If you are newly divorced, you may be unsure of how to handle payment or receipt of spousal support on your taxes. Many issues are treated differently after a dissolution proceeding, and taxes are no exception. There are at least two major tax consequences when spousal support is involved: required reporting of income by the spouse receiving payments and a permissible deduction by the spouse making payments. A threshold issue for both former spouses is the decision of how to file.
Have you ever wondered how New Mexico courts decide the proper amount of child support? By law, courts use child support guidelines to determine the amount of support. The New Mexico Legislature has stated that the purposes of the guidelines are threefold: (1) Adequately support children, “subject to the ability of the parents to pay”; (2) Make equitable awards by treating similarly situated people consistently; and (3) Improve court efficiency by promoting settlements and providing guidance on likely levels of awards.
Spousal support can be a hot-button issue for many people. Under New Mexico law, a court can order spousal support when the marriage is dissolved. The law states the different types of spousal support, as well as the factors judges must use in making spousal support determinations. New Mexico allows five different types of spousal support: rehabilitative, transitional, indefinite duration, and two types of single sum.
In days gone by, most states required that the person seeking a divorce or dissolution prove that the other party was at fault. What was considered “at fault” depended on each state’s laws but usually included adultery, abandonment, and cruelty. In the 1960s and 1970s, many states, including New Mexico, moved to a “no fault” model of divorce. Instead of having to prove a fault-based ground for the divorce, the person requesting divorce only had to show that the couple had differences that could not be reconciled. New Mexico amended its statute to include “incompatibility” as a ground for dissolution of marriage.
Have you ever wondered why someone would get a legal separation rather than dissolving their marriage? A dissolution completely ends the marriage, while a legal separation does not. This fundamental difference explains why some people choose to stay married but legally separate. Staying married can accommodate certain religious beliefs; can avoid legal residency requirements involved in dissolution proceedings; and, in some circumstances, can allow the parties to retain certain benefits of marriage. Either spouse may request a legal separation if the couple has permanently separated and no longer live together.
In New Mexico, the legal term for a divorce is a “dissolution” of marriage. Although state law allows a few fault-based grounds for dissolution, such as adultery, it is not necessary to prove fault to dissolve the marriage. In most cases, the ground used for divorce is known as “incompatibility.” The case starts when the person seeking the dissolution files a petition and an information sheet. The person filing the petition becomes known as the “petitioner” in the case, and the spouse against whom the petition is filed is known as the “respondent.” Together, they are known as the “parties” to the action.