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How to Begin the Divorce Process in New Mexico
If you’ve made the decision to get a divorce in New Mexico, it’s a good idea to consult with a knowledgeable divorce attorney to discuss your options. Also, understanding what lies ahead in the process can save you time and energy down the road.
Listed below are some of the most important steps involved in the process of filing a divorce in New Mexico:
- Residency requirements. Before you can proceed with a divorce in New Mexico, you must establish that you or your spouse has lived in the state for at least six months before filing.
- Grounds. You should also determine the grounds for dissolution of marriage. Like most states, New Mexico recognizes fault and no-fault grounds for divorce. For a no-fault divorce in New Mexico, you simply need to state in the Petition that “the parties are incompatible.”
- The Petition. The spouse who requests the divorce is called the “petitioner. In New Mexico, that means you must complete one of two forms—a “Petition for the Dissolution of Marriage without Children,” or a “Petition for the Dissolution of Marriage with Children.”
- Serving the Petition. After your Petition is stamped by the court clerk, you will “serve” it to your spouse in a court-approved manner. There are numerous ways you can “serve” a court-stamped divorce petition, including personal delivery by anyone over 18 years old, certified mail, and delivery by the county sheriff.
- The response. Your spouse will have 30 days after being served the Petition to complete a written response. They must deliver their response to the court and send a copy to you, the petitioner.
- Financial disclosure. You and your spouse will have 45 days after filing the Petition to produce information related to your income, expenses, joint assets, and joint debts.
The information you and your attorney provide will be used by the court to reach decisions regarding property division, alimony, and child custody. It is not easy to navigate the divorce process on your own, and the stakes are high. If you are considering marital dissolution in New Mexico, having an experienced divorce law attorney on your side is essential.