How the Court Determines Alimony in New Mexico
Courts look at the needs and financial responsibilities of both spouses to determine who gets spousal support payments, and how much they will be.
In New Mexico, a court can award alimony to a spouse who needs financial support after a divorce. The court bases its decision to order alimony on the needs and obligations of both spouses.
Types of Alimony
In New Mexico, there are several different types of alimony, including:
- Long Term. Long term alimony provides on-going payments and is generally awarded in marriages of at least 20 years. The prefers parties to become self-sufficient, so it is not easily inclined to award long term support.
- Transitional. The court orders transitional alimony to get the supported spouse through the difficult transition from married life to single life. The court may award temporary alimony during the divorce process but rarely orders it to continue longer than 24 months after the divorce is finalized.
- Rehabilitative. Rehabilitative alimony provides a spouse with money to go back to school or get training to become self-supporting. When the court orders rehabilitative support, it may also include a rehabilitation plan and it may require the spouse to adhere to the plan in order to continue to receive support.
Alimony Increases or Decreases
Either spouse can request the court to increase or decrease alimony, unless their final divorce decree prohibits modifications. If the spouse receiving alimony demonstrates to the court that the amount of alimony is inadequate, or if the spouse paying alimony demonstrates to the court that circumstances have changed, the court may modify the alimony award. The court may consider job loss, illness, disability, or other financial circumstances when making a modification to the alimony award. If either spouse dies or if the spouse receiving support remarries, the alimony terminates unless the spouses have made other arrangements
Factors the Court Looks at in Making Calculations
The court will consider the following factors when awarding alimony in New Mexico:
- age, health of and the means of support
- current earnings and earning capacity
- efforts to maintain employment or become self-supporting
- the standard of living during the term of the marriage
- medical and life insurance
- length of the marriage
- property awarded though the divorce process
- assets and liabilities, and
- agreements between the spouses in contemplation of divorce.