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New Mexico Family Law Attorney Sandra Morgan Little answers:
What do you need to know about child support in New Mexico? (Read the transcript of this video below).
What do I need to know about child support in New Mexico?
In most divorce cases involving children, one spouse will pay the other spouse child support. Child support is determined using the New Mexico Child Support Guidelines. The support amount is determined by a calculation based on each parent’s gross income, the child’s health insurance costs, any work-related childcare required, and can also include certain fixed expenses for the child or possibly travel expenses if the parents live in different states. Keep in mind that the definition of income for child support purposes is extremely broad and essentially includes income from all possible sources. There are two Guideline Worksheets that are used to help determine child support payments, Worksheet A and Worksheet B.
How do you know which Guideline Worksheet applies to you?
It is generally a function of how much time each parent has with the child. If there is a more traditional timesharing schedule in place, then support is calculated using a Worksheet A. If the situation is more akin to a shared physical custody arrangement wherein both parents have at least 35% of time with the child, then support is calculated using a Worksheet B. New Mexico case law also provides direction when there are multiple children between the parties that are not following the same timesharing schedule.
Do the Guideline Worksheets always apply to New Mexico child support cases?
No. There are many instances when either the parties agree or a court determines that application of the Worksheets is not appropriate. Such instances may include:
When one or both parents make significant income such that application of the Guidelines would result in extremely high child support that goes beyond actual support for the child.
When application of the Guidelines would result in the primary care parent paying support to the non-custodial parent.
When one or both parents’ income is extremely volatile such that it would be better to have a regular monthly amount of support with additional support paid during periods of high income or bonuses.
When does child support end in New Mexico?
Child support ends when the child is legally emancipated, either by court order or when the child reaches 18 and graduates from high school, or at age 19 if the child has not graduated from high school. Child support can also end if the child joins the military, dies, or gets married. If a child has a disability that makes it impossible for him or her to become self-sufficient, then child support may continue indefinitely.
Is child support tax deductible?
Generally, child support is not tax-deductible to the person paying it nor is it includable in the other parent’s income for income tax purposes.
We work closely with our clients in their child support matters. In cases where parties are business owners or high-income earners, it is particularly important to work with attorneys who understand more than just the basic child support guideline calculation. We have the necessary knowledge and expertise at Little, Gilman-Tepper & Batley, and would be happy to meet with you to further discuss your child support matter.
New Mexico Matrimonial and Family Law Attorney Roberta S. Batley is a Board Recognized Specialist in Divorce and Family Law and a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Trained as a Collaborative attorney, she focuses her practice on representing business owners, their spouses, and other high-asset parties. For more information about Roberta S. Batley and her firm, please visit http://www.lgtfamilylaw.com.