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Residency Requirements

The divorcing couple must fulfill the residency requirements before filing. At least one of the spouses involved in the case must have resided in the state for at least 6 months before filing for divorce. If one of the spouses is stationed in the military in New Mexico, he or she is also considered a resident of the state.

Fill Out your Forms

In order to begin the divorce process, one spouse (the Petitioner) must file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with children (or without children). The Petitioner must file the dissolution petition in either their own or the Respondent's county district court. Once the petition and all other necessary forms are filed, it is the Petitioner's responsibility to ensure that the Respondent is then served with the petition and any other necessary papers.

Service varies on a case by case basis: if the couple is in agreement and the divorce is uncontested from the start, then the Petitioner can serve the Respondent personally. If this action occurs, then the appropriate Appearance and Consent form (form DNM-350) must be filed and signed by the Respondent. If service occurs by mail, then a Summons and Notice of Summons (forms DNM-400 and DNM-450, respectively) must be filed. Finally if service is done through the sheriff or a process server, then the Petitioner must also include form a Summons (DNM-400) and a Return Form (DNM-500).

The service begins a 30 day waiting period (23 days if service is by mail) to allow for any type of reconciliation and a general cooling off of both parties. Once the necessary forms are filed after service, the Petitioner must file a form to request a hearing. The hearing is usually brief, with the judge asking a few questions and then signing the Petitioner's already prepared divorce decree.

A Note about Forms

If the parties have reached an agreement and they do not desire to proceed with a lengthy trial, they can use Rocket Lawyer's easy interview process to complete a Divorce Settlement Agreement. The Divorce Settlement Agreement allows you to divide property, assets, debts and liabilities as well as settle matters of child support, custody and visitation.

For many of the forms necessary to complete your divorce, you will need to visit your local County Clerk's office.

If you and your spouse disagree about the terms of the divorce, or the forms and divorce process seem overwhelming, it's a good idea to Find a Lawyerto help.

This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.

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