New Mexico Child Support Definitions
A. In any action to establish or modify child support, the child support guidelines as set forth in this section shall be applied to determine the child support due and shall be a rebuttable presumption for the amount of such child support. Every decree or judgment of child support that deviates
from the guideline amount shall contain a statement of the reasons for the deviation.
B. The purposes of the child support guidelines are to:
(1) establish as state policy an adequate standard of support for children, subject to the ability of parents to pay;
(2) make awards more equitable by ensuring more consistent treatment of persons in similar circumstances; and
(3) improve the efficiency of the court process by promoting settlements and giving courts and the parties guidance in establishing levels of awards.
C. For purposes of the guidelines specified in this section:
(1) "income" means actual gross income of a parent if employedto full capacity or potential income if unemployed or underemployed. Income need not be imputed to the primary custodial parent actively caring for a child of the parties who is under the age of six or disabled. If income is imputed, a reasonable child care expense may be imputed.
The gross income of a parent means only the income and earnings of that parent and not the income of subsequent spouses, notwithstanding the community nature of both incomes after remarriage; and
(2) "gross income" includes income from any source and includes but is not limited to income from salaries, wages, tips, commissions, bonuses, dividends, severance pay, pensions, interest, trust income, annuities, capital gains, social security benefits, workers’ compensation benefits, unemployment insurance benefits, disability insurance benefits, significant in-kind benefits that reduce personal living expenses, prizes and alimony or maintenance received, provided:
(a) "gross income" shall not include benefits received from means-tested public assistance programs or child support received by a parent for the support of other children;
(b) for income from self-employment, rent, royalties, proprietorship of a business or joint ownership of a partnership or closely held corporation, "gross income" means gross receipts minus ordinary and necessary expenses required to produce such income, but
ordinary and necessary expenses do not include expenses determined by the court to be inappropriate for purposes of calculating child support;
(c) "gross income" shall not include the amount of alimony payments actually paid in compliance with a court order;
(d) "gross income" shall not include the amount of child support actually paid by a parent in compliance with a court order for the support of prior children; and
(e) "gross income" shall not include a reasonable amount for a parent’s obligation to support prior children who are in that parent’s custody. A duty to support subsequent children is not ordinarily a basis for reducing support owed to children of the parties but may be a defense to a child support increase for the children of the parties. In raising such a defense, a party may use Table A as set forth in Subsection K of this section to calculate the support for the subsequent children.
D. As used in this section:
(1) "children of the parties" means the natural or adopted child or children of the parties to the action before the court but shall not include the natural or adopted child or children of only one of the parties;
(2) "basic visitation" means a custody arrangement whereby one parent has physical custody and the other parent has visitation with the children of the parties less than thirty-five percent of the time. Such arrangements can exist where the parties share responsibilities pursuant to Section 40-4-9.1 NMSA 1978; and
(3) "shared responsibility" means a custody arrangement whereby each parent provides a suitable home for the children of the parties, when the children spend at least thirty-five percent of the year in each home and the parents significantly share the duties, responsibilities and expenses of parenting.
E. The basic child support obligation shall be calculated based on the combined income of both parents and shall be paid by them proportionately pursuant to Subsections K and L of this section.
F. Physical custody adjustments shall be made as follows:
(1) for basic visitation situations, the basic child support obligation shall be calculated using the basic child support schedule, Worksheet A and instructions contained in Subsection K of this section. The court may provide for a partial abatement of child support for visitations of one month or longer; and
(2) for shared responsibility arrangements, the basic child support obligation shall be calculated using the basic child support schedule, Worksheet B and instructions contained in Subsection L of this section.
G. In shared responsibility situations, each parent retains the percentage of the basic support obligation equal to the number of twenty-four-hour days of responsibility spent by each child with each respective parent divided by three hundred sixty-five.
H. The cost of providing medical and dental insurance for the children of the parties and the net reasonable child-care costs incurred on behalf of these children due to employment or job search of either parent shall be paid by each parent in proportion to his income, in addition to the basic obligation.
I. The child support may also include the payment of the following expenses not covered by the basic child support obligation:
(1) any extraordinary medical, dental and counseling expenses incurred on behalf of the children of the parties. Such extraordinary expenses are uninsured expenses in excess of one hundred dollars ($100) per child per year;
(2) any extraordinary educational expenses for children of the parties; and
(3) transportation and communication expenses necessary for long distance visitation or time sharing.
J. Whenever application of the child support guidelines set forth in this section requires a person to pay to another person more than forty percent of his gross income for a single child support obligation for current support, there shall be a presumption of a substantial hardship, justifying a deviation from the guidelines.
K. Grounds for deviation from child support guidelines.
Any deviation from the child support guideline amounts set forth in Section 40-4-11.1 NMSA 1978 shall be supported by a written finding in the decree, judgment or order of child support that application of the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate. Circumstances creating a substantial hardship in the obligor, obligee or subject children may justify a deviation upward or downward from the amount that would otherwise be payable under the guidelines.
L. Modification of child support orders; exchange of financial information.
A. A court may modify a child support obligation upon a showing of material and substantial changes in circumstances subsequent to the adjudication of the pre-existing order. There shall be a presumption of material and substantial changes in circumstances if application of the child support guidelines in Section 40-4-11.1 NMSA 1978 would result in a deviation upward or downward of more than twenty percent of the
existing child support obligation and the petition for modification is filed more than one year after the filing of the pre-existing order.
B. All child support orders shall contain a provision for the annual exchange of financial information by the obligor and obligee upon a written request by either party. The financial information to be furnished shall include:
(1) federal and state tax returns, including all schedules, for the year preceding the request;
(2) W-2 statements for the year preceding the request;
(3) Internal Revenue Service Form 1099s for the year preceding the request;
(4) work-related daycare statements for the year preceding the request;
(5) dependent medical insurance premiums for the year preceding the request; and
(6) wage and payroll statements for four months preceding the request.
For the purposes of this subsection, the wages of a subsequent spouse may be omitted from the financial information provided by either the obligor or the obligee.