What is spousal support?
Spousal support, also known as alimony, is support in the form of payments from one ex-spouse to another. Generally, the idea behind alimony is to facilitate a transition to self-sufficiency for the ex-spouse receiving the payments, although in some cases it is possible to have alimony payments that continue for an indefinite amount of time. Unlike child support, alimony is what is known as a discretionary award, which means that courts and judges have a much wider array of options in awarding alimony than they do with child support. Also unlike child support, alimony is deducted from the taxable income of the paying ex-spouse, and added to the taxable income of the receiving ex-spouse.
Let’s learn a little bit more about spousal support in New Mexico, its types, and how it’s determined and modified. There are four types of spousal support.
The four types of spousal support
- Transitional – transitional alimony is support over a short period for ex-spouses who only need a small amount of assistance to make the transition to self-sufficiency. Transitional support typically lasts for less than a year.
- Rehabilitative – rehabilitative support focuses on education or training that a spouse may have foregone during the marriage. Rehabilitative support will often last for the amount of time it takes for the receiving spouse to earn their degree or professional certification.
- Open ended – open ended alimony is support without a specified end date. It will continue until the ex-spouse receiving it either remarries or dies. This type of alimony is typically reserved for cases where couples were married for a very long time, and the receiving spouse has little to no earning ability.
Check back soon for Establishing and modifying spousal support in New Mexico – litigation and out of court options, part 2. In the meantime, check out our page on spousal support.