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When a Spouse Cannot Be Found in New Mexico
When one spouse wants to call it quits but cannot find his or her missing partner, or when he or she is hiding, divorce by publication comes into play. Divorce by publication happens after a judge has been convinced, based on a sworn declaration, of the serving party's inability to find the Defendant after trying hard. Service by publication is commonly used in a divorce action to serve a spouse who has disappeared without a leaving a forwarding address.
When the Respondent cannot or will not be found (and, therefore, cannot be served the divorce papers), the Petitioner must conduct what is termed a "diligent search" followed by Service by Publication.
New Mexico's Search Requirements and Process
New Mexico courts require a good faith effort by the Petitioner to prove that he or she has made a genuine search for his or her missing partner. This search usually entails checking the telephone book and directory assistance both in the area where the Petitioner lives and in the area where the Respondent is last known to have lived; asking friends and relatives who might know the location of the missing spouse; checking the post office for any forwarding address; and exploring any other possible sources that might lead to a current address.
In order to be eligible for a "Divorce by Publication", you must complete and submit an Affidavit of Diligent Search to the court. This document clearly outlines all of the actions you have taken to locate your spouse, essentially proving to the court that your spouse absolutely can't be found.
If you actively pursue locating your spouse through the methods outlined in the Affidavit of Diligent Search, and still can't locate your spouse, then a "Divorce by Publication" is your likely method of getting a divorce.
Filing for Divorce by Publication in New Mexico
The Petitioner must make diligent efforts to locate the missing spouse. If these fail, he may use Service by Publication. In this routine, the Petitioner publishes a notice in a newspaper informing the missing spouse of the pending action. The notice must be published once a week for four consecutive weeks.
However, in order to be this, the Petitioner must file an affidavit attesting to his or her diligent efforts to locate the missing spouse. After the publication happens, the Petitioner must file an Affidavit of Publication with the court, attesting to publication. After that, the action moves forward as a default.
New Mexico Service by Publication is described in New Mexico Annotated Statutes.
Copyright Notice: These New Mexico divorce laws above are copyrighted by Divorce Source, Inc. This abbreviated and revised version of the state laws has been compiled from applicable state laws and unauthorized reproduction in any fashion is prohibited. Violation of this copyright notice may result in immediate legal action.