Child Support Lawyer in New Mexico
Child support obligations can be challenging to calculate under New Mexico guidelines. Knowing when and how child support can be modified can be even more difficult. An experienced child support lawyer can protect your interests and ensure that support obligations are properly balanced for your family.
Time Spent Together Matters
One of the most important factors that influences child support obligations is the number of days your child lives with you during the year. It is a good idea to keep track of actual living arrangements, because if they deviate substantially from your original parenting plan, that could provide grounds to modify support amounts.
Different formulas are used to calculate support depending on whether one parent has physical custody most of the time or whether physical custody is shared fairly evenly. When a child spends at least 35% of the time with each parent, then a parent’s support obligations are based on the percentage of time the child lives with them.
Other Factors That Affect Support Amounts
The support amount is determined based on both parents’ incomes and the child’s needs. Factors considered include:
- Parents’ employment potential
- Allocation of expenses for medical and dental insurance
- Costs for work-related childcare
- Extraordinary medical, dental, or mental health expenses
- Extraordinary educational expenses
- Transportation expenses for long distance visitation
While it is possible to deviate from the guidelines, a court must have a good reason for doing so.
Modifying Child Support
Under Section 40-4-11.4 of the New Mexico Code, courts are not permitted to modify a child support order unless one party presents evidence of “material and substantial changes in circumstances”–the trick is to know when a change in your situation amounts to something “material and substantial.”
If a change in income or expenses is great enough that it would result in a difference of 20% or more from the current level of support, that change is enough to justify modifying support obligations. Of course, there may be other situations where a skilled child support lawyer can justify a modification, but at least one year must have passed since the court set the current order.
Contact a New Mexico Child Support Lawyer for Help
Whether you are preparing to establish child support obligations, want to make modifications, or disagree with a proposed modification, representation from a knowledgeable child support lawyer at Batley Family Law can make all the difference in the outcome.
Call our Albuquerque office today at (505) 246-0500 or fill out this contact form to take the next step toward scheduling your confidential case evaluation.
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