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What is Child Support, and When does it Occur in New Mexico?

Child support refers to an ongoing payment made to a child’s non-custodial parent to support the child’s well-being and upkeep financially. In New Mexico, these payments are usually determined when the child’s/children’s parents are in the process of a divorce. The New Mexico laws establish that these payments should be determined using child support guidelines, though these rules are periodically revised. The Second Judicial District Court will calculate the appropriate payment through a preset formula and not any amount the parents consider as fair. Usually, this court checks the gross income of both parents in determining the appropriate fee. In New Mexico, the Child Support Enforcement Division (CSED) and the Second Judicial District Court are the two agencies in charge of enforcing & determining child support payments and modifying them.

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What is New Mexico Child Support?

The fundamental reason for establishing the New Mexico child support laws is to ensure that children with divorced parents enjoy the same living standard that their parents can afford. As stated under the New Mexico Child Support Act, the CSED is empowered to execute numerous actions regarding child support payments. These include:

  • Establish the right paternity of children born out of wedlock to allocate child support payments correctly
  • An order that child support payments be made to aid the custodian of the child/children
  • Offer child support services to children and the custodians that are un-aided such as locating the missing parent
  • Establish guidelines for the disposition of any unclaimed medical, spousal, and child support payments

The amount of money demanded from one parent to another depends on the worksheet used (Worksheet “A” or “B.”). Selecting a worksheet will depend on the duration of time the children spent with either parent. Generally, most families can be classed in “worksheet A.” This means the child lives basically with one parent, the custodial parent, and spends holidays, weekends, and vacations with the other (the non-custodial parent).

What Does Child Support Cover in New Mexico?

Apart from the basics such as the child’s clothing, feeding, and so on, the New Mexico child support laws also comprises an “additional expenses” factor in its worksheets. The following are the generally accepted payments considered as additional expenses:

  • Visitation expenses to far places such as gasoline for driving the children, plane tickets, and costs for phone calls
  • Regular psychological counseling for the child
  • The tuition fees for the child’s education in a private school (where applicable)
  • Auto insurance for the teenage road-user (where applicable)

Child support stops when the child dies, marries, or joins the military. The support for a child ends once such a child becomes emancipated legally. This can either be when the child turns 18 (or when the individual graduates) or by court order. However, pursuant to section 40–4–7, child support continues when the child suffers a disability that hinders the ability to be self-sufficient.

What is the Average Child Support Payment in New Mexico?

The New Mexico court sets the average cost for taking care of a child at $1,000 a month. The income from the non-custodial parent is 66.6% of the overall combined total of both parents. A number of variables are considered when determining how much should be paid as child support by the non-custodial parent. The two systems used for calculating a child’s support in New Mexico are income share and percentage of income.

  • Income Share Method: Under this model, the child support amount is determined using economic tables to calculate the children’s overall living expenses every month.
  • Percentage Of Income Method: This model is simple as it involves the monthly payment of a fixed percentage to the child from the non-custodial parent’s income.

Also, child support payments in New Mexico can be agreed-upon out of court if the parents can come to a mutual support agreement themselves. This can also be decided in the state’s family court.

How do I apply for Child Support in New Mexico?

Requesters can apply for child support with any local government agency on the subject-matter in New Mexico. Alternatively, the interested party can employ a private lawyer to petition proper child support to a judge. Whatever model the requester follows, such a person should note that a judge will have to approve and finalize the amount before it can be enforceable.

The interested party will need to fill and send a child support form to the state’s CSED to apply for its full services. The CSED can help the custodial parent to:

  • Establish the non-custodial parent’s child support obligations
  • Enforce the court’s order
  • Withhold wage for the child’s support
  • Help to locate the non-custodial parent
  • Establish the right paternity

How do I Get Out of Paying Child Support in New Mexico?

In New Mexico, the only legal means for a parent to stop making child support payments are:

  • When the child comes of age
  • When the child is out of high school
  • Through a court order
  • If the child gets married or dies before coming of age

Another alternative is for the interested parent to seek a child support modification based on a change in circumstances.

The New Mexico laws empower either parent to demand (in writing) that the other parent presents their financial records. This exchange can be done once a year. Contained on these financial records is:

  • That individual’s tax returns for the previous year
  • The recent pay stubs
  • Evidence of that person’s cost of providing insurance
  • Proof of any work-related daycare expenses

This exchange’s objective is to allow both parents to determine the proper child support amount by themselves.

What is Back Child Support in New Mexico?

Generally, the back child support is money paid by a non-custodial parent who stopped paying the child support or failed to complete it. This is also termed as child support arrears. The New Mexico laws outline various consequences that come with back child support. These include:

  • Seizure of drivers license
  • The government could intercept the defaulter’s wages

In New Mexico, either the court or the CSED usually adds interest for defaulters. This interest is normally estimated at 8¾% annually.

How do I Get Back Child Support Paid in New Mexico?

The New Mexico CSED is the government agency that enforces child support payments. Interested persons who are due back child support payments should call their local CSED agency immediately. When applying for help, the individual should go to their office and the child support order to avoid any delays. Also, the concerned party should include details regarding payment history or lack of any.

Are there New Mexico Statutes of Limitation on Child Support?

In New Mexico, the law offers a statute of limitations of 14 years to collect back child support. This deadline starts counting from the due date of each child support payment. Despite this lengthy time limit, most courts in the state endeavor to discourage any unreasonable delay when pursuing this payment.

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