How is Alimony/Spousal Support Determined in New Mexico?
Alimony is the old-fashion term for spousal support in Bernalillo County. This is a sum of money payable from one spouse to the other after the divorce in order to help the receiving spouse maintain a reasonable standard of living.
The spouse asking for alimony or spousal support bears the burden of showing how much money he or she “needs” each month and the other spouse’s “ability to pay” that amount, taking into account the overall allocation of property and debt in the divorce. The receiving spouse also must prove the length of time he or she needs to receive spousal support or alimony before becoming financially self-sufficient.
Everyone’s support was wonderful, and so needed, during such a brutal, emotional, and heartbreaking time. - M.F.
- Transitional: This is short-term money, usually one year or less, that helps the spouse get established on his or her own.
- Rehabilitative: This is money to help a spouse go back to school or get re-trained to be able to get a job or a better-paying one in order to become financially self-sufficient.
- “Permanent”: This is a monthly payment for an indefinite amount of time from one spouse to the other; this money is paid every month until the receiving spouse dies or remarries.
- Lump-sum, non-modifiable: This is a fixed amount that is often paid on a monthly basis and the amount and length of time paid cannot be modified or altered.
Unlike child support, spousal support used to be deductible from the paying spouse’s income for tax purposes and included in the receiving spouse’s income for tax purposes. However, the tax law changed and for all alimony agreements or awards entered after December 31, 2018, spousal support is no longer deductible for the paying spouse or included in the receiving spouse's income for income tax purposes.
Alimony ends when the receiving spouse dies or remarries (except for lump-sum, non-modifiable), and sometimes ends upon other events if the parties agree. Alimony or spousal support does not automatically end when the paying spouse dies. He or she needs to carry life insurance to secure the obligation to pay alimony.
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