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Alimony & Spousal Support

New Mexico does allow for the award of Alimony. The amount of the award will depend upon the length of the marriage, the nature of the employment or lack of employment of the respective spouses, the income earning capacity of each party, the need for education or training for a non-working spouse to return to the workforce, medical needs, physical health, the age of the parties and so on.

The Alimony Guidelines Can be Found at the New Mexico Courts Website

Alimony can be temporary, permanent or transitional in nature. It depends on the factors set forth above. There are Alimony Guidelines created by the Second Judicial District Court in Albuquerque.  The Alimony guidelines can be found at the New  Mexico Family Court website.  Conduct a search for New Mexico Alimony Guidelines pdf and the form will come up.  We would provide the link here but the link changes each time there are modifications to the Guidelines.

Statutory Considerations

The alimony worksheet that was created is by no means binding on the Court but can give you an ballpark of what you might expect in terms of alimony.  The factors set forth above must still be taken into account for a final determination of alimony based upon the statute.  The statutory considerations for alimony are also set forth in the guidelines.

Considerations Based Upon Financial Need

Thee are quite a few considerations based upon financial need which will arise out of the respective roles of the parties during the marriage.  In other words, one parent will often be the primary care-taker for the children taking him or her out of the workforce which will affect financial independence moving forward.  In addition, there may be health issues that prevent a party from working in the future.

Each of these considerations is important in the alimony calculation based upon need:

  1. Age, health and means of support of the parties,
  2. The current and future earnings potential of the parties
  3. The good faith efforts of each of the parties to maintain employment.  Where there no good faith to maintain employment, income may be imputed.
  4. The needs of the parties in consideration of standard of living, medical insurance needs.  The court will also consider the availability of life insurance to insure the care of the receiving spouse in case of death of the paying spouse.
  5. The duration of the marriage is a very important consideration with presumptions toward alimony kicking in at 10 years of marriage depending on the circumstances.

Property, Assets, Investments and Prenups

The court will of course also consider the property, assets, investments and investment income of the parties.  Some of these may be community property in nature and divided upon the divorce.  Others may be separate property.  Each will be considered in determining financial need for alimony moving forward.

In addition to separate property, there are cases where a prenup agreement was executed prior to the party.  This will naturally affect the property and assets of the parties.  It may also affect the income calculations used in the worksheet where income has been addressed in the prenup.

An Attorney Experienced in Alimony Can Help

Though the worksheet itself is fairly straightforward in the calculations, the numbers going into the worksheet can be hotly disputed as can the considerations regarding financial need and financial assets.  It is important to know your rights in addressing alimony no matter which side of the equation you are.

The numbers going into the worksheet are important.  Failure to assert your rights to have the correct numbers based upon the circumstances can seriously and adversely impact your financial future.

 

Related Reading from Our New Mexico Alimony Blog

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