Seeking a divorce in New Mexico will require that you go through a series of steps in order to handle the process smoothly and without issue. Divorce is characterized as the legal action enacted between two people to end a marriage. This sounds simpler than it is, since the process also involves deciding the division of property and debts among the two parties. If a child is involved, then the case will also involve matters of custody and support. You will need to have lived in New Mexico for six months previously in order to file for divorce here. If this requirement is meant, then you may approach a New Mexico family court with the matter.
Basics of New Mexico Divorce Court
The first step to obtaining a divorce is to file a petition and other papers in the district court near you or near where your spouse lives. You will need to establish residency in order to show that you are a New Mexico resident before completing the proper paperwork. Once you pay the fee, unless the judge has approved a free process, both parties will need to sign the divorce packet.
Your spouse will have thirty days to respond to the divorce papers, this answer will be filed by the court as their opinion on the papers. When your spouse does not respond to the petition, then the result is a default judgment where everything asked for in the petition is granted. This judgment is overruled if your spouse provides the court with adequate reasoning for the later answer. It is not a requirement that both parties agree to the divorce and both are free to marry again after the divorce. The divorce process is not finalized until the judge signs the Final Decree of Dissolution of Marriage.
Filing for Divorce
You may file for divorce if you state before the court, under oath, that both you and your spouse are no longer compatible. The grounds for divorce in New Mexico include adultery, abandonment, cruel and inhumane treatment, and general incompatibility. This is an important step for the case since it will set the precedent for other aspects such as custody and child support. You can work with your divorce attorney to build a case for any of these reasons and bring the case before the court of law if your spouse refuses to accept a settlement.
When you go before a judge, then one of the first suggestions will be to settle and negotiate matter through mediation. With mediation, both parties can attempt to reach a mutually beneficial understanding. If your differences are irresolvable and an agreement cannot be found, the matter will be brought to divorce court. It is highly recommended having a divorce attorney with you at this stage to best present your case and protect your rights. A single mistake here can make a huge difference and it is easy to miss small details without the help of a legal professional.
New Mexico Annulment
An annulment and a divorce are only similar in that they both court procedures that end a marriage. The big difference is that an annulment will completely wipe a marriage off of any records. The grounds for annulment are different from those of divorce and include:
- One of the parties was below the age of 16 at the time of marriage
- One of the parties was below the age of 18 and married without parental consent
- The marriage was illegal due to:
- The parties being too closely related
- One of the parties already being married at the time
The annulment process follows the steps of divorce closely and results in the marriage being considered completely void. Children are considered to be legitimate by the court, and the husband will continue to be considered the father until proven otherwise. The judge presiding over the matter can make decisions concerning child custody and child support. In terms of property, the court distributes it in the same manner it would during a divorce case. In which case, a legal representative will be able to legally represent your voice in the matter.
Legal Solutions of New Mexico Serve Clients in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Surrounding Areas
Divorces are a serious legal matter and is it highly recommended you find legal help to work with you through the case. A single misstep could spell disaster and the aid of an experienced representative is an invaluable asset in the court of law. Legal Solutions of New Mexico will work to strengthen your case and fight for an outcome favorable to you. Call today for a free consultation!
Call Legal Solutions of New Mexico today to discuss:
- Premarital Agreements
- Postmarital Agreements
- Property Division Agreements
- Paternity Actions
- Child Support
- Child Custody and Visitation
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Divorce Related Practice Areas:
- Spousal Support
- Prenuptial Agreements
- Contested Divorce
- Uncontested Divorce
- Marital Property Division