Child support can be one of the most contentious topics both during a divorce and after. Parenting plans and child support calculations are designed to be permanent, but there are certain circumstances that can warrant a change in the amount of child support that you pay or that you are paid. Every case is different, but this helpful guide should provide you an overview of how you can qualify for a change in child support in New Mexico.  If you think you are paying too much or getting paid too little in child support, contact Genus Law's experienced Albuquerque child custody lawyers at 505-317-4455 to set up a consultation and see if our experienced attorneys can help you readjust your child support payments. 


When Can I Modify My Child Support Payments in New Mexico?

Child Support payments can usually only be changed if a material and substantial change in circumstances have occurred. This usually means one of the parent’s income has either significantly increased or decreased or the timesharing split has been substantially altered. For example, if one parent loses their job and is making significantly less money then they were when the original parenting plan was made, they can probably modify their child support payments. Similarly, if the children stayed predominantly with the custodial parent while they were younger but are now old enough to move toward a more equal timeshare, a change in child support could also be warranted. Generally speaking, if it’s been a couple of years since the child support amount was set, or you suspect your ex is making more money (or you are making less), you should contact a lawyer who can evaluate your child support calculations. 


Is Child Support Modification Automatic? 

Just because a change in circumstances has occurred doesn't mean your child support payments will change automatically or that you can elect to pay less or be paid more. Any modifications to child support have to be assessed and approved by the court. “Handshake” agreements to changes are filled with risk and are in violation of the court order. It is important that you file a motion for modification in child support as soon as a substantial change in you or your ex’s financial situation occurs because in most cases modifications can’t be applied retroactively. For example, if you lose your job in June and you don't file for a modification of child support until September, you will still be responsible for the full child support amount for June, July, and August. Likewise, if your ex got a new job that paid a lot more money in 2014 and you didn't file for a modification until 2019, you will lose out on those 4 years of increased support. 


How Can I Modify My Child Support Payments in New Mexico?

If you believe that a significant change has occurred in the factors that went into calculating your child support payments, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible so that you can get the financial relief you deserve. In most cases, a significant change in income is enough to warrant a modification. The proposed change in the child support calculation has to deviate from the current child support obligation by 20% or more in order for the change to occur. Remember, even if the other party agrees to a change in child support, you still must draft and file a formal motion and go before the judge to get it approved. Genus Law's experienced child support lawyers can assess your case to see if you qualify for a modification in child support. If you do, our firm can draft the paperwork and get you the child support payment that fits your life and circumstances.   

To learn more about how child support payments are determined in Albuquerque and Las Cruces, check out our article Do I Have to Pay Child Support or get help now by setting up your consultation with our expert Albuquerque child support attorneys or call us at 505.317.4455. 


Anthony Spratley
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Experienced Divorce, Child Custody, and Guardianship Lawyer Serving Albuquerque and Beyond