Click here for the New Mexico child support calculator.
Why is it that one person pays $1000 a month and someone else pays $200?
Why is there child support when you and the other parent have the kids 50/50? Do moms ever have to pay child support? Do you have to pay child support if the other parent doesn’t need it?
There are a lot of questions about child support.
Let’s see if we can answer some of your questions and clear up any confusion. In NM, the law says we need to look at a guideline to figure out the right amount of child support.
But before we jump into the guidelines, it’s important to note what child support is for—child support is meant to help make sure that your children have shelter, food, clothing, health care and daycare—the essentials. So, if you are paying child support and your children are clothed, fed and have a roof over their heads, then the goals are being met.
Now, for the guidelines…
In New Mexico, child support is based on several different numbers, including how much money each of the parents make. The final amount of child support is determined by a worksheet. The worksheet will let you know how much child support should be for one month, so all the numbers you use should be the monthly amounts.
Here is a list of the numbers you need to know to fill in the worksheet:
- How much money you make each month and how much money the other parent makes each month. This amount should be the gross monthly income. Gross monthly income is how much you are paid before any deductions for taxes or other things—so the easiest way to figure out someone’s gross income is looking at a W-2 or check stub. But there are other types of gross income, including self-employment, rental income, and any other money you make. Those numbers are not as easily determined but can be figured out by looking at tax returns or other financial documents. If one parent is unemployed or makes less than minimum wage, the judge could use minimum wage at 40 hours a week for a parent’s income.
- How many children do you have with that parent. This is how many children under the age of 18, or 19 if they are still in high school.
- The number of days in a year that the children spend with each parent. One 24-hour period of time is one day. So, if you have 50/50 visitation schedule, then each parent has the children for 182.5 days.
- How much the monthly health insurance premium is for the children only and who is paying the amount. Usually, companies charge one amount for health insurance for the employee only and a different amount for a family plan. You will need to look at the differences and figure out how much is for the children only.
- How much daycare costs per month and who pays for it. If the amount per month varies, you can take an average. Sometimes it costs less for daycare during the school year than it costs during the summer. In that case, you can add up the costs for the whole year and divide it by 12.
- Finally, if your child has any special monthly costs—like medical, educational or travel costs that happen every single month, then you need to determine how much the cost is and who is paying it.
Once you have all these numbers at your fingertips, you can go online and plug the numbers in and the worksheet will be produced for you.
Now, some things vary in cases, like figuring overtime or what happens when one parent has custody of one child and the other parent has custody of another and it is possible that some other number has to be figured out for child support. If you have a case that you believe is unusual, then asking a lawyer for advice is always a great idea!