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Legal Information: New Mexico

New Mexico Child Support

Laws current as of
May 16, 2024

Who can get child support?

Both parents have a shared responsibility to support their children.1 The parent who has a child under his/her care can request child support. A judge will order the other parent or presumed parent to pay child support.2 “Presumed parent” usually refers to a father whose paternal relationship, and the responsibilities that come with it, have not been legally established yet. If paternity hasn’t been established, the parentage proceeding can take place as part of the child support case.3

1 N.M. Stat. § 40-15-4(A)
2 N.M. Stat. § 40-6A-401(B)
3 N.M. Stat. § 40-6A-402

How will the judge calculate child support?

A judge will consider the following guidelines when establishing child support:

  1. the income of each parent;
  2. the time each parent spends with, and is responsible for, the child as established in the custody arrangement;
  3. work-related child care costs; and
  4. medical insurance premiums.1

The child support order can also include these extra expenses that are not covered by the basic child support:

  1. uninsured medical, dental, and counseling expenses over one hundred dollars per year;
  2. extraordinary educational expenses; and
  3. transportation and communication expenses necessary for long-distance visitation or time-sharing.2

1 N.M. Stat. § 40-4-11.1(G)-(J)
2 N.M. Stat. § 40-4-11.1(K)

If I have joint custody, will either parent have to pay child support?

Because child support is based on multiple factors, including parental income, it’s possible that one parent might still be ordered to pay child support even if both parents spend roughly equal time with the child. However, state guidelines to establish child support do consider the shared responsibility of joint custody when establishing support.1 “Shared responsibility” is defined as when your child spends at least 35% of the year in each parent’s home.2 The worksheet to determine child support obligations includes a calculation of how many “24-hour days” the child spends with each parent, a number that must total 365. This means that technically one parent will always have at least one additional day with the child in every non-leap year.3

1 N.M. Stat. § 40-4-11.1(I)
2 N.M. Stat. § 40-4-11.1(F)(4)
3 N.M. Stat. § 40-4-11.1, WORKSHEET B

How long does child support last?

Child support ends when the child is 18 years of age if s/he is no longer in high school. If the child is still attending high school, it can last until the child turns 19 years.1 After this, child support can only be ordered and enforced by the court if there is a written agreement between the parents to extend child support beyond the age required by law.2

1 N.M. Stat. § 40-4-7(B)(3)
2 N.M. Stat. § 40-4-7(C)

What can I do if the other parent is not paying the court-ordered child support?

The New Mexico Child Support Enforcement Division can help you enforce a child support order. Among other things, they can:

  1. suspend the parent’s driver’s, professional, hunting, fishing, or other licenses;
  2. garnish tax refunds;
  3. place a lien on financial accounts or property;
  4. restrict the issuance of a passport; or
  5. request the court to issue a bench warrant.1

1New Mexico’s Child Support Enforcement Division