How fast can I get a divorce? That’s a question our law office hears frequently. Some people ask because they badly want out of a relationship that’s full of conflict and constant fighting. They just want it to be over! But others have it all mapped out. Both parties have agreed on how things will be divided and there’s usually not much left undecided. I’ll bet you can guess which divorce will happen quickest.
So what makes one divorce fast and another drag on without end? Here’s the easy formula for a fast divorce in New Mexico: no conflict equals no waiting. It’s that simple. Conflict and an unwillingness to compromise are the main ingredients in a recipe that makes lawyers prosper and leaves courts jammed with hearings. What most people don’t realize is that you don’t have to go to court to get a divorce. Court is not mandatory or necessary. Court is where the unsuccessful go. I know that sounds harsh but it’s true. Because it means that you (and your lawyers) failed to agree. That’s a lot of people that can’t find a solution! Now to be fair, there are cases where one of the parties works really hard to try and compromise and keep the relationship details from being played out in a public court. But the other party digs in and focuses only on their position.
But a fast divorce is possible and not so complicated. Remember the formula? No conflict equals no waiting. Here’s a quick review of some of the issues to bear in mind:
- New Mexico requires that you have lived in the State for six (6) months prior to getting a divorce.
- You can get divorced as quickly as you and your spouse agree to the terms
- Agree on how to divide what you own and what you owe to others
- If you have children, decide on custody and time-sharing – write out a Parenting Plan (the internet has guidance on New Mexico Parenting Plans)
- If you, or both of you, have a pension or 401(k) plan to divide in some way, you’ll need a very specific legal document to do this. You can’t just say “we’ll split it this way”. You’ll need an attorney to talk with you about this, but it doesn’t have to significantly slow down the divorce.
- A Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, along with the other required paperwork, is filed with the court (following a certain format).
- If all is in order, the court will sign-off in a few weeks, not months or years. The fastest divorce in New Mexico was the same day we submitted the paperwork!
Even if you both agree on everything, it’s a wise idea to have an attorney take a look at the documents to make sure that all is in order so that the court won’t “kick back” your petition. I know, I know – the lawyer! But a fast divorce also has to include proper legal documentation. You can’t just throw it on the court wall and see if it sticks. Find a law firm that offers a flat fee for either a document review or document drafting. This will help ensure that your Petition isn’t going to be rejected by the court. So if you’re aiming for “fast divorce” this is money well-spent.
My practice only practices Family Law in the State of New Mexico and we represent clients in divorce and custody cases. We offer flat-fees for document review and agreed-upon divorces. We’ll review what you’ve prepared and give you feedback or we can completely draft the legal documents for you based on your instructions and file the papers with the court on your behalf. Fast and affordable.