The way name changes are handled in New Mexico depends on whether they are part of a proceeding for dissolution of marriage. No state law details how name changes are handled within dissolution proceedings. Therefore, the judge decides whether or not to grant the request. New Mexico judges handling name change requests as part of a dissolution frequently allows a party to revert back to a maiden or former name. Outside of dissolution proceedings, New Mexico has very specific laws that govern name change requests.
The bond between a grandparent and grandchild can be very strong and can provide a great deal of stability for a child whose parents are involved in dissolution proceedings. Fortunately, the New Mexico Legislature recognized this principle long ago and enacted the Grandparent's Visitation Privileges Act in 1978. The Act allows for a child’s biological grandparents to request visitation during proceedings to dissolve a marriage, to legally separate, or to establish paternity. Requests may also be made any time after judgment is entered in any of these proceedings.
In New Mexico, the legal term for a divorce is a “dissolution” of marriage. Although state law allows a few fault-based grounds for dissolution, such as adultery, it is not necessary to prove fault to dissolve the marriage. In most cases, the ground used for divorce is known as “incompatibility.” The case starts when the person seeking the dissolution files a petition and an information sheet. The person filing the petition becomes known as the “petitioner” in the case, and the spouse against whom the petition is filed is known as the “respondent.” Together, they are known as the “parties” to the action.