Who can get child support?
How will the judge calculate child support?
If I have joint custody, will either parent have to pay child support?
How long does child support last?
What can I do if the other parent is not paying the court-ordered 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
A judge will consider the following guidelines when establishing child support:
- the income of each parent;
- the time each parent spends with, and is responsible for, the child as established in the custody arrangement;
- work-related child care costs; and
- medical insurance premiums.1
The child support order can also include these extra expenses that are not covered by the basic child support:
- uninsured medical, dental, and counseling expenses over one hundred dollars per year;
- extraordinary educational expenses; and
- transportation and communication expenses necessary for long-distance visitation or time-sharing.2
1 N.M. Stat. § 40-4-11.1(K)
2 N.M. Stat. § 40-4-11.1(I)
Because child support is based on the income of each parent, it’s possible that even if both parents spend equal time with the child, one of them might still be ordered to pay child support. However, state guidelines to establish child support do consider the shared responsibility of joint custody when establishing support.1
1 See N.M. Stat. § 40-4-11.1
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)
The New Mexico Child Support Enforcement Division can help you enforce a child support order. Among other things, they can:
- suspend the parent’s driver’s, professional, hunting, fishing, or other licenses;
- garnish tax refunds;
- place a lien on financial accounts or property;
- restrict the issuance of a passport; or
- request the court to issue a bench warrant.1