In New Mexico, spousal support is the term used for financial support that one spouse gets from the other after separation or divorce (sometimes also called alimony). A judge orders spousal support payments to provide for living expenses and everyday necessities, with the goal of ensuring that both parties can continue to live at the same standard as they enjoyed during their marriage.
A judge will look at the following factors when making a decision about whether and how much spousal support is awarded:
Two of the most important factors are how long the marriage lasted and whether one spouse gave up career opportunities in support of the marriage. For example, the court is very likely to award spousal support to a spouse who has spent many years raising children and caring for the family, and is unable to obtain any employment because of age and lack of experience.
There are several different types of spousal support in New Mexico.
If there's no specific end date in the order, the support could continue indefinitely. But if there's no specific end date, then either spouse may ask the court to modify the spousal support order based on changed circumstances, such as when the dependent spouse becomes self-supporting.
New Mexico has an Alimony Guideline Worksheet available to calculate whether spousal support may be ordered. The calculations provide an estimate amount of support that one spouse may have to pay to the other. Find it here.
Spousal support is tax deductible by the paying spouse and reportable as income by the receiving spouse.
If the paying spouse is delinquent in payments, then the spouse receiving the payments may ask the court for a notice to withhold income. Thereafter, the support payments may be directly withdrawn from the supporting spouse’s income. Late spousal support payments may also accrue interest until the payments are no longer delinquent.