What Are the Requirements for Divorce in New Mexico?

By Bob Matteucci

A divorce is referred to as a Dissolution of Marriage in New Mexico. Both terms mean the same thing – the process of legally ending a lawful marriage. There are very few requirements for divorce in New Mexico. Some couples can obtain a dissolution of marriage in 30 to 90 days after filing a divorce petition. 

Even though you and your spouse may agree upon the terms of your divorce, it is still in your best interest to discuss your divorce with a New Mexico family law attorney. There could be issues that arise that complicate the process. You may also need legal advice regarding issues related to your divorce, such as custody, child support, property division, and spousal support.

Residency Requirements for a Divorce in New Mexico

You do not need to get married in New Mexico to obtain a divorce in the state. However, one of the spouses must be a resident of the state for a minimum of six months before filing a petition for divorce. Being a resident or having a domicile means you are physically present in the state, and you have a good-faith intention of residing in the state indefinitely. 

Waiting Periods for a Divorce 

There are no waiting periods for you to obtain a divorce if you meet the residency requirements. You and your spouse are not required to go through marriage counseling. No law states you must be married for a specific period before dissolving the marriage.

The length of time it takes to obtain a divorce depends largely on the spouses and the court’s docket. Spouses who agree on the terms of the divorce can file for an uncontested divorce. They can submit the petition to the court and waive the 30-day waiting period. If there are no disputes regarding custody or other matters, a judge could grant the divorce within a few weeks, depending on the court’s schedule.

Grounds for a Divorce in New Mexico

There are four grounds for divorce in New Mexico:

  • Cruel and inhuman treatment (abuse)
  • Abandonment
  • Adultery
  • Incompatibility (no-fault)

Most spouses seek a divorce on the grounds of incompatibility. You do not need to prove “fault” for the breakup of the marriage. If you allege adultery, abandonment, or abuse, you must prove that your spouse is guilty of the allegations before you can obtain the divorce. Dissolving a marriage on the grounds of incompatibility is merely easier.

The grounds you claim do not impact other areas of your divorce, such as spousal support and property division. In custody cases, allegations of abuse or abandonment could impact the custody and visitation decisions. For that reason, it is best to seek legal advice if the case may involve abuse or abandonment allegations. 

Contact our New Mexico Family Law Attorney About Your Case

Our legal team is here for you when you have questions. If you are considering a divorce or your spouse is fighting custody, property division, or support, contact our New Mexico family law attorney. We review your case and explain your options for protecting your best interests and your child’s best interest during and after the divorce. 

About the Author
Bob Matteucci is a board certified family law specialist, with a statewide practice in the area of divorce and family law.