When Should Child Support be Modified

New Mexico law allows for child support to be modified whenever there is a material and substantial change in circumstances. There is a presumption that there is a material and substantial change in circumstances whenever facts change so that a child support obligation under the child support guidelines is modified by 20%. Of course, this is a rebuttable presumption but gives some direction on how to handle such a situation. But what does this look like in practical terms. Let us give you some direction to ascertain whether support should be modified either up or down.

If you suspect that child support should be modified then you should begin by determining what the gross income is of both parties. Don’t focus on the net income as the child support statutes under NMSA 40-4-11.1 require an evaluation of support in the context of gross income. Remember, that gross income isn’t just what they earn but what they are capable of earning. Thus, you must consider their education level, work experience and physical limitations, if any. After you consider the income and have varying amounts of income ranges the next thing to do is run through different scenarios of support. You will have to determine if you are using a worksheet A or B, but once that decision is made in the context of the income of the parties you can find out a potential range of child support. If the support you end up calculating is 20% more or less than what it was under the old order then support modification is warranted and you must file a motion.

Here is where time is of the essence. Although you file a motion to modify support the court probably won’t hear the issue until several months thereafter. Do not hesitate however because child support is retroactive to the filing of the motion. Therefore, time is of the essence when you do decide to file a motion to modify child support. To learn more about how to modify child support contact our child support experts at info@JusticeLegalGroup.com or call us at 505-880-8737.