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Frequently Asked Questions about Adultery and Divorce


Defining Adultery

Adultery is defined as a spouse having a sexual relationship outside the marriage. Although it is often a cause of the divorce, it generally has little impact on the legal proceeding.

New Mexico was the very first state in the country to implement no-fault divorce by statute. This means that the grounds for divorce in New Mexico include incompatibility, which means that there is no reasonable expectation for reconciliation. Adultery, and abandonment and cruel and inhumane treatment are technically grounds for divorce, but they are rarely, if ever, relied on by the courts in New Mexico any more.

If you are filing for divorce, most states require you to give a reason. Sometimes this can be as simple as the marriage partners do not get along. Other states will stipulate fault by one spouse. In New Mexico, incompatibility is the standard reason given.

In New Mexico the legal culture is very ingrained with the belief that affairs happen in unhappy marriages, and the judges really are not interested in hearing about them. However, if you have children, you are expected to be responsible, moral and discrete around your children. Being promiscuous and introducing your children to lovers who come and go could definitely cost one spouse in a custody dispute.

Some people consult with a divorce lawyer in New Mexico and are filled with guilt because they were caught in the affair. Those people are often relieved to hear that the courts will not hold the affair against them. Often, the affair is a symptom of a marriage that has been emotionally over for a long time already. On the other hand, some people consult a New Mexico divorce lawyer with the news that they have caught their spouse, and want to gain an advantage in the imminent divorce. Those people are often surprised and sometimes unhappy to hear that it makes little sense focusing on the infidelity, as the judges are not going to punish the cheating spouse through withholding custody or making the straying spouse pay more.

In some states, there are waiting periods and adultery can affect those. There is no waiting period in New Mexico, and adultery is not an issue in the state. Divorces by agreement can be literally entered within days of all of the paper work being completed properly and submitted to the Court in New Mexico.

We can help! Don Harris of New Mexico Financial Law has as his Number 1 goal and responsibility to look out for his client’s best interests. In Family and Divorce law that encompasses not only the client but also the client’s children and assets. He assists in solving the short term problems and helps to provide the framework for long term beneficial solutions.

Read more about divorce here.


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