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New Mexico Annulments
Annulments in New Mexico

Like a divorce, an annulment ends a marriage, however, an annulment treats the marriage like it never happened. Some people still think divorce carries a stigma, so they would rather annul their marriage than get a divorce.

Once the judge issues an annulment, a marriage is void, as if the partners were never married. Children, however, are still legitimate, and after an annulment a father remains the father unless it’s proven otherwise.

In an annulment in New Mexico, the judge can make decisions about child custody and child support. Unlike some jurisdictions, the court can distribute marital property the same way it would in a divorce.

Most laws for an annulment of marriage in New Mexico are located in 40-1-6, 40-1-7, and 40-1-9 of the state’s revised statutes.

Grounds

Generally, an annulment of marriage in New Mexico can occur for the following reasons:

  • Underage: An annulment of marriage may occur when either party married under the age of 18 and married without the consent from legal guardians, or when either party is under the age of 16.
  • Incest: Incestuous marriages include all marriages between children; between grandparents and grandchildren; between half brothers and sisters or of full blood; between uncles/aunts and nieces/nephews. These marriages qualify for immediate annulments.
  • Bigamy: when one or both partners enter “into a marriage by or with a person who has previously contracted one or more marriages which have not been dissolved by death, divorce or annulment.” In New Mexico, bigamy is guilty of a fourth degree felony.

Procedure

In order to obtain an annulment in New Mexico, one or both partners must be a resident of New Mexico for at least six months. One partner files a petition for annulment in the district court in the county where either partner lives. In the petition, the petitioner provides information about the partners, their children and the marriage, and the grounds for an annulment. A party may need additional paperwork as well; for example, additional forms may be required for temporary orders for child support or spousal support. To annul a marriage in New Mexico, the petitioner must confirm the facts of the case, and the action must meet one of the statutory definitions.

After filing the petition, the petitioner arranges for service of the respondent. An adult other than the petitioner hand delivers the annulment papers to the respondent. The annulment papers include a summons to a hearing. The person serving the papers completes an Affidavit of Service, which is returned to the court.

If the respondent agrees to the annulment, the judge enters a decree of annulment without a hearing; if not, the judge holds a hearing. In a hearing, both partners testify and present other evidence so that the judge can determine whether an annulment is appropriate. If it is, the court grants a Judgment of Nullity.

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