Child support in New Mexico generally ends when the child turns 18, or age 19 if still in High School, whichever occurs later. However, there is a growing concern for support of children who have special needs. Children who are suffering from life altering disabilities. Such situations require special consideration when it comes to child support. There are two main ways in which special needs can impact on a child support situation.
The first impact is on how child support is calculated. In New Mexico, the child support guidelines have a line item in the statutory calculation that takes into consideration extraordinary expenses. Expenses, for example, that are consistent ongoing expenses. For example a special needs child who is renting specialized equipment to assist with a particular disability is part of what needs to be considered in the child support calculation.
The second impact is on the length of time in which child support should be paid. When a special needs child reaches age of majority that may not mean the end of child support. Of course, the severity of the disability, the nature of the disability and long term prognosis are all things that impact on a court’s decision to issue child support beyond the statutory age of majority.