Marriage and divorce issues in New Mexico are governed by Article 40 of the New Mexico Statutes. While anyone can freely marry in New Mexico, a divorce, also known as dissolution, must be filed with and ordered by the court.
The process begins with one party filing a petition with the court. In New Mexico, either spouse may file the initial petition. The petition includes important information regarding the marriage, such as the names of the husband and wife and any children. It includes information regarding community and separate property and debt and may raise issues regarding child support and child timesharing. The spouse who files the petition is referred to as the Petitioner in further court proceedings.
The petition must be served on the other spouse, and it must be filed with the court. Once a petition is filed, the court will automatically issue a Temporary Domestic Order. This Order is a type of restraining order which generally instructs the parties to abide by the status quo while the divorce proceeds. Neither party will, among other things, be permitted to spend or sell community property or to take any minor children out of state without the express permission of the other party.
The other spouse is known as the Respondent. The Respondent should file a response to the petition with the court within thirty days. Thereafter, both spouses will be required to disclose information regarding their assets, liabilities, income and expenses. If the parties agree on terms, the divorce may be finalized with a Settlement Agreement, a Parenting Plan where children are involved, and a request that the Court issue an Order terminating the marriage and approving the settlement terms. If the parties cannot agree, other legal action may be necessary. Resolving complex family issues, child support and custody and difficult financial matters often requires the assistance of an attorney.
Our attorneys have represented clients in over a thousand divorces and can respond to more specific questions if retained to do so.