When a married couple gets a divorce, the court may award “alimony” or spousal support to one of the former spouses, based either on an agreement between the couple or a decision by the court itself. The purpose of spousal support is to limit any unfair economic effects of a divorce by providing a continuing income to a non-wage-earning or lower-wage-earning spouse. Part of the justification is that one spouse may have chosen to forego a career to support the family, and needs time to develop job skills to support his or herself. Another purpose may be to help a spouse continue the standard of living they had during marriage. Unlike child support, which in most states is mandated according to very specific monetary guidelines, courts have broad discretion in determining whether to award spousal support and, if so, how much and for how long.
In New Mexico there are several considerations when the court considers an award of spousal support such as: The age, physical condition, emotional state, and financial condition of the former spouses; The length of time the recipient would need for education or training to become self-sufficient; The couple’s standard of living during the marriage; The length of the marriage; and The ability of the payer spouse to pay. If you are faced with an issue of spousal support talk to the alimony and spousal support experts at the Justice Legal Group.