How Long Does a Divorce Take in New Mexico?

There are many questions regarding the duration of the divorce process you might have when filing for marriage dissolution. The main of them are “How long do you have to be separated before divorce in New Mexico, and what circumstances can affect the overall time frames?”. There is no mandatory separation period in the state, but there are many other factors determining the divorce timeline.

In this article, we will address the question “How long does a divorce take in New Mexico?” and examine whether there is a New Mexico divorce waiting period.

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How Long Does an Uncontested Divorce Take in New Mexico?

An uncontested marriage dissolution lasts, on average, from 30 to 60 days. It may take longer if the court schedule is busy.

To start a divorce process, either spouse must live in the state for at least 6 months (NM ST 40-4-5). If you have met the residency requirements and have no disputes regarding marriage termination issues, your divorce timeline may not exceed 60-90 days.

The only mandatory waiting period you may need to complete is a 30-day period for a defendant to file an answer to the petition after being served. If the respondent waives the serving procedure, you will not have to wait these additional 30 days (NMRA 1-004 A. (2)).

How long does an uncontested divorce take in New Mexico in such a case? It can even be finalized within a month, provided the court is not overloaded.

How Long Does a Contested Divorce Take in New Mexico?

The divorce timeline for contested cases can range from 3-6 months to 1 year or more. The duration of a disputed marriage dissolution depends on many factors. Their list includes the number of disagreements between you and your spouse, the ability to cooperate, the attorney’s and court’s schedule, etc.

Similar to uncontested cases, the waiting period in contested ones usually refers to the time a respondent has to provide an answer to divorce documents after being served. According to NMRA 4A-100, its duration is 30 days. A court hearing for the divorce process cannot be scheduled before this period expires or until the defendant files an answer if it happens earlier.

How long does a contested divorce take in New Mexico after the defendant responds? It depends on how many court hearings you will need to settle the divorce terms in your case. It can take from a few months to a year or even longer.

How Long Does a Divorce Case Stay Open in New Mexico?

No matter what the case is, the divorce process continues from the time a petitioner files the papers with the court until the judge signs the Final Decree of Dissolution of Marriage.

If your spouse does not agree to waive service, you will need to comply with the so-called New Mexico divorce waiting period of no less than 30 days from the moment the other party receives divorce documents till they respond. The marriage dissolution cannot be finalized until this time has passed.

Your case will remain open until all court hearings are over and the judge has made a decision. However, sometimes, it can be renewed even after the end of the legal proceedings.

According to NMRA 12-201, either ex-spouse may file an appeal to modify the judgment within 30 days after the procedure is finalized. It can significantly extend the divorce timeline and result in the scheduling of new court hearings. In such a situation, the duration of divorce may increase by 1-2 months, on average.

Your case is unlikely to be prolonged because your spouse refuses to divorce. If the defendant does not respond in time, you can ask the court to continue the divorce proceedings by default. If the respondent provides an answer but does not agree with the marriage termination terms, your case will be resolved as a contested one.

When Is a Divorce Final in New Mexico?

After the judge signs the Final Decree of Dissolution of Marriage, the divorce process in the state is finalized.

How long does it take to finalize a divorce in NM? The answer will be 1 to 3 months for uncontested cases and 3 to 12 months or more for contested ones, depending on the type of case and other circumstances. The divorce timeline is usually mostly affected by how many disagreements spouses have regarding child-related, property division, and other issues.

Typically, an uncontested marriage dissolution lasts much less than a contested one. Spouses who have already decided on the divorce terms do not need the court’s intervention, while parties whose case is contested will likely have to attend several court hearings that can take up to a year due to a busy court schedule.

To finalize your divorce faster, you should try to negotiate with the other spouse on the marriage termination issues and conclude a Marital Settlement Agreement. You can also use an online document preparation service to complete the paperwork required for filing with the court with less time and stress.