How to Calculate Child Support Payments in New Mexico

The calculator below will estimate your monthly child support payment based on New Mexico's child support guidelines.

By , Attorney · UC Law San Francisco

New Mexico has child support guidelines that parents and judges use to calculate the right amount of support in a particular case. The guidelines are based on the principle that children have a legal right to support from both of their parents.

How to Calculate Child Support Under New Mexico's Guidelines

Unlike many other states, New Mexico doesn't provide an official, online calculator for child support. But the state offers an online Child Support Worksheet that you can use to estimate your basic support obligation.

New Mexico guidelines take into account many factors, including:

  • both parents' income
  • the number of children who need to be supported
  • the total number of days the children spend in each parent's home
  • the cost of the children's health and dental insurance, and
  • work-related child care expenses.

Learn more about child custody and child support laws in New Mexico, including what gets counted as income when calculating support.

(N.M. Stat. §§ 40-4-11, 40-4-11.1 (2024).)

Are Other Child Support Calculators Accurate?

Watch out for websites with so-called child support calculators for New Mexico. Unfortunately, there's no guarantee that these calculators are accurate and up-to-date. New Mexico updates its child support guidelines regularly, but you usually can't tell whether any of these websites have kept up with the latest changes.

It's best to stick with the official state resources (in the links above) to get the most accurate amount of child support you may pay or receive. Be aware, however, that this will be an estimate. As explained below, the judge may order a different amount in your case.

When Child Support May Be Different than the Guideline Calculation

New Mexico law presumes that the amount of child support calculated by the guideline formula is the correct amount of support. Still, it allows judges to order a different amount of support when the guideline amount would be "unjust or inappropriate," creating a substantial hardship for the parent paying support (the "obligor"), the parent receiving support (the "obligee"), or the child.

A judge must include the guideline amount in all child support orders and explain any upward or downward deviations.

(N.M. Stat. § 40-4-11.2 (2024).)

How to Apply for Child Support in New Mexico

If you're filing for divorce in New Mexico, you can request child support as part of that process. You can agree on an amount of child support as part of a divorce settlement. You'll have to submit your agreement for a judge to approve. If you can't agree, a judge will decide for you.

You can also apply for support through New Mexico's Child Support Services Division (CSSD). You can apply online or at your local child support office. If you aren't married to your child's other parent, CSSD can help you establish parentage and then apply for support.

How to Collect Child Support in New Mexico

Nearly all child support orders in New Mexico allow for income withholding, meaning support is taken directly from the obliger's paycheck. You can also set up payments through CSSD.

If you're having trouble collecting support payments, CSSD can help enforce court-ordered child support. Depending on how much the other parent owes, the agency has several ways to collect child support, including:

  • license suspensions (including driver's, professional, and hunting and fishing)
  • intercepting tax refunds
  • placing liens on financial accounts and property
  • restricting passports, and
  • issuing bench warrants.

(N.M. Stat. § 40-4A-4.1 (2024).)

How to Change the Amount of Child Support

Either parent has a right to request a modification of a child support order by CSSD every three years. If it's been less than three years since your most recent order, you'll have to show that there's been a substantial change in circumstances since your last order, such as:

  • job loss
  • incarceration
  • a change in income for either parent
  • a change in expenses for the children
  • a change in the health care needs of a child, or
  • a change in the custody or visitation schedule.

You can also file your own motion to modify child support with the court (here's an example). You'll have to tell the judge what change you're asking for and why.

A change is presumed to be substantial when applying the guidelines to the current circumstances would result in a 20% increase or decrease in the existing child support order and the existing order has been in place for more than one year.

(N.M. Stat. §§ 40-4-11.4, 40-4-11.5 (2024).)

Getting Help With Child Support

Calculating child support is complicated. Most New Mexico Courts offer self-help resources on many legal topics, including child support.

If you and your co-parent can't agree on child custody, support, or both, you might need a lawyer's help. An experienced lawyer can answer your questions, help you negotiate an agreement that works for you and your child, and advocate for you in court if it comes to that.

Considering Divorce?
Talk to a Divorce attorney.
We've helped 85 clients find attorneys today.
There was a problem with the submission. Please refresh the page and try again
Full Name is required
Email is required
Please enter a valid Email
Phone Number is required
Please enter a valid Phone Number
Zip Code is required
Please add a valid Zip Code
Please enter a valid Case Description
Description is required

How It Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you