NEW MEXICO DIVORCE
The district court has jurisdiction to decree a dissolution of marriage when at the time of filing the petition either party has resided in this state for at least six months immediately preceding the date of the filing and has a domicile in New Mexico. The petition is to be filed in the county in which either spouse reside.
If you have minor children living with your spouse in another state for over six months then you should consider filing in that state as that court has jurisdiction over the children. You spouse can waive that jurisdiction in writing.
County of Filing:
You should file the divorce in the county your spouse lives in, or in the county that you both lived in when you separated, or in your county if your spouse lives out of state. You or your spouse must have a New Mexico address in the county of filing. New Mexico civilian residents living overseas may file in New Mexico if they have maintained their residency in New Mexico.
Active duty members of the military (or their spouses) may file in New Mexico if they have been stationed in New Mexico for six months or were residents of New Mexico when they entered active duty. Smart Divorce.com staff includes former active duty officers and enlisted personnel and are completely knowledgeable on the special military requirements and the “Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act”. Our staff prides themselves on the service they provide our military members.
GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE: NO-FAULT or FAULT ?
A district court may decree a dissolution of marriage on any of the following grounds:
2. cruel and inhuman treatment;
New Mexico law requires that thirty (30) days elapse from the filing of the Complaint and summons or Answer and Waiver before a final judgment of divorce be entered. If your spouse signs the New Mexico "Answer and Waiver..." immediately after you file the complaint then you can divorced in as little as 30 days.
PROPERTY OF THE MARRIAGE:
In a divorce, the property (land, house, buildings, and items of personal property) owned (and debts owed) by the couple is divided between the parties. In an uncontested divorce, this division is accomplished by means of a Marital Separation Agreement (MSA). You and your spouse must agree to the property and debt division and memorialize your agreement in the Marital Separation Agreement, which will be incorporated by reference into the Decree of Divorce that ultimately ends your marriage. You may agree to divide the property any way you like, as long as a basic fairness is maintained. You do not need to list items already divided or not an important issue in the divorce. You may revise the MSA after receipt of the documents from us by sending an email with your changes. There is never a charge for revisions at any time up to one year.
If you cannot agree on any item of this division, the dissolution of marriage transforms into a contested divorce. If at the final hearing the divorce is still contested we do not provide advice for that hearing. You may need to consult an attorney or be prepared to tell the judge why you feel your requested division of property is fair.
Spousal Support is either agreed upon by the parties or determined by the judge in a contested hearing. We cannot give legal advice regarding spousal support but will include your request in the documents.
The questionnaire you fill out will outline the custody, visitation and support for the children. We will prepare the documents accordingly, and we will also prepare a Marital Separation Agreement (at no additional cost) which outlines in specific detail all the provisions regarding the children. Both parties must attend the parenting class or get a waiver. A list of the places in New Mexico to attend may be obtained from the court.
The child support will either be an amount you and your spouse agree upon, or it will be determined for you by the court, according to the New Mexico Child Support Guidelines. If you wish the court to calculate the amount then you will need to file the standardized Child Support Guidelines form and Child Support Income Statement/Affidavit which we provide. See “New Mexico Child Support Calculator” on any search engine such as Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc.
You may have Joint Legal Custody or Sole Legal Custody. This determines how the decisions are made regarding the raising of the child(ren).
Physical custody may be with one residential parent or “SPLIT CUSTODY” where the child(ren) live a substantial time with each parent.
This can be any program agreed upon by the parties and may change from time to time. If the parties cannot agree then the state guidelines are in effect. State guidelines are outlined in the MSA provided with your documents. You do not need to list your present visitation agreement as it will change from time to time but you may if you wish. “No Visitation” or “Restricted Visitation” may be requested by supplying the reason on the questionnaire.
You must file the divorce documents in the Circuit Court in the county that you are filing in. Some court addresses for larger counties are as follows:
Bernalillo County Courthouse: 400 Lomas Blvd N.W., Albuquerque, NM 87102 Phone: 505-841-7451
Santa Fe County Courthouse: 2052 Galisteo St., Santa Fe, NM 87505 Phone: 505-984-9914 ext. 124 Fax: 505-986-5866
Sante Fe County Courthouse: 100 Catron Street, P.O. Box 2268, Santa Fe, NM 87505 Phone: 505-476-0189
Don Ana County Courthouse: 201 West Picacho, Suite A, Las Cruces, NM 88005 Phone: 505-523-8283 Fax: 505-523-8290
McKinely County Courthouse: 201 West Hill, Room 21, Gallup, NM 87301 Phone: 505-863-6816 Fax: 505-722-9172
Chaves County Courthouse: 400 N. Virginia, P.O. Box 1776, Roswell, NM 88202-1776 Phone: 505-622-2565 Fax: 505-624-9506
The court filing fees for a divorce in New Mexico is approximately $137.
If your spouse won't sign and must be served, then the sheriff may charge a fee of around $25 to serve your spouse.
If you don't know the whereabouts of your spouse, then your spouse will need to be served by publication. The average publication fee is approximately $75.
You may call the Clerk of the Court in your county to determine the exact fees in your county.
METHODS OF SERVICE:
1. The most common way is to have your spouse sign the documents AFTER you have filed the complaint with the court. You can hand deliver the documents , mail them or have a third party deliver them to your spouse. This method is available even though your spouse is incarcerated.
2. If your spouse will not sign or you not not sure if your spouse will sign then you can get service by having the sheriff in spouse’s county serve a copy of the filed documents along with other documents requiring spouse’s signature. You can contact the sheriff in any state to serve your spouse. You can also get service by Certified Mail, (Return Receipt Requested) if your spouse lives out of state. If your spouse is incarcerated then you can get service by having the prison/jail officials serve your spouse.
3. Service by publication. If you cannot find your spouse after a diligent search then you can publish. The publication fee for the newspaper is approximately $65 but varies for different counties. Upon the filing of the Affidavit the clerk shall direct that service of notice be made by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the complaint is filed. We provide all the required documents for service by publication.
Go to our questionnaire and get started today.