The alimony laws governing spousal support in New Mexico are different from what is obtainable in other states. Read further to grasp the peculiarity of the NM alimony law.
Also referred to as “spousal support” or “spousal maintenance” in Land of Enchantment, alimony is the series of payments made by one spouse (the payor spouse) to another (the supported or payee spouse) after the divorce.
Before the alimony payments commence, there has to be a written order or agreement which requires the payor to support the payee with a stipulated amount of money.
This agreement eliminates any disputes in the future about why the payment was made or when it’s not made.
All 50 states in America are alimony states, meaning states that have enacted laws permitting a spouse who cannot work full time or with a lower income to request payments from the other spouse to support themselves after a divorce.
Type of Alimony Laws Practiced in NM
Spousal support in New Mexico is awarded on a case-by-case basis. Spousal support is not automatically evaluated in the light of divorce proceedings in NM, unlike in other jurisdictions.
In general, the state of New Mexico grants interim spousal support only when the marriage has lasted a long time (about 20 years) and the newly divorced can show a clear need for financial assistance to maintain a fair level of living.
Here are the typical types of alimony granted in New Mexico
Rehabilitative Spousal Support in New Mexico
The type of support that can help a divorced spouse increase their earning potential and become self-sufficient through school, job training, or on-the-job programs such as internships.
A rehabilitative assistance plan may be conditional on the beneficiary completing a certain program, such as benefits that stop once the recipient receives a degree.
Transitional Spousal Support in NM
This form of assistance tries to help the client “get back on their feet” or get through a difficult time. A spouse who is looking for a new career, waiting for a property to sell, or moving to a different place are all examples of common situations.
Indefinite Spousal Support in New Mexico
If an individual does not receive support from their former partner in some divorce situations, they will face hardship. In some instances, the court may order spousal support payments to continue indefinitely for the rest of the recipient’s life.
Indefinite spousal support agreements are rare in New Mexico, and they normally only arise in certain circumstances, such as when a couple has been together for 20 years or more and the one requesting assistance is elderly or has a physical condition that makes it impossible for them to work.
Temporary Spousal Support in NM
If one spouse needs assistance with living expenses while the divorce is pending, temporary spousal support is possible. Judges in NM may also give this form of support to offset the costs of divorce for one of the spouses. (40-4-7 (A) of the New Mexico Statutes (2018).)
Lump-Sum Spousal Support in New Mexico
If a spouse can prove that he or she needs a specific amount of money, the court may grant that amount. This amount can be paid in one lump sum or in several installments.
Most installment agreements will end when the beneficiary passes away; nevertheless, some agreements must persist even after the recipient passes away.
Who Pays Alimony in New Mexico?
In New Mexico alimony law, the spouse that makes most of the money will share that income with the other spouse. The idea behind who pays for alimony is to considerably level up the living standard of the dependent spouse to what it was while the marriage was on.
Regarding the sex that pays, alimony in the Land of Enchantment is gender-neutral, meaning either spouse can request support from the other. As long as the alimony can be provided to the requesting spouse, then it will most likely be granted.
So a husband can receive alimony from a wife in New Mexico if the above conditions are met.
How Long Does Spousal Support Last in NM?
The duration to pay alimony in New Mexico can differ depending on the individual judge and circumstances. However, you should expect to pay spousal support for a duration of 80-70% of the length of the marriage lasted. So assuming you were married for 10 years, the spousal support duration will most likely be between 6 to 7 years.
As provided by the alimony laws of NM, rehabilitative and permanent support stops if either spouse dies or the supported spouse remarries.
How to Collect Spousal Support Arrears in New Mexico
When it comes to collecting spousal support in New Mexico, you have a few choices if your ex-spouse has failed to make alimony payments as ordered by the court. Debts for spousal support are frequently given priority among debtors under US law.
Average Alimony Payment in New Mexico
The average amount payable as spousal support in New Mexico after divorce is determined by various factors. But the major factor you have to understand is “the standard of living of the marriage.”
To determine the final amounts for rehabilitative and permanent support in NM, the courts in NM takes into consideration the income of the spouses, plus other factors like:
- earning capacity of each spouse.
- the ability of the paying spouse to pay, considering assets, the standard of living, earning capacity, as well as earned and unearned income.
- the extent of contribution the supported spouse gave to the other’s educational pursuit or professional license during the marriage
- how long the marriage lasted
- the needs of each spouse
- the assets and debts of each spouse including separate property
- each party’s tax consequences
- the ability of the supported spouse to gain employment without interfering with their children’s care
- each spouse’s health and age
- each party’s balance of hardships
- whether there is a documented history of domestic violence against the children or either party
- will the dependent spouse be self-supporting within a reasonable period
- any criminal conviction of an abusive spouse
- any other factors which the court wishes to consider
This is the main measure the court uses to determine the amount to be paid in Land of Enchantment. The principle behind the standard of living of the marriage is that after the marriage breakup, both spouses should continue living within the same standard they lived while the marriage lasted.
How Alimony is Calculated in NM
The amount to be paid as spousal support in New Mexico is calculated after considering the above-stated factors. Whichever option is adopted it is reflected in the Alimony Calculator
Importance of Using a Skilled New Mexico Spousal Support Attorney
If you’re getting a divorce in New Mexico and need to negotiate or re-negotiate spousal support, you’ve definitely got a lot of questions and want to seek competent legal guidance. Though state Supreme Courts have supported lifetime spousal support,
your circumstances may or may not fulfill the requirements. NM courts may judge your case differently based on the merits of you and your previous spouse. There are so many variables to consider.
If you want to get spousal support for the rest of your life or if you want to fight against it in New Mexico, an expert divorce lawyer can help. Depending on the objective and the desire of the adversary attorney to bargain in good faith, you’ll need attorneys that are both empathetic and strong.
For the convenience of our members, we have an up-to-date directory of NM divorce and spousal support attorneys who can help with a variety of issues. For legal advice and representation on spousal support that is powerful and well-
FAQ About New Mexico Alimony Laws
Here are Frequently Asked Questions about spousal support laws in NM:
Can a Husband get Alimony in NM?
Yes. In New Mexico, alimony payment is gender-neutral, meaning the sex that pays or receives is not the main determinant, but other factors as stated above. For details click here.
Who Qualifies for Alimony in New Mexico?
Just as either spouse can pay or receive, the party that qualifies to receive spousal support is the dependent party while the marriage lasted. This means that in NM, the spouse that had lesser or no income when the marriage was on is also the one qualified to receive alimony. Click here for details
How Long do you have to be Married to get Alimony in NM?
To understand how long alimony lasts in New Mexico, you have to take into consideration how long the marriage lasted.
However, bear in mind that there is no limit to the duration you can pay or receive alimony for marriages that lasted 10-20 years or more. Any marriage that lasted below 20 years will not pay nor receive alimony that exceeds 50% of the duration of the marriage.
Is Alimony Tax Deductible in New Mexico?
Following the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which altered the link between alimony and taxes dramatically in New Mexico and all over the US, alimony payments are no longer tax deductible for the payer and are no longer recognized as
income for the recipient spouse as of January 1, 2019.
Is Alimony Mandatory in Land of Enchantment?
Alimony is mandatory in New Mexico as long as one of the spouses earns or owns assets that can be relied upon to support the other spouse after the marriage breaks down.
Can Alimony be increased in New Mexico?
Alimony amount or duration can be increased or decreased due to changes in the financial circumstances of the parties in different ways, including:
- an increase or decrease in the income of the alimony recipient
- if it’s determined that the original alimony awarded is inadequate
- loss to the alimony recipient’s financial assets
- an increase in the justified expenses of the alimony recipient
- when the financial condition of the receiving spouse fails to improve as originally expected
Can you go to Jail for Not Paying Spousal Support in NM?
Technically, you will not be jailed for not paying alimony in New Mexico. While there are varying consequences for not paying alimony, you can still end up in jail as a result. Here is how.
If it’s a New Mexico court-ordered spousal support that you refuse to pay, it means you are in violation of a court order meaning you can be prosecuted for being in contempt of court if contempt proceedings are brought up against you. This could attract a jail term in NM}.
How to Modify Spousal Support in New Mexico?
When necessary, New Mexico law allows for a spousal support modification. When it comes to alimony, courts in NM usually try to do their best to create judgments that are fair and effective in the long run. Nevertheless, conditions change over time, and these changes may compel a revision or modification of the initial order.
When filing for a spousal support modification in New Mexico, keep in mind that the courts will only entertain the motion if there has been a significant and long-term change in circumstances. A brief problem is unlikely to be significant enough to warrant a revision in the initial alimony ruling. Likewise, dissatisfaction with the support order is not a valid reason for a revision in NM.
The following are some of the most common reasons for requesting an alimony modification in New Mexico:
- Changes in income or employment
- Birth of a new child
- Health changes, including disability
- A new dependent
How to Avoid or End Spousal Support in NM?
In Land of Enchantment, the spouse paying the alimony can successfully avoid or stop the alimony payment if he/she is able to prove any or all of the following points:
- that the dependent spouse is guilty of infidelity
- the spouse proves that he has no source of income
- the spouse remarries and has to take care of the new spouse however, he/she will continue paying the child support for children if any
- if the spouse is disabled and unable to earn a living
Alimony Laws in all 50 States
A Alabama | Alaska | Arizona | Arkansas
C California | Colorado | Connecticut
D-H Delaware | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii
I Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Iowa
K-L Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana
M Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana
N Nebraska | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | North Dakota
O Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon
P-S Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | South Carolina | South Dakota
T-U Tennessee | Texas | Utah
V-W Vermont | Virginia | Washington | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming