Common Law Marriages New Mexico: A Detailed Study Regarding the Laws

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By Divorce & Finance

Domestic partnership new mexicoThere are no common law marriage New Mexico laws, if you are wondering whether your informal marriage is recognized in this state.

Living together and telling people you are married does not make you legally married in New Mexico as it does in others. If you wish to get legally married, then this article is for you.

However, it is possible to get legally married in a common law state and then move to New Mexico. New Mexico will recognize any marriage that is legal in another state, including a common law marriage if the parties were considered as legally married under a different state’s laws when they moved to the state.

Does New Mexico Recognize Common Law Marriage?

Common law marriage is valid in New Mexico in a certain condition. Although New Mexico’s common law marriage rules still prohibit it, a judge may now accept the legitimacy of a common law marriage if the civil union or civil partnership was created in another state under specific circumstances.

In other words, common law in New Mexico recognizes common law marriages only if the marriage would have been held legally valid in another state. For example, if an unmarried Georgian couple had relocated to New Mexico and one of the parties filed for divorce, the other party would have to argue the couple was married under Georgia’s common law marriage legislation.

To do so, the party would need to establish that the pair had lived together in Georgia for a long time, that they intended to marry, and that they presented themselves as married to their Georgia community. In other words, the criteria of cohabitation, holding out and intent to get married need to be satisfied for a valid informal marriage to have taken place, and for New Mexican authorities to recognize it.

– Requirements for Recognition of a Common Law Marriage

Although New Mexico has less regulations addressing common law marriages compared to other states’ marriage requirements, a judge may evaluate the legitimacy of a common law marriage in New Mexico in a divorce process if two conditions are met:

  1. While in the relationship, the man and woman signed power of attorney papers, and the marriage was contracted in a state and district that recognized such a union under their common law marriage statutes.
  2. In specific circumstances, such as a divorce or separation action, the court will evaluate certain aspects in order to validate the common law marriage in New Mexico according to the common law in Mexico.

The court will usually consider the following aspects of the common law marriage or  informal marriage in New Mexico:

  • The two parties cohabitated in an out of state jurisdiction where common law marriage is deemed as valid.
  • The legislation and requirements for common law marriage had been set by the state jurisdiction.
  • The date of declaring the specific type of marriage can be established by the court.
  • If the other state jurisdiction does not have common law marriage laws, the court must assess if any power of attorney agreements were executed before the cohabitation.

– How To Get an Informal Marriage Recognized in New Mexico

If two spouses want to have their common law marriage recognized in New Mexico after it was created in another state, they should sign the power of attorney forms first. To try to have a common law marriage in New Mexico stand, couples will generally form durable power of attorney and medical power of attorney with the help of a trained legal expert.

If partners reach an agreement in an out-of-state jurisdiction about property distribution and other marital criteria in the event of future separation, the state may accept such agreements in a common law marriage in New Mexico and common law marriage statutes.

Because New Mexico does not recognize common law marriage contracted outside of the state, you need to get legal assistance from an expert New Mexico divorce lawyer if you wish to protect your financial rights without a marriage ceremony.

Only property gained during the marriage is subject to distribution following divorce in New Mexico, which is a common property state. In a property division dispute in New Mexico, the courts consider the elements pointed out in the next section.

Marriage Laws in New Mexico

Common law marriages new mexico divorce issuesMarriage requirements in New Mexico are located within Article 1 of Chapter 40 New Mexico marriage laws. According to marriage requirements laws under 40-1-1, parties must give their consent to the marriage in New Mexico. Additionally, several more sections, which are listed below, concern marital criteria and void marriages:

  • Either party was under the age of 18 and failed to obtain legal guardians’ consent.
  • Either party was under the age of 16 (but, if the female is pregnant, a court in New Mexico may support the marriage in legal proceedings).
  • Marriages between grandparents and grandchildren in all degrees.
  • Marriages Between half brothers and sisters or of full blood.
  • Between uncles/aunts and nieces/nephews.

Required Documents for Common Law Marriage New Mexico

As seen above, many types of marriage are prohibited by marriage requirements. However, common law marriage rules will be recognized in specific instances in New Mexico.

The information which is required on the marriage application includes:

  • Both parties must be present at the time of the marriage license application process.
  • Picture ID and Proof of age is required.
  • A Social Security number is required for both the parties unless such a number has not been issued.

Further, before purchasing your marriage license, make sure you double-check all of the details with your local County Clerk’s office. Additionally, you do not have to be a resident of New Mexico. Both applicants must present:

  • A valid picture ID, such as a valid driver’s license or a valid identification card from the DMV
  • A valid passport
  • A birth certificate
  • Student ID with birth date

The section below describes the circumstances under which a common law marriage in New Mexico will be recognized, and 40-1-4 provides that all marriage criteria recognized by other jurisdictions will be legitimate in New Mexico.

Domestic Partnership New Mexico: What Is It?

A domestic partnership is a private connection between two persons who are not married legally. Living together, joint property ownership, mutual financial responsibility, asset sharing, and/or raising children together are common characteristics of a domestic relationship.

People who are in a domestic partnership are either unable to have their union recognized officially in New Mexico or choose not to marry for personal reasons. Domestic partnership rights, benefits, and protections range from city to city, state to state, and employer to employer. Domestic partnerships that are formed in places where they are legal are recognized in New Mexico.

However, if the domestic partnership agreement was formed in the state of New Mexico, it will not be legally recognized. Many people are deeply entwined in one other’s life and desire the significance of their bond to be recognized legally, but they will not be treated as married couples.

Divorce Laws in New Mexico

The divorce itself is merely the dissolution of the marriage and the termination of the marital community. When people get divorced, they often have to deal with four main, sometimes difficult topics. Family law relating to divorce in Delaware deals with:

  • Dividing property
  • Determining alimony
  • Determining child custody and timesharing
  • Determining child support

Those four issues are the topics that generate the majority of the actual work of a family attorney. If you want a divorce, you are entitled to one. The same goes for your spouse. There is no waiting period, and the Courts in New Mexico will generally be uninterested in whether one of the spouses was engaged in conduct that most people would find immoral.

New Mexico was the very first state in the country to recognize so-called “no fault divorces” by statute. This means that there is a very long tradition in New Mexico courts not to focus on other grounds for divorce, such as abandonment, cruelty, or adultery. So long as either party believes that there are irreconcilable differences in a marriage, that is all it takes.

One of the most important issues about marriage and divorce in New Mexico is the issue of community property. With some exceptions, community property is property acquired during the marriage, and community debts are debts acquired during the marriage. Marriage is the date that the “community” begins, and divorce is the date that it ends. One of the most important legal effects of a divorce is terminating the marital community.


Common law marriages new mexicoNew Mexico will only recognize common law marriages transferred from other states, as there is no autonomous legislation for this type of relationship in the state. As such, you cannot get a divorce, even if you cohabited for a long time with your partner — unless the common law marriage was established somewhere else.

In this article, you have learnt that New Mexico does not recognize common law marriage, unless the marriage was held as legally valid in another state that the parties were residents of. We have also explained how to contract a legally valid marriage in New Mexico, so that you know what to do to realize your partnership goals!

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