Filing for a divorce in New Mexico requires either of the spouses to be residing there for at least six months before it was filed. They should have a place of residence in the state or have the intention of staying there on a permanent basis. Those planning to undergo divorce proceedings in New Mexico should get a divorce lawyer for advice and support for the process.
Grounds for Divorce
A legal divorce or dissolution of marriage can be filed on four possible grounds: cruel treatment, adultery, abandonment, and incompatibility. Incompatibility refers to a conflict of personalities and a determination that the relationship no longer holds a reasonable expectation of reconciliation.
Division of Property
The state of New Mexico divides assets and liabilities for divorce under the community property structure. Properties and debts incurred during marriage are split between the two parties equally. Only property considered separate will not be divided.
Separate property includes those acquired by either spouse before marriage, acquired as a gift or bequest, and designated as separate based on a formal written agreement between the spouses.
When a spousal support system is required and appropriate, the court allows either party to acquire a portion of the other spouse’s property. They may also determine that one has to pay a particular sum of money to the other. The court may award several types of alimony.
One spouse must help the other improve their ability to earn their own income and become self-supporting and self-sufficient. They can do this by providing monetary support for education, training, or work experience.
The court defines a period of time for a spouse to continue supplementing the income of the other. At the end of this time, the receiving spouse is expected to no longer need additional support.
Indefinite Duration or Single Sum Payment
One spouse should pay the other in a single large installment or through several installments for an indefinite period of time. Amounts should be predetermined and outlined by a court. Support will only be terminated upon death of the receiving spouse.
The court’s decision about the type of spousal support to award depends on certain criteria. This includes the requesting spouse’s age, health, means of support, reasonable needs, and current and future earning capacity. Courts also consider the length of marriage and any agreements the couple entered into when deciding on filing for a divorce.
A legal separation refers to a situation when a couple has been permanently and physically separated for a certain length of time. If spouses no longer live or cohabitate together, they do not need to file for dissolution of marriage for other legal proceedings. They may, for example, ask the courts to decide on division of property or provisions for child and spousal support.
A marriage can be declared void if the marriage occurs between relatives of a certain degree or marriage between individuals below 16 or 18 years of age. However, spouses cannot annul their marriage if they have already reached the legal age of consent. At this point, the courts consider the marriage legal and binding.
Couples planning to file for a divorce in New Mexico should review the state’s policies and regulations on division of property and alimony.