to stop the divorce unless you reconcile.
Virginia Dugan is a family law attorney with the Albuquerque firm of Atkinson & Kelsey. A recognized Specialist in Family Law and a frequent speaker and writer on family law topics, she exclusively practices divorce and matrimonial law. She served as President of the State Bar of New Mexico in 2006 and continues to serve as Vice Chair of the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Committee. Learn more at www.atkinsonkelsey.com