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New Mexico Divorce Laws

Just as states have regulations on the marriage process, so too do they have them for divorces. The legal requirements for divorce define the procedures a person must go through in order to get divorced. This article provides a brief overview of the divorce laws in the state of New Mexico.

New Mexico Divorce Laws

If you have children from the marriage, you have legal responsibilities as well. In New Mexico, the duty to care for your child in the form of child custody and child support will keep you involved in the family court until your children are 18, or turn 19 years old if still attending high school.

To learn more about the basic divorce laws in New Mexico, see the following table.

Code Sections

 § 40 of the New Mexico Statutes

Residency Requirements

New Mexico law requires that either party has lived in the state for at least 6 months and has a “domicile" in the state. That means one of the spouses is physically present in the state and has the intention to stay in the state permanently or indefinitely or has been stationed with the military in New Mexico for at least six months

Waiting Period

There's a 30-day waiting period between serving the divorce papers on your spouse and the earliest the divorce judgment can be finalized

'No-Fault' Grounds for Divorce

New Mexico law refers to the no-fault grounds for divorce as “incompatibility." This just means the spouses weren't able to get along and that's why they are choosing to get divorced

Other Grounds for Divorce

New Mexico has three fault-based grounds for divorce:
  • Adultery
  • Cruelty and inhuman treatment (such as domestic violence)
  • Abandonment (sometimes called desertion)

Defenses to a Divorce Filing


Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Research the Law

Related Resources

Don't Leave Your New Mexico Divorce to Chance: Get Legal Help

Once money, children, or strong emotions are involved, at the very least you should determine your legal rights in any divorce before signing a settlement agreement outside of court or making any court appearances. An experienced divorce lawyer in New Mexico can tell walk you through your rights and options, as well as represent you in court.


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