The law requires a non-custodial parent to pay a monthly allowance to help a custodial parent with child rearing expenses. Child support is determined by a court. To ensure consistency in the amount of child support awarded to custodial parents, New Mexico has established specific guidelines covering several areas. The child support guidelines consider the income of both parents, deductions such as alimony or child support to another party, and childcare, healthcare, and unique expenses. Most guidelines attempt to account for the amount of time spent with each parent, increasing the child support amount when a non-custodial parent does not spend much time with his or her child. Non-custodial parents should be aware of their child support rights and should be prepared to enforce them if the amount of support awarded seems too high. Many people presume that the child support guidelines provide for the correct amount of financial support. However, it may be possible to obtain a lower or higher amount of child support.
Non-custodial parents attempting to lower child support payments must prove extenuating circumstances that justify deviating from the guidelines, whether the guidelines be a specific percentage of a non-custodial parents net income or the based on the needs of the child. Thus, a noncustodial parent may seek a deviation from the child support guidelines. Another practical step to take to alleviate support obligations is to seek abatement if the circumstances warrant. This means that any time the child is with the noncustodial parent for an extended period the parent may be able to have their support abated during that time. Yet another tactic to use is to seek a modification if warranted. Child support orders can be modified on a temporary or permanent basis. If the non-custodial parent loses a job or develops a temporary medical condition that affects earnings ability, support may be temporarily lowered. If this adult incurs a disability or is forced to take a lesser-paying job, a permanent adjustment may be in order.