Waiting Period for Filing of Divorce

New Mexico does not have a waiting period for filing for divorce.  This should not be confused with jurisdictional requirements for filing a divorce.  The two are very different.

The waiting period relates to issues such historical requirements as the length of marriage, counseling periods, and attempts at reconciliation prior to filing for divorce.  There are no such requirements in New Mexico.  In fact, a couple could get married one day, and one could file for divorce the next.

Though this is an extreme example, comparable situations do arise with some regularity. Marriages are often short-lived, some very short-lived.  Annulment carries some very significant requirements so that a divorce may be the only option in even very short marriages.

The waiting period issues should be distinguished from the jurisdictional requirements for divorce in New Mexico.  New Mexico, like most states, has a minimum residential jurisdictional requirement.  In other words, one or both of the parties must live in the state for a certain period of time before the state’s courts will take jurisdiction over the marriage.

In New Mexico, residence of one or both parties in the state for at least six months is required before a divorce can be filed here.  In the absence of six months residency, the jurisdiction remains in the last state where jurisdiction was established. This can be little tricky for those that move a lot, such a military families.

In short, so long as the jurisdictional residency requirements are met, one or both parties may file for divorce at any time.  For filing purposes, the law does not distinguish between the one day marriage and the 50 year marriage.  Of course, the length of the marriage comes into play with other issues such as the division of property and debt, and alimony.  But this is a whole other topic.

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