Child support in New Mexico follows specific guidelines. As a parent, you should understand these guidelines. Doing so will protect the rights of your child and help you avoid problems later on. Albuquerque family law attorneys can walk you through them. Here are three important guidelines that you should know about.
Calculating the Amount
A set formula calculates the amount of child support. You can get this formula from the Child Support Enforcement Division. The agency will give you a copy of the guidelines and the worksheet to use to find out how much child support is due. If the child lives with one parent, you have to use Worksheet A. If the child spends an equal amount of time living with either parent, you have to use Worksheet B. Even then, you probably need a lawyer to help you do it right.
Child support is the right of the child. Neither parent can choose to disregard it for any reason. They can agree to a higher amount as provided in the guidelines. However, they cannot lower it unless they get the approval of the judge to do so. The judge will decide if the reasons for ignoring the guidelines are in the best interest of the child. One reason that a judge may consider valid is “hardship.”
In most cases, the custodial parent gets child support from the non-custodial parent. However, when parents have joint custody, this becomes a little more complicated. The guidelines include many factors when assigning support. This includes income and parenting time. If one parent makes more money than the other does parent, he or she may have to pay child support even if the child spends an equal amount of time with both parents.
Ending Child Support
Ending child support will depend on a few things. One is the court orders the emancipation of the child for any reason. Another is the child turns 18, or 19 if not yet graduated from high school. In some cases, child support ends when the child dies, marries, or joins the military. However, if the child has a condition that keeps him or her from becoming self-supporting, child support will continue for an indefinite period.
The guidelines on child support in New Mexico are not always easy to follow. Some cases are more complicated than others are. Albuquerque family law attorneys can help you figure it out based on your circumstances.