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Child Support in New Mexico: Calculating and Enforcing Orders

By Bob Matteucci

Splitting up with your child’s other parent is never easy. Even when you know it is the right thing to do, it is still an arduous process. 

Setting up separate households, shuttling your kid back and forth, and trying to co-parent as you negotiate a custody agreement and parenting plan is tough. You and your former partner both want what’s best for your child, but figuring out what that means can be a challenge. 

With all this going on, you may be under the assumption that coming to an agreement on child support payments will be another tense conversation. However, calculating child support payments is often the most straightforward part of most New Mexico divorces or separations. 

Attorney Bob Matteucci works with parents in the Albuquerque area who receive and pay child support as they navigate the unique legal challenges these cases present.

New Mexico’s Child Support Guidelines 

In New Mexico, child support payments are typically set by the New Mexico Child Support Guidelines, which were established to provide a fair and consistent method for determining child support obligations. 

According to NM Stat § 40-4-11.1, the amount of child support that the parent will pay or receive will be based on factors that include: 

  • The gross income (before taxes) of each parent 
  • What the government sets as the poverty line
  • The number of children 
  • The time each parent spends with and is responsible for the child  
  • Court-ordered child support paid by either parent to another family 
  • Childcare costs 
  • Health and dental insurance premiums 
  • Extraordinary medical expenses, including those for counseling 
  • Educational expenses 
  • Travel and communication expenses if a child’s parents live a long distance away

The goal is to create a financial arrangement that supports the child’s needs while taking the parents’ financial situations into consideration. 

Sometimes disagreements arise when there are questions about a self-employed parent’s income, the cost of childcare, or other issues that must be addressed as former partners figure out how to co-parent. But by focusing on what is in the best interest of their child, most parents can come to an amicable agreement.

As soon as everyone is on the same page, it is possible to use worksheets provided by the New Mexico Courts to calculate an appropriate payment. 

Enforcing Child Support Orders 

To ensure compliance with child support orders, the state of New Mexico’s Human Services Department has created a Child Support Services Division. The Division facilitates child support payments, and can ensure compliance by withholding income, intercepting tax refunds, and reporting delinquent parents to credit bureaus. 

It is crucial for both parents to adhere to the terms outlined in the child support order. If the level of support being paid or received needs to be modified, parents should ask the court for an update instead of making modifications themselves. Keeping things official means the child’s welfare is protected and neither parent can later claim the other was neglecting their parenting duties. 

Serving New Mexico Families with Dignity & Compassion

New Mexico has a straightforward process for calculating child support payments and ensuring they are promptly paid. Once a few key issues are discussed, calculating child support payments is often the easiest part of getting divorced or splitting up with your child’s other parent. 

Attorney Bob Matteucci helps families navigate New Mexico’s unique child support calculation and payment system. Contact the Matteucci Family Law Firm today to set up a meeting and discuss your case.

About the Author
Bob Matteucci is a board certified family law specialist, with a statewide practice in the area of divorce and family law.