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New Mexico Divorce Facts

When going through a divorce in in New Mexico, it's helpful to have some key information. Below you will find some of the most important facts everyone getting a divorce in the state of New Mexico should know. The facts listed here are only a selected few of the more comprehensive set of New Mexico Divorce Laws available for your reference. Remember, every state's law is different, and if you're not sure about a law in your state, you should ask a qualified New Mexico Divorce Professional.

  • To file for a dissolution of marriage, one spouse must have resided in this state for at least six months immediately preceding the date of the filing and have a residence in New Mexico. The proceedings may be instituted in the county where either of the parties resides.
  • A divorce may be granted based on the following grounds: no-fault, which means incompatibility, or fault grounds of cruel and inhuman treatment, adultery and abandonment.
  • Legal separation is recognized. If a husband and wife permanently separate, either may start proceedings in the district court for the determination of property division, child custody and support, or alimony.
  • If child custody is contested, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem to appear for the minor children. The court shall also refer the case to mediation if feasible unless a party asserts, or it appears to the court, that domestic violence or child abuse has occurred.
  • New Mexico is a community property state, meaning that property and debts acquired during the marriage shall be split equally, unless the parties reach an agreement independent of a court ruling. Separate property is not subject to division and is not considered property of the community.
  • Spousal support may be awarded on a rehabilitative, transitional, or indefinite basis.
  • Anyone over 14 may have his or her name changed or established by order of the court.
  • Gender of the parent does not determine custody. The courts hold that joint custody is in the best interests of a child, but this does not imply an equal division of the child's time between the parents or an equal division of financial responsibility for the child.
  • The court determines custody in accordance with the best interests of the child, considering all relevant factors including, but not limited to: the wishes of the child's parent or parents, the wishes of the child as to his custodian, the interaction and interrelationship of the child with his parents, his siblings and any other involved person, the child's adjustment to his home, school and community, and the mental and physical health of all individuals involved. The court considers the wishes of minors 14 years of age or older.
  • New Mexico uses an "Income Shares" model to determine child support. This means that each parent's income is divided by the total of both parents income to determine the percentage of support that each parent pays. The total income from both parents determines the level of support to be paid, based on the child support tables.
  • Child support continues until the children's graduation from high school if the children are emancipated only by age, are under nineteen and are attending high school. Child support may provide for maintenance and education after high school of emancipated children pursuant to a written agreement between the parties.
  • A premarital agreement must be in writing, signed by both parties and acknowledged. A premarital agreement may not adversely affect the right of a child or spouse to support, a party's right to child custody or visitation, a party's choice of abode or a party's freedom to pursue career opportunities. It is not enforceable if the party against whom enforcement is sought proves that he or she did not execute the agreement voluntarily and the agreement was unconscionable when it was executed.

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