New Mexico Divorce & Separation
UPDATED: March 4, 2020
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Although separations and divorces are common in every state, each state has unique and often widely varying laws and procedural rules governing these processes. If you’re contemplating taking these steps in New Mexico, you’ll be interested to find out the details about New Mexico’s specific laws. What are the requirements for getting a divorce in New Mexico? Is there any possibility of accelerated divorce proceedings in New Mexico? Is mediation a requirement before you can get a divorce in New Mexico? Find the answers to your New Mexico divorce questions here.
New Mexico Legal Separation:
Legal separations are allowed in New Mexico. As long as one party is a resident of the state, and both parties have agreed to the separation, the court will not automatically direct the pleadings toward divorce. However, the court can and will make orders with regard to any issues relating to the care and custody of minor children that may be involved, and any judgments made are always open for revision at the court’s discretion (for example, when a parent’s circumstances change, and the needs of the children change as a result).
Grounds for Divorce/Fault – No Fault:
New Mexico has both fault and no-fault grounds for divorce. No-fault grounds merely require showing that the parties are “incompatible.” Fault-based grounds must be more specific, with stated reasons being, for example, cruel and inhumane treatment, adultery, and abandonment.
Residency/Where to File for Divorce:
To file for divorce, the plaintiff must have been a resident of the state for at least six months before filing, and the petition must be filed in the court with jurisdiction over the county in which either party resides.
Availability of Simplified or Special Divorce Procedures:
There are no major procedures in New Mexico that allow for simplified or special divorces. The one exception to this is the situation of no-fault divorces filed with 1) a petition signed by both spouses, 2) a notarized separation agreement or marital settlement agreement, and 3) an affidavit swearing irretrievability of the marriage. These divorce actions are heard by the judge with no summons requirement, and with a statutory eye toward a speedy resolution. Note also that some of the required documentation, especially the separation agreement, is most prudently handled via mediation sessions outside of court, and usually with attorney representation to ensure full legal accuracy. See the “Divorce Mediation” section below for more information.
New Mexico Divorce/Child Support/Child Custody Lawyers:
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Divorce Mediation in New Mexico:
A mediation session may be called to resolve matters that are still contested but will ultimately be solved with less acrimony in a mediation environment compared to the courtroom setting. Where children are involved, mediation may be appropriate to help ensure they are properly cared for despite parents’ differences. Courts have the authority to order alternative dispute resolution when they see fit. In general, though, a mediation session will only be called for when there are issues that can clearly be resolved and agreed upon amicably through a conference, in order to avoid forcing the parties, their children, and the oft-backlogged court system to suffer through unnecessary litigation.
New Mexico Annulment:
An annulment is a court declaration that your marriage is legally invalid. In other words, rather than ending a marriage via divorce, an annulment is a declaration that the marriage was never valid in the first place. Reasons for granting an annulment may include: fraud, duress, one party’s minor status at the time of marriage, or consanguinity.
New Mexico Online Divorce Services:
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New Mexico Divorce Law, Lawyers & Attorneys
New Mexico Divorce & Finances
New Mexico Child Custody & New Mexico Child Support
New Mexico Divorce Laws & Resources