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What types of spousal support are available in New Mexico?

The divorce process is more than just ending a marital union between two individuals. It is a process that requires the spouses to make many decisions, and in some cases, these decisions are not easy or straightforward. Because a spouse might not be prepared for their new single life, he or she might prolong the process, seeking to keep many of the marital assets and property. While property division is an essential step to carefully work through, this part of the process also involves the financial capabilities of each spouse post-divorce. Because of that, spousal support might be requested and awarded.

What types of spousal support are available in New Mexico? To address the financial needs of a spouse, the court may award a portion of one spouse's property or a reasonable sum of money to the other spouse in the final decree. According to New Mexico law, there are five different forms of alimony.

First, rehabilitative alimony could be awarded. This provides a reasonable amount of money so the ex-spouse is able to increase his or her income and become self-supporting. In most cases, rehabilitative alimony seeks to provide the education, training or work experience required to help him or her become self-supporting following dissolution.

Next, transitional alimony could be awarded, it only lasts for a limited period of time. In these matters, a definite set amount of time is used to measure when the time period will end; however, a certain event could impact when transitional alimony ends. This could occur when the spouse is self-supportive or even remarries. Third, alimony could be awarded for an indefinite duration. This is also referred to as lifetime alimony.

Fourth, the court could order a single sum that is paid in one or more installments. These payments are subject only to the death of the recipient spouse, which means they will end if he or she dies. Lastly, alimony could be awarded in a single sum of one or more installment payments of definite amounts, which are not subject to any contingencies, including the death of the recipient spouse.

Depending on the details of the marriage and the divorce, a spouse may seek spousal support. Additionally, the details of the divorce and the ability of the spouse requesting alimony to support him or herself will also determine the type and eligibility of alimony. Those seeking to obtain, modify or terminate alimony payments should understand their situation and the options available. An attorney will able to help spouses determine their best course of action, helping them protect their rights and interests.

Source: State of Mexico Second Judicial Court, "Divorce," Accessed Sept. 25, 2015

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