Read the transcript of this video below.
Let’s start with the traditional divorce process: litigation. The fact is that very few divorce cases ever go to court; however, when you hire a divorce attorney using the traditional process, your attorney will proceed with your case as if it were going to court. The litigation process involves resolving some or all contested issues by taking them to a court or before an arbitrator for a decision. The parties generally have very little say in terms of how the dispute is resolved. The judge or arbitrator hears testimony, evidence, and argument and then bases their decision on what was presented to them. Certain information may be kept out of court or arbitration due to the rules of evidence. Litigation is generally more expensive than resolving the dispute by an out-of-court method.
These are three alternatives our firm offers to the litigation process that you and your spouse might want to consider:
The Collaborative Process: You and your spouse commit to resolving your case through the collaborative process and not going to court with the attorneys you choose to assist you in the process. Each party has their own collaboratively trained attorney. The attorneys assist the parties in forming a collaborative team, which may include neutral persons such as a child specialist, a divorce coach, and a financial specialist.
- The Mediation Process: A neutral third-party – usually an attorney who has been trained in mediation – helps the parties reach a mutually acceptable agreement through meetings with the divorcing couple. In many cases, the parties also choose to employ attorneys that either participate in the mediation or assist outside of the mediation process to review agreements and provide legal advice.
- Settlement Facilitation Process: This process is much like mediation; however, attorneys for each party are almost always present during the facilitation. An impartial person called a facilitator listens to you or your attorneys present a shorter version of your case and assists in negotiating a settlement. Unlike true mediation, which seeks to have the parties understand each other’s position and reach a point of mutual agreement, a facilitation is more driven by the attorneys trying to get compromises and concessions from each party using the advice of the settlement facilitator, which is based on how they have seen similar issues decided in court or past settlements.
There are multiple options for resolving the last chapter of your marriage or relationship. Decisions about what option is best suited to help you meet your goals should only be made with the care of an experienced family law attorney. The attorneys at Little, Gilman-Tepper & Batley have the knowledge, expertise, and resources to assist you with this decision.
New Mexico Matrimonial and Family Law Attorney Roberta S. Batley is a Board Recognized Specialist in Divorce and Family Law and a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Trained as a Collaborative attorney, she focuses her practice on representing business owners, their spouses, and other high-asset parties.