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New Mexico Divorce Laws

Unfortunately, not all marriages are rainbows and sunbeams. Sometimes, divorcing is the best option for the mental and physical health of both spouses. Many marriages don’t last forever and if your marriage is headed towards divorce, you should understand your legal rights. These rights include community property rights which you can read more about in the New Mexico Marital Property Laws article.

If you have children from the marriage, you have legal responsibilities as well. In New Mexico, the duty to care for your child in the form of child custody and child support will keep you involved in the family court until your children are 18, or turn 19 years old if still attending high school.

To learn more about the basic divorce laws in New Mexico, see the following table.

Code Sections New Mexico Statutes Chapter 40: Domestic Affairs, Article 4: Dissolution of Marriage
Residency Requirements New Mexico law requires that either party has lived in the state for at least 6 months and has a “domicile” in the state. That means one of the spouses is physically present in the state and has the intention to stay in the state permanently or indefinitely, or has been stationed with the military in New Mexico for at least six months.
Waiting Period There’s a 30 day waiting period between serving the divorce papers on your spouse and the earliest the divorce judgment can be finalized.
'No Fault' Grounds for Divorce New Mexico law refers to the no fault grounds for divorce as “incompatibility.” This just means the spouses weren’t able to get along and that’s why they are choosing to get divorced.
Other Grounds for Divorce New Mexico has three fault-based grounds for divorce:
  • Adultery
  • Cruelty and inhuman treatment (such as domestic violence)
  • Abandonment (sometimes called desertion)
Defenses to a Divorce Filing Unfortunately, there aren’t really defenses to filing for divorce. A person can unilaterally decide he or she doesn’t want to be married to you anymore.

Note: New Mexico and other state laws change frequently. Please contact a lawyer or conduct your own legal research to verify these divorce laws.

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Once money, children, or strong emotions are involved, at the very least you should determine what your legal rights in a divorce are before signing a settlement agreement outside of court. An experienced divorce lawyer in New Mexico can tell walk you through your rights and options, as well as represent you. Learn more today with a free case review.

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