Divorce can be as unsettling and stressful as it may be upsetting and confusing. Getting answers about what to expect from the process and your case, however, can help alleviate the uncertainties, calm anxieties and help you keep a clear head as you move forward.
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At Sutherland Law Firm, LLC, our lawyers have been dedicated to providing exceptional advocacy in divorce for more than four decades. Insightful and caring, we are ready to help you protect your rights and interests and get through the difficult times. Our goal is to help you achieve your objectives and the best possible resolution.
Important Answers about New Mexico Divorce
We welcome your calls and emails whenever you are ready for answers about your divorce case and options. In the meantime, the following shares helpful answers to common questions regarding divorce in New Mexico.
Is Divorce My Only Option for Ending the Marriage?
No. In addition to divorce, New Mexico law provides for:
- Annulment – This is the process of nullifying the marriage so that, in the eyes of the law, it never occurred. Grounds for annulment in New Mexico can include marrying under the age of 16, marrying under 18 without the approval of a guardian and bigamy.
- Legal separation – This process mirrors the divorce process in that it can involve the division of community property, custody matters and support payment The difference, however, is that legally separated couples are NOT free to remarry while divorced individuals are. Legal separation can be a favorable alternative to divorce when couples may not be ready for divorce or when they want to keep sharing certain benefits or coverages held by one spouse (like insurance benefits).
Your circumstances, needs and objectives will determine whether annulment, legal separation or divorce best serves your interests.
Does New Mexico Recognize Common Law Marriage?
New Mexico law does not recognize common law marriage. However, if a union was formed in another state that does provide for common law marriage, New Mexico courts may uphold and recognize that union as a valid marriage.
How Long Do I Have to Live in New Mexico before I Can File for Divorce?
You or your spouse has to have lived in the state for a minimum of six months before you are eligible to file for divorce in New Mexico.
While certain exceptions and rules can apply in cases of military divorce, those who wish to end their marriage but who do not meet the residency requirement can file for legal separation in the interim. The case can later be converted to a divorce once the residency requirement has been fulfilled.
What If My Spouse Does Not Agree to the Divorce?
If you want the divorce but your spouse does not, your spouse cannot stop the divorce from occurring. That’s because New Mexico is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that only one spouse needs to site a ground of incompatibility or irreconcilable differences for the case to move forward.
If you file for divorce and your spouse fails to file a response within 30 days, the court will typically rule that you get what you have requested in the divorce petition.
How Long Does It Take to Get Divorced in New Mexico?
It depends on the factors, complications and/or disputes associated with a given case. When couples can agree on their issues of their divorce, the 30-day response period can be waived, and the final divorce decree can be issued relatively quickly.
If, however, couples disagree about a number of issues in their case, it will take longer to resolve, especially if mediation fails and/or complicating factors (like hidden assets) arise.
We Are Ready to Answer More Questions: Contact a Rio Rancho Divorce Lawyer at Sutherland Law Firm, LLC
If you are preparing for or involved in a divorce case, contact a Rio Rancho divorce lawyer at Sutherland Law Firm, LLC by calling (575) 205-1328 or emailing our firm.
We are ready to put our knowledge, experience and skills to work vigorously advocating your rights in divorce. In addition to handling any type of divorce case, our lawyers are effective at representing clients in post-decree matters, like support payment and/or custody modifications.
Let us explain how we can set your divorce case up for a successful resolution.