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How to get a divorce in new mexico

How to get a divorce in new mexico


If you’re considering getting a divorce in New Mexico, it’s essential to understand the legal requirements, steps, and resources available to you. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process of getting a divorce in New Mexico, providing you with insights and information to make informed decisions.

Step 1: Residency Requirements

Before filing for divorce in New Mexico, you or your spouse must meet the residency requirement of living in the state for at least six months.

Step 2: Grounds for Divorce

New Mexico recognizes both “no-fault” and “fault” grounds for divorce. “No-fault” grounds include incompatibility, while “fault” grounds involve issues like adultery, cruelty, or abandonment.

Step 3: Filing the Petition

The process begins by filing a Petition for Divorce with the district court in the county where either spouse resides.

Step 4: Serving the Petition

Once filed, the other spouse must be served with the divorce papers, providing them with notice of the proceedings.

Step 5: Property Division

New Mexico follows the principle of community property, where marital property is divided equally between spouses.

Step 6: Child Custody and Support

If you have children, the court will determine custody arrangements and child support based on the best interests of the child.

Step 7: Alimony

The court may award alimony based on factors such as the length of the marriage, each spouse’s financial situation, and contributions to the marriage.

Step 8: Settlement or Trial

Spouses have the option to reach a settlement through negotiation or mediation. If an agreement cannot be reached, the case may proceed to trial.

Step 9: Finalizing the Divorce

Once all issues are resolved, the court will issue a Final Decree of Dissolution of Marriage, officially ending the marriage.

Useful Resources Links

For further guidance on getting a divorce in New Mexico, consider these resources:

  1. New Mexico Courts – Divorce Self-Help
  2. New Mexico Legal Aid – Family Law
  3. New Mexico Statutes – Domestic Affairs and Family Law


How long does it take to get a divorce in New Mexico?

The time varies depending on factors like court caseload, complexity of issues, and whether the divorce is contested or uncontested.

Can I file for divorce without an attorney?

Yes, you can represent yourself, but consulting with an attorney is recommended, especially for legal advice and complex cases.

What is community property?

Community property refers to marital assets and debts acquired during the marriage, which are divided equally in a divorce.

Can I modify child custody and support orders later?

Yes, you can petition the court to modify custody and support orders if there’s a substantial change in circumstances.

What if my spouse doesn’t respond to the divorce petition?

If your spouse doesn’t respond within 30 days, you can request a default judgment, but it’s advisable to consult with an attorney.

Is mediation mandatory in New Mexico divorces?

Mediation is often encouraged, but it’s not mandatory for all divorce cases.


Navigating the divorce process in New Mexico requires a clear understanding of the legal steps and requirements. By utilizing the resources available and seeking legal guidance when necessary, you can navigate the process with confidence and work toward a resolution that meets your needs.

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