When a marriage in New Mexico ends in divorce, the court may order one spouse to pay alimony or spousal support to the other spouse to prevent financial hardship and help with the transition to self-sufficiency. But how long is alimony required in New Mexico and can the original court order be modified?
There are several types of spousal support that a judge in New Mexico may award, depending on the circumstances of the case: transitional spousal support, which is intended to supplement a spouse’s income for a limited time; rehabilitative spousal support, which is intended to help a spouse gain the education, training, or work experience needed to increase their income and become self-sufficient; indefinite spousal support, which may be awarded in long-term marriages where a spouse is unable to become self-sufficient due to age or disability; and lump-sum spousal support, which is a one-time payment or series of payments awarded in lieu of or in addition to other support.
The court will consider a range of factors when deciding on the duration of alimony payments, including the length of the marriage, the financial need of the recipient spouse, the recipient’s ability to earn an income, and other relevant circumstances. Alimony payments are not connected to child support payments or custodial arrangements and are not intended as punishment. If a marriage lasts less than five years, alimony may not be awarded.
There are no clear guidelines in New Mexico on the duration of alimony payments. Factors to consider include the parties’ need for and ability to pay alimony and how these factors may change over time. It may be appropriate to continue alimony until the receiving spouse is eligible for a pension or social security, or until the receiving spouse remarries or begins cohabitating. If no end date is specified in the court order, alimony may be considered indefinite.
If you have questions about alimony in New Mexico, it is a good idea to speak with an experienced attorney at Justice Legal Group. We can help you understand the terms of your court order and advise you on your rights and obligations regarding alimony payments. Call us at 505-880-8737.