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Modifying or Enforcing Custody or Child Support
Once a child support order or custody/visitation order has been entered by a New Mexico court, modifications (or changes) can be requested.
If a modification of child support is requested (whether an increase or a decrease), then the Child Support Guidelines are usually followed. Modification of child support amounts may be possible if there are material and substantial changes in circumstances. If the new calcualtion of support will go up or down more than 20% of the current support payment (ie. current support is $240 and the new calculation is $150) and more than a year going by since the previous order for support is a type of “material and substantial change.” The Child Support Worksheet must be completed to modify a child support order.
New Mexico law assumes that “joint custody” is best for children. Joint custody means that both parents make legal decisions (ie. school, doctor, dentist, activities in which the child participates), spend time with the children and are involved with them. Joint custody DOES NOT necessarily mean equal time, where the children spend half their time with one parent and half their time with the other. Equal time-sharing is possible in joint custody, but other arrangements are possible as well. The judge may not order 50-50 custody unless a counselor or a psychologist recommends such an arrangement.
Parents whose current child custody or visitation arrangement no longer works for them may need to request a modification. The Court has continuing power to modify custody orders at any point in time. There are two ways in which this can happen. The parents can both consent to modification at any time. If the parents agree, a motion and proposed order could be filed and will be reviewed by the Court before a final order is issued. If the parties do not agree, a motion could be filed and the Court may review the matter. The parties may also opt for mediation services through the Court Clinic.
For more information on child support, click here.
For more information on child custody, click here.
For the Child Support Guidelines, click here.
For information on Court Clinic, click here.
To complete a Child Support Worksheet, click here.
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