HB 242 – Marriage & Divorce Changes
Representative Gallegos and
Why VMFC supports
There are 22,106 active duty military and National Guard members serving in NM.
61% of military personnel will be deployed at least once while on active duty. 29% were deployed three or more times.
National Guard members will be deployed every 2 or 3 years for 6 to 15 months.
Marriage is required for a spouse to:
- Qualify for base housing
- Receive benefits
- Use military base facilities
- Be included on change of duty station orders
- Receive a family separation allowance when military is deployed
- Have access to career and education support
Remote marriage for deployed uniformed servicemembers may be the only way for a couple to marry and get orders to move to the next duty station in a timely manner.
HB 242 amends Section 40-1-10 NMSA 1978 “Marriage is Civil Contract Requiring Consent of Parties”, “License Required – County Clerk”
The proposed changes allow servicemembers who are deployed or activated to a duty station outside of NM to be issued a marriage license without appearing personally in the office of the county clerk.
The conditions are:
- the other party to the marriage appears personally in the office of the county clerk.
- at least one of the couple is a permanent or temporary resident of the county where the license is issued.
- the deployed member completes the declaration provided by the county clerk.
- a copy of the deployment or activation orders is provided.
- the declaration and orders are filed with the county clerk.
- the civil contract of marriage is solemnized in a ceremony in NM with the deployed member appearing by remote communications technology while the other party and witnesses are physically at the ceremony in NM.
Remote marriage is NOT a proxy marriage as both parties to the marriage will be present – one virtually and the other physically – during the wedding ceremony.