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New Mexico Child Support
Child Support in New Mexico
In New Mexico, the courts may order either parent or both parents to pay child support depending on the financial resources of the parents and without regard to marital misconduct.
New Mexico courts calculate child support from state guidelines, and the courts use worksheets to determine the correct amount of child support by parents with visitation and shared responsibility. Shared responsibility or joint custody means that a parent has physical possession of the child for at least 35 percent of the year. Welfare benefits are not considered. The guidelines are presumed to be correct and must be followed, unless both parents agree to an amount other than that calculated by the guidelines, or the courts decide the guidelines are unjust due to extraordinary expenses or special circumstances.
Child Support information is contained in New Mexico Statutes Annotated; Article 4, Sections 27-2-27, 40-4-7, 40-4-11, and 40-4-11.1.
The worksheet generates an appropriate New Mexico child support obligation according to each spouse's income and other relative numeric factors such as taxes paid and retirement contributions. Once this amount is calculated, parents look for any New Mexico child support deviation factors. Additional information about New Mexico child support can be found in the New Mexico state statutes.
In New Mexico, the noncustodial parent pays child support based on the Income Shares Model. This regime, based on the gross income of both parents and based on the number of children involved, works this way: for the parents of one child, 15 percent is applied to the gross income of both parents. That number is cut in half, and it is the child support that the noncustodial parent pays each month.
This routine estimates the amount of support that would have been available if the marriage had not failed. This estimated amount is then divided proportionally to the parents according to each parent's income. This is easy to do using the New Mexico child support worksheet. Pay records typically substantiate the estimated incomes.
This routine takes into account both parents' gross income and applies a percentage to it based on the number of minor children they have together. The court takes the combined income of both parents and works out the proportion each contributes. That figure is then divided proportionately based on each parent's ability to pay and which parent has primary custody.
If the noncustodial parent has a higher income than the custodial parent, the noncustodial parent would then be responsible for the greater portion of the child support obligation; conversely, if the noncustodial parent has a lower income than the custodial, the noncustodial parent would then be responsible for the smaller portion of the child support obligation.
Other Expenses and Deductions
Extraordinary expenses are either add-ons, where the expense is added to the support payment, or deductions, where the amount is deducted, and indicated as either mandatory or permissive. Childcare is considered a deviation factor.
Child Support Enforcement
Unless the court and parents agree otherwise, all New Mexico child support orderS must provide for wage garnishment, which is sent to the CSED and forwarded to the custodial parent. An electronic money transfer is used in the case of a payer parent who is self-employed.
For help with child support enforcement in New Mexico call 800-288-7207.
For Child Support Enforcement Case Payment Information, you can contact the KIDS Line, which gives payment information over the phone. The number is 800-759-5437. Parties can hear the most current payment information, report a change of employer or address, request an application for services, or leave information on a CSED case. The KIDS line is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week .
More information about New Mexico Child Support Enforcement can also be found at their website.
Generally, the obligation ends when the child reaches 18 years of age. A child will also automatically be ineligible for child support if that child marries, or is removed from disability status by a court order.
New Mexico courts may decide the guidelines are unjust due to specific circumstances of the case, including:
The courts may also increase support calculated by the Income Shares Model to offset additional but necessary costs. For example, if the child has special medical or educational needs, the support amount may be increased. The additional expenses, however, must be in excess of $100 per year per child for the support amount to be adjusted.
A substantial hardship for either parent or the child may also justify an adjustment of the amount of the child support payment.
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"A Plain English Guide to Protecting Your Children"
Author: Mary L. Boland, Attorney at Law
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