New Mexico Divorce: Key Facts

A guide to divorce in New Mexico.

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What are the grounds for divorce in New Mexico?

New Mexico is a mixed state, so you can use either no-fault or fault grounds as the basis for seeking a divorce. The reason you might want to use fault grounds is to gain an advantage in a contested child custody case or a dispute about the division of marital property or the appropriateness or amount of alimony. To learn more about how New Mexico uses fault as a determining factor in child custody, alimony, and property issues, see Nolo's Essential Guide to Divorce, by Emily Doskow.

What is the residency requirement for divorce in New Mexico?

At least one spouse must be a resident of New Mexico for six months before filing for divorce.

How is property divided at divorce in New Mexico?

New Mexico is a community property state. This means that any income earned by either spouse during the marriage, and all property bought with those earnings, are considered marital property that is owned equally by each spouse or partner. At divorce, the property is divided equally between the spouses or partners.

What are the rules about child custody in New Mexico?

Like all states, New Mexico courts begin with a presumption that it's best for a child to have frequent and continuing contact with both parents after a divorce. If possible, judges want to support joint custody arrangements. However, the exact nature of the time-share will be determined by the children's best interests. For more information, see Nolo's article Child Custody FAQ.

What are the rules about child support in New Mexico?

Like all states, New Mexico requires both parents to support their children, even after a divorce. The amount of child support depends primarily on each parent's income and other resources, and how much time each parent spends with the children. In addition, sometimes the courts will "impute" income to a parent who has the capacity to earn more than he or she actually is earning. To learn more about child support, see Nolo's Child Support area.

Does New Mexico have resources for do-it-yourself divorce?

Yes. You can usually get fill-in-the-blank forms at your local courthouse or the local law library. And you can go to this online resource for New Mexico, where you'll find extensive information about do-it-yourself divorce, along with court forms (in some states).

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