woman contemplating divorce

How Long Does it Take to Get a Divorce in New Mexico?

For many couples, getting out of a marriage takes longer than getting into a marriage. The time it takes to get a divorce in New Mexico depends on several factors. Consulting with an experienced New Mexico family law attorney is one of the best ways to expedite the divorce process. A family law attorney is adept at facilitating the divorce process within the limits of the law, enabling a speedier resolution. 

How Residency Requirements Impact the Timeline for a Divorce Proceeding

There are no waiting periods for filing a divorce in New Mexico. You are not required to complete mandatory counseling or be married for a specific length of time to file for divorce. You could get married this week and file for divorce next week.

However, if you recently moved to New Mexico, you may need to wait to file a divorce proceeding in a New Mexico family court. Like other states, there are minimum residency requirements before the courts in New Mexico have jurisdiction to hear your case. 

Under state law, you or your spouse must have lived in New Mexico for a minimum of six months before a divorce proceeding is filed. A divorce proceeding in New Mexico is referred to as a Dissolution of Marriage

Other Factors That Impact a Divorce Timeline

New Mexico is a no-fault state for divorces. In other words, spouses can end a marriage without proving that one spouse was “at fault” for the breakup. Other states define fault as adultery, domestic violence, habitual drunkenness, abandonment, and other acts that destroy the marital relationship. Being a no-fault divorce state speeds up the divorce process in some cases.

If the spouses agree to all terms of the divorce, they can file for an uncontested divorce. The parties put their agreement in writing to present to the court. An uncontested divorce may be obtained in as little as 30 to 90 days after filing a divorce petition with the court.

However, most couples disagree on at least one or more terms of the divorce. For example, spouses may disagree about child custody and visitation. Another couple may disagree on property division and debt allocation. Spousal support is another issue that is commonly litigated during a divorce action. 

Couples that do not agree on the terms of the divorce have several options. They may opt for a mediated divorce or a collaborative divorce to negotiate a divorce settlement with the help of a divorce attorney. Negotiated agreements can be better for all parties, including the parties’ children. Spouses have more flexibility when negotiating.

However, if the spouses cannot agree on the divorce terms, the matter is litigated. Each party presents their evidence in court and a judge makes the final decision.  Neither party may be happy with the final outcome.

Contested divorces take much longer to obtain than uncontested divorces. Therefore, a divorce timeline often depends on the parties more than the court or the law. 

Contact Our New Mexico Family Law Attorney for More Information

If you have questions about the divorce process, contact our office to speak with a New Mexico family law attorney. We will evaluate your case, explain your legal rights, and give you options for protecting your best interests before, during, and after the divorce. Get in touch with our office today.