This post is the third in a three part series on child custody, child visitation, and child support. If you haven’t read parts 1 and 2 already, I recommend you do before continuing.
Child support in New Mexico is independent from concerns of child custody, child visitation, and spousal support. However, the good news is that it is also fairly straightforward. This is because child support, unlike spousal support, is not a discretionary award. Instead, it is governed by a very rigid, established set of rules. NMCourts.gov provides online worksheets that will calculate the amount you will pay based on your income and other personal details.
Modifying Child Support
Despite the simplicity of the child support calculation in New Mexico, there are many situations where support must be modified. However, the court is not interested in re-litigating support over every minor change and whim of the disputing parties. For this reason, in order for a support order to be modified, the court must see what they call a material change in circumstances.
In order to qualify as a material change in a New Mexico court, the new support amount must differ from the old one by at least 20%. Keep in mind; however, that this change need not come solely from the income of either parent. All factors, both income and expense, must be considered, including healthcare, insurance, education, extracurricular activites, and more. For this reason, the best way to get a complete picture of your legal situation when it comes to child support is to speak with an experienced family law attorney.
One important although somewhat rare caveat to New Mexico’s child support laws is that the court can hold authority over a child until they turn nineteen if they are still in high school.
PJ Hartman is a board certified family law specialist with over 15 years of experience helping New Mexico’s families resolve their disputes in the best interests of all parties involved. If you have a family law issue, don’t wait. Call the office today to set up a consultation, or use our contact form.