When children are involved in a divorce, the divorce process is always a bit more complicated. Child support is typically a consideration for individuals with children who are undergoing divorce. Child support involves one parent making payments to the parent with the majority of physical custody.
Federal law requires all states to create guidelines regarding child support. In accordance with these laws, New Mexico has established guidelines for individuals seeking child support. This guide will answer many questions commonly linked to child support.
What Is a Child Support Order?
New Mexico’s child support stipulations include expenses for everything from basic expenses like food, clothing, and rent to insurance (auto, health, and dental). Parents are required to cover expenses linked to education, transportation, and work-related childcare. Child support may also cover long-distance visitation.
Generally, child support is in place until a child is 18 or graduates from high school, whichever comes first. Child support orders also end if the child passes away, gets married, or joins the military. If a child is disabled and unable to become a self-sufficient adult, support may go on until the child’s death.
In cases involving children who go to college, parents may come to an agreement on their own to include in a court order. The court does not require parents to cover any portion of college expenses for children over the age of 18.
Ultimately, New Mexico uses a formula to determine the appropriate amount of child support to include in the order.
When Does the Court Establish a Child Support Order?
Divorce isn’t the only reason for a child support order. If the child’s parents were not married, one of the parents may petition for support through the New Mexico Human Services Department. The judge may then issue an order based on court proceedings and after establishing paternity of the child.
What Factors Does the Court Consider in Child Support?
Child support considers a variety of factors, and no two cases are exactly alike. The first consideration is physical custody, followed by the gross income of the parents. Then the court considers any special needs. In some occasions, the judge will consider cost of living.
What Happens If an Individual Is Not Paying?
New Mexico has specific laws regarding what happens if an individual is not paying child support. For instance, some cases may involve automatic deductions from a paycheck. Payments will be routed to the Child Support Enforcement Division and then to the receiving parent and child.
New Mexico does not look kindly on parents who quit their job, purposefully get fired, or move to lower paying jobs in an effort to evade child support payments. In these cases, the court does not lower support.
Individuals who have not paid child support in years past may have to make amends. The statute of limitations for New Mexico child support is 14 years, but the court may determine if an individual needs to continue making payments.
Some people flee the state or even the country to avoid paying child support. While moving can make collection more difficult, the federal laws require that each state recognize the child support agreements of other states. Many countries even have reciprocal child support arrangements across borders.
Keep in mind that child support and visitation are two separate issues. Failure to pay child support does not negate the parent’s right to see their child.
Do You Need an Attorney for Child Support Cases?
While you do not necessarily need an attorney to come to court for child support, you certainly should hire one. You want a professional to represent your rights and the right of your child in court.
Need help with child support in New Mexico? Call the Law Offices of Lynda Latta, LLC, today to set up a consultation with a team that cares about your case.