Divorce Guide

Divorce Guide


New Mexico No Fault Divorce


According to NM divorce laws, one can file divorce on the grounds of “no-fault” or “fault” grounds. NM no-fault divorce grounds specify that if a spouse files in the court of law that the marriage has “irretrievably broken down” owing to “incompatibility, then the divorce would be granted to him/her. Here, there is no requirement to prove the “wrongdoing” in the marriage or to establish the “fault” of the other spouse. The other grounds on which divorce can be obtained in the state of New Mexico are: fault grounds. The reasons on which divorce can be obtained in “fault” grounds range from desertion, adultery, cruelty etc.

Residential requirements in NM no-fault divorce

In order to get divorce from the state of New Mexico, either of the spouses must have stayed in the state for 6 months prior to filing the case and also has a domicile of New Mexico. The spouse who files the case is called “petitioner” and the other is called the “respondent”.

Property division in NM no-fault divorce

New Mexico is a “community property state” where the marital property acquired after the marriage is split 50/50 and divided among them. The property which a spouse must have acquired before the marriage or after entering into the divorce decree is the “separate property”. This property is not touched in property division.

In most of the cases of no-fault divorce, spouses try to settle the matter of property division all by themselves “outside the court”. Only in matters of dispute is that the courts are asked to intervene.

Alimony in NM no-fault divorce

With double incomes more often prevalent, the matter of spousal support or alimony is not very mandatory. Courts advice spouses to settle the matter of alimony “outside the court” and arrive at a sound agreement. In case, they fail to do so, courts may ask the financially stronger spouse to either pay the alimony amount in installments or pay the amount in totality as a lump sum. The alimony support can be on “permanent basis” or “temporary”, depending on the age of the spouse, length of the marriage, health of the spouse, his/her employability etc.

Child custody in NM no-fault divorce

While dealing with the matter of child custody, most of the spouses who have filed on no-fault divorce grounds prefer to draft a parenting plan and visitation schedule with the help of custody mediation. If they are unable to reach an agreement, then courts are likely to intervene. Courts would then follow the child custody guidelines of New Mexico, keeping the “best interests of the child in mind” so that the security and welfare of the child are not affected.

If a parent disputes over this matter that the presence of the other parent is detrimental to the child, then courts would determine child custody decision otherwise.

Choosing the grounds for divorce can be a tricky thing. Some people prefer to file for divorce on “no-fault” basis even if there is substantial “wrongdoing” on the part of the other spouse. This is because they wish to avoid the ugly court battles and more so if there are children involved. You may seek the advice of your attorney regarding this matter. A divorce trial is a long procedure which eats up a lot of money as well. You must file on “fault grounds” only if there is a substantial edge on matters such as “custody”, “property division” etc in the case. After all, courts are now considering all divorce cases as “no-fault” ones and look into the “fault” factors while awarding child custody or dividing the property.


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