What to Expect When Hiring a Child Support Lawyer

By Bob Matteucci

Whether you read the book, downloaded the app, or watched the 2012 rom-com, you’ve probably encountered the “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” universe. Since its launch in 1984, “What to Expect” has become the go-to resource for millions of soon-to-be parents and those raising newborns to toddlers.  

Many parents lament the fact that the helpful advice doesn’t keep coming as their kids age. But as seasoned parents know, once you hit the three year mark, raising kids is more like a “Choose Your Own Adventure” novel than something you can describe in a how-to manual! It’s impossible to cover all the potential twists and turns your life may take. 

If you are reading this blog post, you are swerving in a direction you never anticipated — you and your child’s other parent are parting ways. Rather than letting this monumental life change knock you off balance, Attorney Bob Matteucci can help you negotiate a child support plan that helps your family focus on the future and move forward with your lives. Here’s what you can expect if you choose to work with Bob and his team: 

Working Within 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 you 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 from one another

Once these items are identified, it is possible to use worksheets provided by the New Mexico Courts to calculate an appropriate payment. These worksheets can be completed on your own, but working with an attorney will ensure your child’s best interests are accounted for, and there are no mistakes that might cause the judge to delay the resolution of your case. 

When Disputes Arise 

New Mexico’s child support worksheets and guidelines go a long way toward helping families take the stress out of negotiating a child support plan, but it is not a completely frictionless process. 

Disagreements can still arise if you and your child’s other parent have differing opinions about child care, education, and health care options. While you both want what is best for your child, figuring out what that means can be challenging. An experienced attorney like Bob Matteucci can help you find middle ground and build from there. 

Calculating child support payments can also be difficult if one or both parents are self-employed or are in another profession where income can vary from year to year. We have also seen situations where a parent received illiquid compensation or was deferring compensation now in order to build up their assets. Bob is often asked to handle child support cases involving complex financial issues because of his business background and MBA degree.

Future Focused 

You and your child’s future are in flux, and how you feel about that change can influence where you are headed. Focusing on how you want to live out the rest of your life determines what goals you should have in mind when you head to the negotiating table to hammer out a child support agreement. 

As legal counsel, it is part of Bob’s job to help you look to that future and figure out what is important to you so he can advocate for you and your child’s best interests.

Serving New Mexico Families with Dignity & Compassion

Parents in the Albuquerque area are often uncertain about what to expect when hiring a child support lawyer. And even if you can find a blog like this that can give you some guidance, your family is unique and may not want the cut-and-paste legal counsel a run-of-the-mill family law attorney can provide. 
Attorney Bob Matteucci can help you craft a child support payment plan that complements your child custody agreement and matches your family’s specific experiences, values, and goals. 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.