Marriage is a financial partnership as much as it is an emotional one. In many partnerships, one partner receives a higher income and/or has higher earning potential than the other. In order to prevent the lower income earning spouse from bearing an undue financial burden as a result of the divorce, New Mexico family courts recognize the need for alimony (also called spousal support).


A multidisciplinary committee has outlined guidelines for calculating alimony to assist divorce attorneys in assessing if their clients are eligible to receive spousal support and to establish an estimated monthly amount to begin negotiations.

  • For parties with no children:
    30% of the higher income-earning party’s gross monthly income les 50% of the lower income-earning party’s gross monthly income
  • For parties with children:
    28% of the higher income-earning party’s gross monthly income less 58% of the lower income-earning party’s gross monthly income


The actual amount and duration of alimony payments are determined by the court, which considers a number of other factors, such as:

  • Length of the marriage
  • Age, health and means of financial support for each party
  • Current and future earnings and earning capacity of each party
  • Efforts to find and/or maintain employment
  • Standard of living during the marriage


Payments are calculated before child support payments received or paid is factored into parties’ respective gross incomes when calculating child support.


Assessing a just amount requires full disclosure of divorcing parties’ assets and debts; getting the court to award alimony for divorce cases that go to trial can require expert testimony. Because alimony can be a highly contentious issue, income may often be hidden to reduce the amount of spousal support awarded. An experienced divorce attorney is invaluable to the investigation of your spouse’s financial affairs and in building a solid case for the amount and duration of alimony you seek.