Alimony, or also known as spousal support in New Mexico, is an important factor when it comes to the calculation of child support. The important distinction lies in understanding the purpose of both forms of support. Spousal support (generally speaking as there are different types of spousal support) is designed to support a divorcing spouse during the transition from married to divorced. Spousal support is generally based upon need. Child support on the other hand is support for minor children. Child support implicitly has the characteristics of need but that is only one component of the child support discussion.
What happens when these two support issues collide. It’s important to understand the interplay so that you don’t short change yourself or don’t pay too much. Spousal support is considered income for child support purposes. What this means is that the person paying spousal support needs to decrease his/her gross monthly income by the amount of spousal support being paid to the other spouse. Conversely, the person receiving the spousal support is supposed to increase their gross monthly income by the amount received in spousal support. Thus, as you can see, the gross monthly income amounts are adjusted so that it impacts on child support. While spousal support receives favorable tax treatment child support doesn’t receive such treatment. Therefore, one must be aware of this important interplay and ensure that you are either getting enough or not paying too much in terms of child support.