Child Support (New Mexico)

JusticeThe following is a summary of New Mexico child support laws, and is by no means intended to be an all-inclusive description of what to expect in your particular case. In some cases, the exact text of the statute may have been simplified and/or modified to provide for easier understanding. For a more specific understanding of the laws, you should consult the full New Mexico Statutes and/or consult with an attorney about how the law might apply to your particular situation.

Child Support Worksheets.

The basic child support obligation is determined using a worksheet, based on the combined gross income of the parents. You’ll use one worksheet to determine child support when you have basic visitation, and another worksheet when you have shared responsibility.

“Basic visitation” means one parent has physical custody and the other parent has visitation less than 35% of the time; and

“Shared responsibility” means each parent provides a suitable home for the children of the parties, when the children spend at least 35% of the year in each home and the parents significantly share the duties, responsibilities and expenses of parenting.

Gross Income and Deductions.

“Income” means actual gross income of a parent if employed to full capacity, but does not include benefits from a public-assistance program or child support received for other children. Gross income doesn’t include the income of subsequent spouses, notwithstanding the community nature of both incomes after remarriage.

Alimony payments and child support payments for prior children not in that parent’s custody that are actually paid in compliance with a court order are deducted from that parent’s gross income to determine the amount of child support that should be paid. A reasonable amount for a parent’s obligation to support prior children who are in that parent’s custody shall also be deducted. A duty to support subsequent children is not ordinarily a basis for reducing support owed to children of the parties but may be a defense to a child support increase for the children of the parties.

Expenses in Addition to Basic Child Support Obligation.

Each parent should pay the cost of medical and dental insurance for the children, and the net reasonable child care costs due to employment or job search, in proportion to his income, in addition to the basic obligation.

The child support may also include the payment of any uninsured medical, dental and counseling expenses incurred on behalf of the children more than $100 per child per year, any extraordinary educational expenses for children of the parties, and transportation and communication expenses necessary for long distance visitation or time sharing.

Imputed Income.

Income can be imputed if the parent is unemployed or underemployed, unless the parent is the primary custodian actively caring for a child of the parties who is under the age of six or disabled. If income is imputed, a reasonable child care expense may be imputed.

Maximum Percentage of Income.

Whenever application of the child support guidelines set forth in this section requires a person to pay to another person more than forty percent of his gross income for a single child support obligation for current support, there shall be a presumption of a substantial hardship, justifying a deviation from the guidelines.

-From 40-4-11.1 of the New Mexico Statutes.

Deviation from Child Support Guidelines.

Any deviation from the child support guideline amounts shall be supported by a written finding in the decree, judgment or order of child support that application of the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate. Circumstances creating a substantial hardship in the obligor, obligee or subject children may justify a deviation upward or downward from the amount that would otherwise be payable under the guidelines.

-From 40-4-11.2 of the New Mexico Statutes

Termination Date.

Child support terminates when the child becomes emancipated, or when the child graduates from high school if the children are emancipated only by age, are under nineteen and are attending high school; and

If the parties have a written agreement, the court may order and enforce child support for the maintenance and education after high school of emancipated children.

-From 40-4-7 of the New Mexico Statutes.