NEW MEXICO DIVORCE BASICS AND OVERVIEW
|This is a reference guide to understanding the divorce process in NM. Each state has its own requirements, laws, and documentation, so we decided to gather it all in one location to make it easy and quick for you to find the information you need before, during and after your divorce.|
- Time Frame: There is no waiting period to file for a divorce in New Mexico.
- Where to File: District Court. "State of New Mexico, in the District Court, _____________ County."
- State Statutes: New Mexico Statutes Annotated; Chapter 40.
- Name of Action: Petition for Dissolution.
- Name of Parties: Petitioner, who files, and respondent, who answers.
- No-Fault or Fault and No-Fault Only: Both no-fault and fault offered.
- Primary Documents Filed: Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and Decree of Dissolution.
- Physical Separation Required: No.
- Separation Time to File: None.
- Legal Separation Permitted: Yes. For a legal separation, the spouses must not live together or cohabit. One of the spouses must be a resident of New Mexico for at least six months.
- Grounds: No-Fault: Incompatibility; and fault; cruel and inhuman treatment; adultery; or abandonment.
- Residency Requirement: One spouse must be a resident of New Mexico for at least six months before filing and have a home in New Mexico.
- Mediation Required: Parents that are not in agreement (contested divorce cases) may request or courts may order entry into domestic relations mediation programs if they have been established in the county of filing for the dissolution. Not all counties have mediation programs.
- Counseling Required: There is no mandatory divorce counseling in New Mexico.
- Parenting Classes Required: The court may order parenting classes at its discretion for cases including minor children.
- Filing Fee: About $137. (See NM Filing Fee Waiver Form)
- Where to File for Child Support: Unless the court and parents agree otherwise, all New Mexico child support orders require wage garnishment, which conveys the payment to the CSED and then to the custodial parent. For help with child support enforcement and collection in New Mexico call 800-288-7207.
- Child Support Guidelines Model: The noncustodial parent pays child support based on the Income Shares Model.
New Mexico Statutes Annotated §§ 40-4-7 and 40-4-11.1 et seq. provide that both parents are responsible for child support calculated on a percentage of the combined gross income of both parents after applying appropriate deductions. The support award considers a variety of factors including physical custody of the child and special needs. Support pays food clothing and shelter health and dental insurance and work-related childcare. The support order may also include extraordinary medical, dental, and educational expenses and transportation and communication expenses necessary for long distance visitation or time-sharing. Support ends when the child turns 18 or 19 if the child still attends high school unless other circumstances exist or the parents agree otherwise. The monthly child support amount can stray from the guidelines calculation, but the court must see it fit to support the child(ren) appropriately.
- Property Division: Community property regime on the dual classification routine.
- Appreciation of Separate Property: The appreciation of separate property is marital.
- Attendance at Hearing: No.
- Fault Considered in Property Division: Fault is not considered in property distribution.
- Waiting period after Divorce for Remarriage: None.
- Ways to Serve Spouse: Personal service is made upon an individual by delivering a copy of the divorce papers to him or her personally, or if he or she refuses to accept them, by leaving them at the location where he or she has been found. The divorce papers may be served by mailing them first-class certified mail.
- Divorce Records: New Mexico vital records are restricted access records and are only issued to immediate family members or individuals who demonstrate a tangible legal interest. Divorce records are available from District Court in county where divorce was file and granted. Fees to retrieve these records will vary by county and a copy of the Final Decree of Dissolution of Marriage may also be available. The Clerk of Court in the county where the divorce was finalized manages all New Mexico Divorce records.