New Mexico Family Law

New Mexico laws are created and revised by the actions of lawmakers and the courts, as in other states. Click on the links below to learn more information.

1.State statute New Mexico Chapter 40 Article 4 - Dissolution of Marriage
2. Fault or no-fault (typically when a state allows fault based and no-fault divorce, fault based divorces require no separation period. Fault based and no-fault
3. Equitable distribution or community property Community Property [40-3-7]
a. Methods of apportionment The court will consider several points as detailed in [40-4-7(E)]
i. Periera and Van Camp in CA Methods are considered. Michelson v. Michelson, 551 P. 2d 638 - NM: Supreme Court 1976. Dorbin v. Dorbin, 731 P. 2d 959 - NM: Court of Appeals 1986.
b. Property distribution factors

Discretion of the court considering 10 factors set forth in statute [40-4-7(E)]

 

4. Legal separation? Yes, under Chapter 40, Article 4, Section 40-4-3
a. Waiting period/Separation period No [40-2-8]
5. Is mediation required

No, binding arbitration is an option if the parties to the action stipulate by signed agreement [40-4-7.2]

 

6. Forms used New Mexico Family Law Forms
7. Alimony guidelines and factors General Guidelines [40-4-7(B)]
Alimony formula Guidelines for determination [40-4-7(B)]
a. Types Several types per [40-4-7(B)]: rehabilitative, transitional, indefinite, single sum
b. Term Limits At the discretion of the court depending on the type [40-4-7(B)]
Cohabitation Cohabitation is not, in and of itself, grounds for cancellation. Brister v. Brister, 594 P. 2d 1167 - NM: Supreme Court 1979.
c. Imputing income 40-4-7(E) identifies the numerous conditions including good faith efforts of employability of each spouse
d. Change in circumstances Can be modified upon notification if type other than single sum [40-4-7(B)(2)]
e. Ceases on retirement At the discretion of the court depending on the type [40-4-7(B)]
Impute income on early retirement
Early retirement for health reasons is involuntary
f. Definition of income Broad definition for alimony defined as all sources [40-4-7(B), (E)]
8. Child support factors and guidelines Per [40-4-11.1(A-J)], definitions and calculation points are provided
9. Child support calculator New Mexico Human Services Dept.
10. Lump Sum  Support allowed? Yes. [40-4-7(B)(1)]
11. Valuation
a. Valuation date Divorce
b. Goodwill divisibility All goodwill is divisible - Hurley v. Hurley, 94 N.M. 641, 615 P. 2d 256 (1980)
c. Standard of value Fair Market Value - Trego v. Scott, 961 P.2d 168, 172-73 (N.M. Ct. App. 1998);
d. Discounts Discounts for lack of control and lack of marketability - Judicial Education Center Family Law Manual
e. Shareholder/partner agreements Non-shareholder spouse is bound to the same terms of a shareholder valuation agreement which affects the shareholder spouse. This insures that the nonshareholder spouse does not receive a greater value than that of the shareholder.  Hertz v. Hertz, 657 P. 2d 1169 - NM: Supreme Court 1983.
 12. Double dip  
 a. Stock options  
 b. Retirement accounts  
 c. Child support Allowed; "As income rises, the amount that should be devoted to the children also rises."  Leeder v. Leeder, 884 P. 2d 494 - NM: Court of Appeals 1994.
 13. Key cases  
 14. Premarital agreements  "Enforced, with exceptions of: (1) not executed voluntarily or (2) unconscionable when executed with financial disclosure issues [40-3A-7].  Parties may not contract to adversely affect right of spouse to support. NM ST § 40-3A-4"
 15. Common law  No


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