New Mexico is a mixed state regarding the grounds for divorce. You can file for divorce in New Mexico using No-Fault or Fault grounds. The grounds for divorce are incompatibility (the no-fault ground), cruel and inhuman treatment, adultery, or abandonment. New Mexico statutes define incompatibility as follows: incompatibility exists when, because of discord or conflicts of personalities, the legitimate ends of the marriage relationship are destroyed preventing any reasonable expectation of reconciliation.

Residency requirements for filing a divorce in New Mexico are that one of the parties must have resided in the state for six months or 180 days. Additionally for the six months prior to the filing of the petition, the petitioner must establish that they have lived in the state for six months and have a place of residence in the state, and that they have a good faith intention to remain in the state permanently or indefinitely. If either party to the divorce was or is a member of the military, there are additional residency requirements.

Custody of children in New Mexico divorces is determined by the best interest of the child standard. The court assumes that it is in the best interest of the child to maintain contact with both parents. Custody is usually given to the primary caregiver in cases involving young children; however, it is no longer true that the wife always gets custody of the children when they are older.

New Mexico like every state in the union requires that both parents provide financial support for the child. The court attempts to maintain the standard of living the child enjoyed during the marriage. This is based on the notion that the child is the innocent party during a divorce and should not suffer because the parents can no longer maintain their relationship. The amount is determined by a formula that calculates the earning potential of each spouse.

New Mexico is a community property state in determining marital assets as opposed to dividing property on an equitable division basis. Community property means that all assets of the marital estate regardless of who earned them, the amount earned or the amount either spouse contributed to the estate are marital property if earned during the course of marriage. All marital assets are divided 50/50 between the spouses.


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