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LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 9992
Experience:  Experienced Family Law Attorney
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My daughter was married to another person that was already

Customer Question

My daughter was married to another person that was already married at the time. In a court hearing that marriage was determined to be void from the being. However, there were debts from that union that she has been paying on or has paid off. They lived in New Mexico during the time of their so called marriage and that's where the marriage was voided. Neither she or her ex live in New Mexico now and are residents of other states. She would like to recover his half of the debts that were paid and what's left of the remaining debts.Where should she file a civil action to recover? Does New Mexico have jurisdiction anymore over a civil action in this case?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

During the annulment, did the order address debts?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, it only said that there needed to be separate hearing to settle them. There was case law from the New Mexico Supreme court that they sited regarding the separate hearing; however, in that case both parties still residing in New Mexico.
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

Thank you; you are probably referencing the Pavlo case (

Once a court exercises subject matter jurisdiction (ie over a divorce, annulment, etc) that court retains exclusive and continuing jurisdiction typically. Once a court accepts jurisdiction over a divorce/annulment/legal separation, that court retains the right to assign the assets/debts of that union. The fact that the court stated separate hearings needed to be conducted indicates this.

I could not locate any case law addressing the situation when both parties move out of state during the pendency of an annulment; however, in that instance the court would likely agree that the original jurisdictional court retains jurisdiction (as is the case in divorce) unless all parties assent to a change in jurisdiction.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay, that's not exactly what happened. There was nothing else done or scheduled after the initial hearing that voided the marriage. In fact the attorney for my daughter didn't file a civil suit for several months after that hearing and by then both parties were residence of other states.Also, the marriage was not annulled but voided and by New Mexico law that is supposedly a separate legal issue from annulments.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Moreover, the marriage took place in the state where my daughter now resides.
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

I have reviewed the statutes and case law and cannot find any indication that an annulment is treated differently than a void marriage (rather, an annulment voids the marriage). The annulment states that the marriage is illegal, invalid and void.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What about the first part of my last message.
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry; my post did not go through.

Under statute 38-1-16 and subject matter concerns (for example of case law please see State v. Scoggin) the court that had initial jurisdiction would retain jurisdiction unless

1. the parties consented to a change in jurisdiction (stipulation)


2. the court, upon motion of a party or on its own motion, consented to transfer jurisdiction to a new forum, based generally on "inconvenient forum" (typically arising when both parties relocate out of state)

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Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

Hi; just checking in to see how everything worked out;

thank you for using JA and I hope the information was helpful. Thank you!