Grounds for divorce
Child Custody Determination / Child Support
Mediation or counseling
Rights to Maiden Name
Where to file for divorce
There are only four statutory grounds for divorce in New Mexico. Either spouse in New Mexico may file for divorce on the following grounds:
- cruel and inhuman treatment;
(New Mexico Statutes, Article 4, Sections: 40-4-1)
What is the difference between fault divorce and no-fault divorce?
A Separation agreement shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the county wherein either party resides. Spouses may separate on the same grounds as divorce.
You may file for divorce in New Mexico if at least one of the spouses was a domiciliary of NM and have lived in New Mexico at least for 6 month before the commencement of an action.
Domicile means, for the purpose of filing for divorce, that the person is physically present in this state and has a place of residence in this state; and has a present intention in good faith to reside in this state permanently or indefinitely, provided further, persons serving in any military branch of the United States government who have been continuously stationed in any military base or installation in New Mexico for such period of six months shall, for the purposes hereof, be deemed to have a domicile of the state and county where such military base or installation is located; and any person who had resided continuously in New Mexico for at least six months immediately prior to his or his spouse's entry into any military branch of the United States government, who is stationed or whose spouse is stationed at any military base or installation outside of New Mexico and who has a present intention in good faith to return and to reside in this state permanently or indefinitely, shall for the purposes hereof, be deemed to have a domicile of the state and county of his residence immediately prior to his or his spouse's entry into the military branch. (New Mexico Statutes, Article 4, Sections: 40-4-5)
Either spouse may file for divorce in the county where either of the parties resides. In such proceedings, the court shall have jurisdiction of all property of the parties, wherever located or situated in the state. (New Mexico Statutes, Article 4, Sections: 40-4-4)
A Petition for dissolution of Marriage is filed in State of New Mexico, In the District Court, __________ County.
New Mexico is a “Community property” state, meaning that if parties cannot agree on property distribution a judge will divide marital property close to a 50/50 range.
New Mexico courts may allow either party such a reasonable portion of the spouse's property or such a reasonable sum of money to be paid by either spouse either in a single sum or
in installments, as spousal support as under the circumstances of the case may seem just and proper, including a court award of:
- rehabilitative spousal support that provides the receiving spouse with education, training, work experience or other forms of rehabilitation that increases the receiving
spouse's ability to earn income and become self-supporting. The court may include a specific rehabilitation plan with its award of rehabilitative spousal support and may condition
continuation of the support upon compliance with that plan;
- transitional spousal support to supplement the income of the receiving spouse for a limited period of time; provided that the period shall be clearly stated in the court's final order;
- spousal support for an indefinite duration;
- a single sum to be paid in one or more installments that specifies definite amounts, subject only to the death of the receiving spouse; or
- a single sum to be paid in one or more installments that specifies definite amounts, not subject to any contingencies, including the death of the receiving spouse;
Spousal support may be changed by New Mexico court as life circumstances of either party change. (New Mexico Statutes, Article 4, Sections: 40-4-7)
The decree making the allowance for spousal support to either spouse shall be a lien on the real estate of the obligor spouse from the date of filing of a notice of order or decree
in the office of the county clerk of each county where any of the property is situated. (New Mexico Statutes, Article 4, Sections: 40-4-13)
The court may order and enforce the payment of support for the maintenance and education after high school of emancipated children of the marriage pursuant to a written agreement
between the parties.
Among the factors taken into consideration by the judge are:
- The age and health of each spouse.
- The duration of the marriage.
- The income and assets of each spouse at the time of the marriage and at the time of the separation or divorce.
- If one spouse has been outrageously careless with marital assets.
- If there are children, whether the custodial parent needs the family home and its furnishings after the divorce.
- The likely financial outlook for each spouse after the divorce.
(New Mexico Statutes, Article 4, Sections: 40-4-7)
In any case in which a judgment or decree will be entered awarding the custody of a minor, the district court shall, if the minor is under the age of fourteen, determine custody
in accordance with the best interests of the child.
The court shall consider all relevant factors including, but not limited to:
- he wishes of the child's parent or parents as to his custody;
- the wishes of the child as to his custodian;
- the interaction and interrelationship of the child with his parents, his siblings and any other person who may significantly affect the child's best interest;
- the child's adjustment to his home, school and community; and
- the mental and physical health of all individuals involved.
If the minor is fourteen years of age or older, the court shall consider the desires of the minor as to with whom he wishes to live before awarding custody of such minor.
(New Mexico Statutes, Article 4, Sections: 40-4-9)
In case a sum of money is allowed to the children by the decree for the support, education or maintenance of the children, the decree shall become a lien on the real and personal
property of the obligor parent from the date of filing of a notice of order or decree in the office of the county clerk of each county where any of the property may be situated.
(New Mexico Statutes, Article 4, Sections: 40-4-15)
The court, in its discretion, may decree that maintenance and support of a spouse be made in periodic payments for a defined duration, or in periodic payments for an undefined duration, or in a lump sum award, or in any combination thereof. (Code of New Mexico, Title 20, § 20-107.1)
The court, in determining whether to award support and maintenance for a spouse, shall consider the circumstances and factors which contributed to the dissolution of the marriage, specifically including adultery In determining the nature, amount and duration of an award the court shall consider the following:
- The obligations, needs and financial resources of the parties, including but not limited to income from all pension, profit sharing or retirement plans, of whatever nature;
- The standard of living established during the marriage;
- The duration of the marriage;
- The age and physical and mental condition of the parties and any special circumstances of the family;
- The extent to which the age, physical or mental condition or special circumstances of any child of the parties would make it appropriate that a party not seek employment outside of the home;
- The contributions, monetary and nonmonetary, of each party to the well-being of the family;
- The property interests of the parties, both real and personal, tangible and intangible;
- The earning capacity, including the skills, education and training of the parties and the present employment opportunities for persons possessing such earning capacity;
- The opportunity for, ability of, and the time and costs involved for a party to acquire the appropriate education, training and employment to obtain the skills needed to enhance his or her earning ability;
- The decisions regarding employment, career, economics, education and parenting arrangements made by the parties during the marriage and their effect on present and future earning potential, including the length of time one or both of the parties have been absent from the job market;
- The extent to which either party has contributed to the attainment of education, training, career position or profession of the other party; and
- Such other factors, including the tax consequences to each party, as are necessary to consider the equities between the parties.
(Code of New Mexico, Title 20, § 20-107.1)
Mediation calls to help spouses to reach an agreement on child custody and parenting arrangements, marital property distribution, pension division and maintenance.
Since July 1, 2011, New Mexico requires mediation program in domestic relations cases involving children. A district court may collect a surcharge of $30.00 on all new or
reopened domestic relations cases to fund the mediation program.
The wife’s maiden name may be restored by court upon request.
In the Supreme Court of the county where either spouse resides.