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New Mexico Divorce Self-Help Center

Many customer New Mexico divorce questions are answered here.  Browse from the topics below or use the search box to narrow your search.
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General Information State Procedures   Custody, Visitation, Support
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Where do I file my divorce papers in New Mexico? 2612
Divorce papers in New Mexico are filed with the Clerk of the District Court in the county where either of the parties resides.
Will either of us be required to attend a court hearing? 2614
In New Mexico, a hearing will only take place if the Judge determines one is necessary.
What is considered to be the date of separation in New Mexico? 2616
The term "separation date" refers to the date when the spouses stopped living at the same residence.
What are the New Mexico residency requirements for filing for divorce? 2618
New Mexico requires at least one of the spouses to have been a resident of New Mexico for at least six months immediately before the filing of a Petition For Dissolution of Marriage and has a domicile in New Mexico.
What are the grounds for filing for divorce in New Mexico? 2619
New Mexico allows a divorce to be granted on the grounds of incompatibility. See N.M. Stat. Ann. ยง 40-4-1.
What are the basic steps to getting a divorce in New Mexico? 2622
The basic steps for filing your uncontested New Mexico divorce are as follows:

1. You review and sign the documents (some in the presence of a notary), then file the divorce documents with the Clerk of the District Court.
2. Take a copy of the filed divorce documents to the office of the judge assigned to the case.
3. The Judge reviews the divorce documents and decides if a hearing is necessary.
4. If a hearing is not necessary, the Judge will sign the Final Decree of Dissolution of Marriage. You will file a copy of the Final Decree with the Clerk of the District Court, finalizing the divorce process.
5. If the judge determines a hearing is necessary, both spouses will attend the hearing at which time the judge signs the Final Decree. You will file a copy of the Final Decree with the Clerk of the District Court, finalizing the divorce process.
How much is the filing fee in New Mexico? 2623
The filing fee can vary from county to county, but is typically $135.00-$155.00 in New Mexico.
What documents are included in the self-prepared New Mexico DivorceWriter package? 2624
Your self-prepared New Mexico DivorceWriter package will include:
  • New Mexico Divorce Filing Procedures
  • Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
  • Domestic Relations Information Sheet
  • Marital Settlement Agreement (Simple or Complex)
  • Waiver of Waiting Period
  • Final Decree of Dissolution of Marriage

If minor children are involved, your DivorceWriter package will also include:
  • Parenting Plan
  • Wage Withholding Order
  • Child Support Worksheet
How long does it usually take to finalize a divorce in New Mexico? 2625
There is a thirty (30) day waiting period after the divorce papers are filed until the judge can sign the Final Decree. However, if there are no minor children, this waiting period can be waived by the Respondent.
How do I serve my spouse with the divorce papers in New Mexico? 2626
In New Mexico, formal service by a process server is not necessary when the Respondent signs the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. Respondent will also sign an Appearance, Waiver, and Consent, which waives the issuance and service of a Summons and is included in the DivorceWriter package.
Do we have to be separated to get a divorce in New Mexico? 2627
In order to file for dissolution of marriage, the husband and wife have to be permanently separated and no longer live together as husband and wife.

If there are no minor children involved and the spouses wish to waive the thirty (30) day waiting period, the spouses must have been separated at least thirty (30) days.
Can I change my name in New Mexico divorce proceedings? 2628
In New Mexico, the wife may request to take back a former legal surname through divorce proceedings.
Does New Mexico require divorcing spouses and/or their child(ren) to attend a class or seminar on coping with divorce? 2630
In divorce proceedings involving minor children, some counties in New Mexico may require the parents to complete a parent education class. If required, once the education is complete, the parties will file a Certificate of Completion with the Clerk of the District Court.
How do I know what my case number is? 3680
The clerk of the court will assign a case number at the time the initial divorce documents are filed.
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We already have a child support order issued by a judge. Will we be able to keep the same amount? 2629
DivorceWriter provides the option to enter information regarding an existing child support order including the amount of support ordered and other identifying case information. Generally, you must also file a copy of already existing child support document(s) with the court.
What are the different types of custody in New Mexico? 2620
In joint custody, both parents come to an agreement and share legal as well as physical custody over their children and make joint decisions.

Sole custody grants one parent the right to make all legal and physical custody decisions.

Physical custody refers to the right to live with the child.

Legal custody grants one spouse the right to make any legal decisions over the upbringing of the child.
When can a child support order be modified in New Mexico? 2621
A court may modify a child support obligation upon a showing of material and substantial changes in circumstances. See N.M. Stat. Ann. 40-4-11.4
What if my spouse and I have agreed to use a child support amount that is different from the standard amount set by the Child Support Guidelines? 2615
DivorceWriter shows the child support calculation under the guidelines using the New Mexico family support charts.

The customer chooses whether to use the guideline calculation or to deviate from that calculation by entering a different child support amount. If the amount is a deviation from the basic support obligation, the customer will explain the reasons for the deviation in the Parenting Plan. The court may grant less or more support if the evidence shows that the needs of the dependent(s) require a different level of support.
How is child support calculated in New Mexico? 2613
Based on the information provided by the customer when completing this online interview, a computer generated Child Support Worksheet is created and sent to the customer as part of the DivorceWriter package.

More information on child support in New Mexico is available at: New Mexico Human Services Department
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If unable to find help on this page, issues of a non-legal nature may be directed to customer service.
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