What Are the Legal Grounds for Divorce in New Mexico

In days gone by, most states required that the person seeking a divorce or dissolution prove that the other party was at fault. What was considered “at fault” depended on each state’s laws but usually included adultery, abandonment, and cruelty.

In the 1960s and 1970s, many states, including New Mexico, moved to a “no fault” model of divorce. Instead of having to prove a fault-based ground for the divorce, the person requesting divorce only had to show that the couple had differences that could not be reconciled. New Mexico amended its statute to include “incompatibility” as a ground for dissolution of marriage.

Under New Mexico law, “[i]ncompatibility exists when, because of discord or conflict of personalities, a legitimate ends of the marriage relationship or destroyed preventing any reasonable expectation of reconciliation.” A person who wants to have her marriage dissolved under the “incompatibility” ground must believe that the couple cannot reasonably reconcile due to individual differences. It is not necessary that the other spouse agree with this conclusion. Even if the other spouse thinks that the parties can work it out, the dissolution of marriage will be granted if the above standard is met.

Most New Mexico dissolution proceedings are based on the ground of incompatibility. However, the New Mexico statute provides three additional grounds for dissolution of marriage:

  • Cruel and inhuman treatment;
  • Adultery; and
  • Abandonment.

Regardless of the ground, a marital breakup is hard on everyone involved, including the parties’ children. At Lightning Legal Group, we understand how difficult it can be to decide whether to end a significant relationship, but we also know how exciting it can be to start down a new path. We pride ourselves on tailoring our counsel to individual circumstances, and we can advise you about the options you have to end your marriage properly. Call today: (505) 247-2390.

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