Albuquerque Child Support Attorneys
New Mexico law requires that parents financially support their children who are younger than 21 (and who are not emancipated). For divorcing parents, this can mean that one parent, typically the parent with a lesser share of physical custody, pay the other parent, who has primary custody, child support.
Child support awards and amounts are determined by a complicated formula that considers factors like:
- The number of involved children
- Each parent’s income and financial resources
- How custody is shared or split.
Whenever it’s time to request, enforce or modify child support orders, it’s time to contact a child support lawyer at Sutherland Law Firm, LLC. Our attorneys have extensive experience representing mothers and fathers in child support cases. We have the insights and skills you can count on for aggressive advocacy, as well as effective help protecting your interests and helping you achieve the best possible outcomes to your case.
We are ready to help you get through the difficult times so you can get a fresh start and focus on the next chapter of your life.
How Is Child Support Determined?
To determine the amount of child support, the court will evaluate all income earned by each parent, including job wages, benefit payments (like Social Security disability benefits), royalties, interest payments, etc. Any other existing child support payments that either parent is currently make will be subtracted from the income total.
In addition to factoring in all income and other child support payments, the formula will factor in issues like who pays for dental and health care, as well as the costs of child care and other expenses (like tuition, transportation, etc.).
The New Mexico courts have developed this Child Support Worksheet to help parents get a better idea of the support obligations that they may be required to pay or be entitled to receive.
Can a Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement Prevent Someone from Having to Pay Child Support?
No. While a pre- or postnuptial agreement can legally determine issues like which property remains separate, how community property will be divided and whether either spouse is entitled to spousal support, these agreements cannot absolve parents of their obligations to financially support their children. Any clause in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that tries to prevent or limit child support payments can be thrown out and/or may render the entire agreement invalid.
How & When Are Child Support Orders Changed?
Child support orders, once granted by the court, can be changed by filing a request for modification with the court. The court will then review the request and determine whether there are grounds to alter these payments.
Potential grounds for a modification can include (and are not limited to):
- Job loss
- The development of a serious health condition
- Changes to the child custody arrangement.
How Long Do Child Support Obligations Last? What Happens One a Parent Fails to Pay Child Support?
Child support payments will continue until the child turns 18 or until there is a court order terminating them.
If a parent stops paying child support outside of these parameters, (s)he will be violating a court order and can be held in contempt. The court can punish non-paying parents via:
- Jail time
- Wage garnishments
- Drivers’ license suspension.
Consequently, the best thing parents can do when they have not received court-ordered child support is to:
- Return to court to report the violation of the court order and seek legal redress
- Continue to abide by the other court orders, including child custody orders, to avoid incurring more issues with the court.
Get Experienced Help Resolving Your Child Support Issues: Contact an Albuquerque Child Support Lawyer at Sutherland Law Firm, LLC
Whether you need help obtaining, enforcing, modifying or terminating child support orders, you can turn to an experienced Albuquerque child support lawyer at Sutherland Law Firm, LLC.
Call (505) 207-5172 or email our firm.
Empowered by more than 40 years’ experience, our compassionate and insightful attorneys are ready to discuss your needs, explain your options and aggressively protect your interests as moving forward. We have the knowledge and skills you can rely on for superior representation in and outside the courtroom.
Let us help you successfully navigate the complexities and challenges of your family legal issues so you can obtain the best possible outcomes and move forward with your life.Child Support
From offices based in Albuquerque, we provide the highest quality counsel and representation to clients throughout New Mexico. Our attorneys are also licensed to practice in Texas and Michigan.