Understanding New Mexico Divorce Laws
Divorce Requirements for New Mexico Residents
To file for divorce in New Mexico, the following residency requirements must be satisfied:
- One of the spouses must be a legal resident for six months prior to the filing.
- Either of the parties is physically present in the State, has a dwelling there and has an honest intention to reside in New Mexico permanently or indefinitely.
New Mexico Grounds For Divorce
Divorce is called “dissolution of Marriage” in New Mexico, and is decided on no-fault and fault-based grounds. The no-fault ground is incompatibility which resulted to the breakdown of the marital union and has no probability of getting fixed, while fault-based grounds include cruel and inhuman treatment, adultery, and abandonment.
Child Custody Law in New Mexico
Divorce courts in New Mexico put the child’s best interests in deciding child custody cases. If the child involved is a minor and under 14 years of age, the following are the major considerations in the New Mexico courts’ custody decisions:
- Wishes of the child as to his or her custodian;
- Wishes of the child’s parents as to their custody;
- Relationship of the child with the parents, siblings, and others who may significantly impact the child’s well-being;
- Child’s adjustment to home, school, and community;
- Mental and physical health of all individuals involved.
If the child is 14 years old and older, the court shall consider the preference of the child regarding his or her custodian.
It is presumed by the court that joint custody serves the best interests of the child, unless underlying circumstances show otherwise. In deciding for joint custody, the court shall consider more factors in addition to the ones listed above such as, but not limited to:
- the distance of each parent’s residences
- whether both parents are willing and capable to accept parenting responsibilities
- whether both parents agree to cooperate on issues regarding the child’s needs.
Guidelines for New Mexico Child Support
The computation of child support obligations in New Mexico are based on official guidelines and on the Income Shares Model. Monthly support to cover the expenses in raising the child and covering his or her needs until reaching 18 years old is determined by applying these guidelines and proportionally dividing each parent’s income. There may be some adjustments to the calculations as to the child’s health and dental insurance, and child care.
Where to file for a divorce?
The petitioner or Plaintiff may file the New Mexico divorce papers in the county where either of the spouses resides.
For a fast and inexpensive divorce process, you can file New Mexico online divorce forms.
Refer to the “Divorce Requirements for New Mexico Residents” above and also review the best online divorce sites.
Divorce mediation in New Mexico is a non-adversarial, voluntary alternative dispute resolution process taking place in a private, constructive, and neutral environment. Mediators give communication and problem solving skills, helping the spouses to resolve their disputes cost- effectively.
Need information for a different state?
You may also visit the New Mexico Courts for more information