HB 242 – Marriage & Divorce Changes

Representative Gallegos and
Senator Ivey-Soto

VMFC Supports - 267x400

Why VMFC supports
HB 242

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.


Dorothy Seaton
Chair, Committee for Veterans Advocacy
Phone: 512-618-3600
email: ds8447@gmail.com

Claudia Risner
Chair, VMFC
Phone: 505-357-5334
email: chair@nmvetscaucus.org

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