Both parents are financially obligated to support their child(ren). The court will usually order child support according to the New Mexico guidelines, which calculate support based on a parent’s gross monthly, the visitation schedule, and other factors. Generally, a noncustodial parent pays child support to the custodial parent. The child support order may last until the child is 18 or until the child graduates from high school, whichever is later. Alternatively, if a court emancipates the child or if the child is emancipated through marriage, the child support obligation may terminate. If you are concerned about the amount of child support that you need to receive or that you are being ordered to pay, you should consult Lovato Law, P.C. today.
Child support is intended for the benefit of the child, and usually pays for the basic necessities such as:
- Food, housing, and clothing;
- Health insurance and medical care; and
- Educational expenses.
Some Important Points to Know
Who Is Responsible for Child Support?
Both Parents are responsible to support the child, regardless of whether they are married or not. Step-parents are not obligated by law to pay child support unless the step-parent legally adopted the child.
How the Court Determines the Amount of Child Support
New Mexico courts generally apply the New Mexico Child Support Guidelines to determine how much child support is to be paid. Parties may use the standard New Mexico Child Support Worksheet to enter their income information and other permissible expenses to determine the amount to be paid. The parties’ gross income and the visitation schedule are the two most important factors pertaining to the amount of child support that will be ordered by the court.
What else is included in child support apart from the insurance and daycare costs?
The most commonly accepted additional expenses are:
- Long distance visitation expenses (tickets, transportation from one place to another, and long-distance phone calls)
- Other medical treatments which are not covered under insurance like psychological counseling.
- Orthodontia expenses (prevention and correction of malpositioned teeth and jaws)
- Private school tuition if the child is going to private school.
- Auto insurance for teenage drivers.
When does child support end?
Until the child turns 18 or 19 if the child still attends high school. (Child support may continue indefinitely if the child cannot support themselves due to a physical or mental disability.)
Does Child support directly benefits the child.
Child support does not go directly to the child but goes to the parent who has custody of the child. If a court suspects misuse of the funds, modifications may be made to the child support order.
How Do You Determine the Amount of Child Support?
Courts generally require each parent to complete a financial statement before making a decision on child support. In the financial statement, the parent must detail his or her monthly income and expenses.
Based on the financial information and the amount of time each parent spends with the child, the Court uses a standard formula to determine the child support amount.
Can Child Support Payments be adjusted?
Yes. For instance, the court may allow child support payments to be reduced or increased in some cases. These typically involve major life changes such as:
- A change in location or residence of one of the parties.
- Child custody or visitation changes
- A child’s medical emergency.
- A loss of employment, or reductions in salaries due to any reason.
- Various other major life changes that can impact child support payments.
What if Child Support payments are not being made?
In such cases, an enforcement action may be brought. The court may enter judgment against a party for missing child support payments. Repeated failure to provide child support payments can result in legal penalties such as a contempt order, wage garnishment, or even criminal consequences.
How can we help you to get child support?
Child support laws can be complicated, and the process of determining child support involves various factors. You should hire an experienced and professional child support lawyer if you need assistance with any aspect of yourt child support case, whether it is collecting child support, getting a support order modified, or other issues. We can provide you with the guidance you need to resolve your child support issues.