New Mexico New Mexico

Child Support Laws

What Is Child Support?

Child support is an ongoing payment by a non-custodial parent to assist with the financial support of their children. Child support payments are often determined during the process of dissolution of a marriage through divorce, though the only requirements for requesting child support payments are establishment of paternity and maternity.

Child support is handled on a state level, and New Mexico has a set of specific child support guidelines. On this page you can learn about how child support is calculated in New Mexico, how custody split and extraordinary costs affect child support payments, and more.

New Mexico Child Support Law Summary

New Mexico uses both "percentage of income" and "income share" methods for calculating child support payments.

New Mexico's child support formula directly accounts for parents who share custody of a child, and support payment amounts are connected to the custody split. Other special situations accounted for under New Mexico's child support law include extraordinary medical costs. These costs may be additions to the basic New Mexico child support order.

The gross income of a parent means only the income and earnings of that parent and does not count the income of spouses.

"Gross income" includes income from any source such as income from salaries, wages, tips, commissions, bonuses, dividends, severance pay, pensions, interest, trust income, annuities, capital gains, social security benefits, workers' compensation benefits, unemployment insurance benefits, disability insurance benefits, significant in-kind benefits that reduce personal living expenses, prizes and alimony or maintenance received, and more, given that:

  • "Gross income" does not count benefits received from public assistance programs or child support received by a parent for the support of other children

  • For income from self-employment, rent, royalties, proprietorship of a business or joint ownership of a partnership or closely held corporation, "gross income" means gross receipts minus the expenses required to produce that income, but necessary expenses do not include expenses decided to be inappropriate by the court for the purpose of calculating child support

  • "Gross income" will not include the amount of alimony payments that have been paid in compliance to the court

  • "Gross income" does not count the amount of child support already paid by a parent in compliance to the court for the support of prior children

  • "Gross income" does not count for a parent's obligation to support prior children who are in their custody.

Each Parent's Obligation: Multiply the total child support amount by each parent's percentage share, and enter each parent's dollar share under that parent's column.

New Mexico Child Support Calculation Formula Methods

Child support can be arranged out of court by a mutual support agreement between the parents, or can be decided in New Mexico family court through a child support order. In New Mexico, a number of factors are taken into account when determining the amount of child support to be paid in court. Here is an explanation of the two most common methods used to calculate basic child support amounts.

Income Share Method

Under the income share model, the court uses economic tables to estimate the total monthly cost of raising the children. The non-custodial parent pays a percentage of the calculated cost that is based on their proportional share of both parents' combined income.

Example: The non-custodial parent of one child has an income of $2,000 per month, and the custodial parent has an income of $1,000 per month. The court estimates that the cost of raising one child is $1,000 a month. The non-custodial parent's income is 66.6% of the parent's total combined income. Therefore, the non-custodial parent pays $666 per month in child support, or 66.6% of the total child support obligation.

New Mexico does use the income share method to calculate child support

Percentage Of Income Method

This method of calculating child support is simple - a set percentage of the non-custodial parent's income is paid monthly to the custodial parent to cover basic child support expenses. The percentage paid may stay the same, or vary if the non-custodial parent's income changes.

Example: The non-custodial parent of one child has an income of $2,000 per month. The court orders a flat percentage of 25% of the non-custodial parent's income to be paid in child support to the custodial parent. Therefore, the non-custodial parent pays $500 per month in child support. If the non-custodial parent's monthly income changes, the dollar amount they pay in child support will change as well.

New Mexico does use the percentage of income method to calculate child support

New Mexico Child Support Frequently Asked Questions

How does having shared custody of the child affect child support in New Mexico?

All states have a method of modifying the amount of child support owed in cases where the custody agreement provides for joint or shared custody of a child between both parents.

New Mexico law accounts for shared custody of a child directly in the child support formula used to calculate payment amounts. This means that, in cases where custody is shared, the amount of child support paid by the paying parent will be reduced according to the amount of time they have custody of the child.

How are extraordinary medical costs treated by child support in New Mexico?

New Mexico has specialized guidelines for the sharing of a child's extraordinary medical care costs that are separate from, and in addition to, basic child support payments. Extraordinary medical costs are generally costs generated by things such as illness, hospital visits, or costly procedures such as getting braces.

How are child care costs treated by child support in New Mexico?

Unlike most states, New Mexico has no special provisions for child care costs in their child support guidelines. The costs of child care and lumped in to other costs of providing for the child when child support calculations are being made.

Does child support cover college education expenses in New Mexico?

While the state of New Mexico has no explicit requirement for college expenses to be covered under child support, support for college expense by the non-custodial parent may be voluntarily agreed to by both parties, after which it is contractually enforceable.

How is child support enforced in New Mexico?

In the state of New Mexico, child support is enforced by the state child support agency. The state agency handles the location of non-custodial parents, enforcement of support orders, and the handling of unpaid child support arrears.

What are child support arrears?

Child support arrears are the amount of child support that is delinquent, or unpaid, by the noncustodial parent to the custodial parent. Child support arrears may be collected by the state through wage garnishment, bank levy. withholding of New Mexico welfare benefits, or other collection methods.

How are child support payments taxed in New Mexico?

Under IRS guidelines, the recepient of child support does not need to pay federal tax on child support payments, and the payer of child support cannot deduct their child support payments. This differs from the federal taxation of alimony payments, which are treated as taxable income by the receiver and are deductible by the payor. New Mexico tax law may vary on tax treatment of child support.

| State Law Official Text

** This Document Provided By MaritalLaws **