This post is the third in a series on making and modifying child support agreements in New Mexico. If you haven’t read parts 1 and 2 yet, I recommend you do before continuing.
How is the amount of child support determined in New Mexico?
The best interests of the child (continued) – The court will also take into account the standard of living the child or children had prior to the divorce, and try to maintain that standard of living as closely as possible. However, the court recognizes the financial difficulties of divorce, and that it is not always possible to maintain the same standard of living for children.
The earning potential of both spouses – this is obviously one of the most important factors in determining a child support award. It’s also important to note that the courts will look at the earning potential of both parties, not just their current and actual earnings. If one spouse is unemployed or underemployed, they may decide that person’s earning potential is greater than what they’re actually earning. One main aim of this strategy is that it prevents people from artificially deflating their income in order to get out of paying child support. However, even in less extreme cases, it helps ensure fairness for all involved.
The child’s expenses – Next, the courts will take an inventory of all the financial obligations pertaining to raising the child or children. That includes medical and dental insurance, housing, educational costs, work-related child care costs, how much time each child spends with each parent, and more.
Making the child support agreement
Once all relevant information about the child or children’s needs, their standards of living, and the parents’ finances has been gathered, the next step is to make that information into an agreement.
Check back soon for Child support in New Mexico – making and modifying agreements, resolving disputes – part 4. In the meantime, check out our page on child support in New Mexico.