Las Cruces Divorce & Family Mediation Services

Albuquerque Collaborative Divorce & Divorce Mediation Attorneys

Informal Divorce Options

Informal divorce processes can be effective methods of resolving divorce disputes outside of court. With an informal divorce, spouses can come together in a cooperative, non-adversarial environment to try to develop a fair, practical resolution to their conflict.

At Sutherland Law Firm, LLC, our skilled, compassionate attorneys, and mediators have extensive experience helping clients work out their disputes via informal divorce options.

Dedicated to protecting our client’s interests and helping them achieve their goals, we focus on promoting effective communication, creative solutions, and mutually beneficial outcomes that will work best for you, your family, and your future.

Call  505-539-3232 or Email Us for More Information about Informal Divorce Services & Representation

We are ready to help you get through the difficult times so you can get a fresh start and focus on your new beginning.


In collaborative divorce, spouses and their attorneys come together to try to work out agreeable solutions to the disputes associated with a given case. While collaborative divorce does not involve the oversight of a judge, a mediator, or some other third party, it can involve the assistance of experts and professionals like counselors, psychologists, child custody experts, and others.

When either or both parties withdraw from the collaborative divorce process before a settlement is reached, divorce mediation or a contested divorce (in court) may be the next step towards resolving the case.


Mediation is a legal proceeding in which disputing parties work with a neutral third party (i.e., a mediator) to attempt to reach an agreement on the points of contention. As such, mediation allows both parties to have a more active role in developing the solution to their disputes (than a contested divorce proceeding through court would allow).

In New Mexico divorce and child custody cases, mediation may be requested by the disputing parties, or it can be ordered by the court before the dispute goes before the family law judge. If mediation results in:

  • An agreement, the terms of that agreement can be presented to (and approved by) the court, ending the dispute and preventing the need for further court proceedings
  • No resolution, the parties can pursue other options for resolving the dispute, which generally means taking the case to court for a family law judge to make a final determination.


Collaborative divorce and divorce mediation can be beneficial in a number of ways in that these options can:

  • Minimize the costs of resolving the dispute – When successful, informal divorce resolutions can help disputing parties avoid the various court proceedings that would be necessary if their case went before the family judge. While this can limit the financial costs associated with resolving the dispute, it can also reduce the emotional costs and impacts that may come with the adversity of court.
  • Lead to faster resolutions – Mediation and collaborative divorce can get underway whenever disputing parties are ready to come together for this proceeding. In contrast, disputes moving through the court will be bound to the court’s schedule, which can prolong the case and the process of resolving it. Consequently, informal divorce options can facilitate quicker resolutions.
  • Keep the proceedings private – While court proceedings are part of public records, informal divorce proceedings are not. This means that collaborative divorce and mediation can provide more secure, private methods of discussing and resolving disputes (when compared to going to court). As such, these informal options can be particularly appealing to those who wish to maintain privacy as they work out sensitive family matters.
  • Result in more favorable outcomes – Given that collaborative divorce and mediation allow disputing parties to take a more hands-on approach to resolve their conflict, it can empower both sides to develop more positive (and creative) solutions (than may be available via family court).

Please note that:

  • Collaborative divorce and/or divorce mediation may not be the right option for every case or family.
  • There are cases in which going to court may be a better option than trying to seek resolutions via an informal divorce process. This is particularly true when domestic violence is a factor or when either party is entirely unwilling to compromise (or work with the other spouse).
  • The specifics of your situation, as well as your personal needs and goals, will determine whether informal divorce proceedings are a good option for your case.