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Establishing and modifying spousal support in New Mexico – litigation and out of court options, part 2

This post is the second in an 5 part series on spousal support in New Mexico. If you haven’t already read part 1, I recommend you do before continuing.

The four types of spousal support (continued)

Non-modifiable or “lump sum” – this type of support is based on a fixed sum. It may be paid all at once or monthly. This type of support is sometimes awarded in compensation for assets during the divorce. Non-modifiable alimony is not dependent on the receiving spouses marital status or earning ability, nor does it automatically end if the paying spouse dies – chances are good that the estate will take over responsibility for non-modifiable alimony.

open ended spousal support concept illustration

Factors in determining spousal support

Although judges have considerable flexibility when determining spousal support in comparison to child support, their decisions are driven by guidelines issued by the state. The state provides these guidelines, as well as a alimony worksheet that will suggest payment amounts, on their website.

Let’s take a look at some of the guidelines judges use when determining spousal support:

  • The age and health of the respective parties – older people who are less able to work will generally be awarded more in alimony.
  • The parties means of support, their current earnings, and their future earning potential – spouses with little or no means to support themselves are far more likely to receive spousal support. However, it is also important to note that the judge will also take into account the earning potential of both spouses. If the spouse requesting support is working part time when they could be working full time, or working in a position for which they are overqualified, then there could be a substantial difference between their current and potential earnings.

Check back soon for Establishing and modifying spousal support in New Mexico – litigation and out of court options, part 3. In the meantime, check out our page on spousal support.