This post is the third in an 5 part series on spousal support in New Mexico. If you haven’t already read parts 1 and 2, I recommend you do before continuing.
Factors in determining spousal support (continued)
- The “good-faith efforts” of the respective spouses to support themselves – judges expect both parties to give a serious effort to support themselves. If they perceive that one spouse is not living up to this expectation, they likely reduce any award of spousal support accordingly.
- The reasonable needs of the spouse receiving support – to determine what needs are reasonable, the judge will take into account the standard of living the ex-spouse receiving support has become accustomed to, the cost of medical insurance, and the availability and cost of life insurance. The higher the dollar value applied to these three figures, the higher the spousal support payments will be. However, these factors are also weighed against the paying ex-spouse’s ability to pay and the earning ability of the ex-spouse receiving the payments.
- The duration of the marriage – generally speaking, the longer the marriage the larger and longer the spousal support, especially in cases where one spouse provided the majority or entirety of the couple’s income. In short marriages between young people, it has become somewhat rare for alimony to be awarded at all as dual-income households have become more common.
- The type and nature of the respective spouses’ assets and liabilities – the court will attempt to take a wide view of the former couple’s assets and obligations. They will consider whether mutual property will be sold off or if one spouse will buy the other out. They will also consider the couple’s debt and how it will be shared. Generally speaking, people who leave their marriage with more assets will receive less in spousal support. The court will also factor in any income-producing properties.
Check back soon for Establishing and modifying spousal support in New Mexico – litigation and out of court options, part 4. In the meantime, check out our page on spousal support.