Information Required for Child Support Modification
The New Mexico courts retain jurisdiction over the issue of child support until a child turns eighteen (18) or until a child turns nineteen (19) if that child is still in high school. The court's ongoing jurisdiction means that after an initial child support order has been entered, either party can petition the court for a change to child support up until the court loses jurisdiction. The party seeking a change in support would file a Motion to Modify Child Support with the court stating the grounds for the modification.
In order for the court to modify child support, the court must find that there has been a material and substantial change in circumstances. The court will presume that there has been a material and substantial changes in circumstances if more than one year has passed since the entry of the previous child support order and if the present circumstances would cause the monthly child support obligation to change by twenty percent (20%) or more.
Given that child support is based on the gross income of both parties, the child support guidelines require parties to exchange income information yearly so that the they can determine whether or not there has been the material and substantial change in circumstances necessary to modify support. Thus, all child support orders are required to include a provision that the parties will exchange the following financial discovery for the preceding year: complete state and federal tax returns; W-2 statements; IRS forms 1099; statements of amounts paid for work-related daycare; proof of amounts paid for dependent medical insurance premiums; and, paycheck stubs or statements for the four (4) months preceding the request.
Prior to filing a Motion to Modify Child Support, a party should run the child support worksheets. If the child support obligation would go up or down by 20%, then a modification is in order. In the absence of a material change, then the motion will likely be denied.
Anyone who thinks that they may be entitled to a modification of an existing child support order should would be well advised to contact an experienced child support attorney prior to filing a motion.