WATCH: When will a court award spousal support or alimony? Is paying alimony tax deductible?

By Jan Gilman-Tepper
October 20, 2015


Read the transcript of this video below.

In New Mexico, a court will award spousal support or alimony when the person requesting it can show a need for support and the person being asked to pay the support has the ability to do so.

People often ask us, “Will I receive the same amount per month as my neighbor, friend, or relative does?” Or, “Will I have to pay what I hear other people have to pay?” Since each case is different, the answer to both is “probably not.”  

The need or the ability to pay is determined by your own facts and circumstances. Need for spousal support is determined by subtracting all of the normal and ordinary monthly living expenses for the person seeking support from all income that spouse may have, including employment compensation and other income generated from a business or even government programs, such as social security. If those monthly expenses exceed the total amount of the income and the other spouse has the income or assets from which to pay, the court may award monthly spousal support.

Spousal support may be awarded in different ways, such as allowing one spouse to keep the marital residence instead of receiving monthly payments. However, only alimony support payments that are paid monthly and that terminate upon the death of either spouse are tax-deductible.

How long support will be paid and the amount of the monthly payments depends on the total circumstances of the marriage, including the length of the marriage, the ages and health of the spouses, and the amount of assets and overall income of each spouse.

Spousal support is complicated, so you should consult the attorneys at Little, Gilman-Tepper & Batley before you agree to pay or accept any amount of alimony.

New Mexico Family Law Attorney Jan Gilman-Tepper has been practicing family law for more than 30 years, focusing her practice in the area of divorce and business issues. The co-founder of Little Gilman-Tepper& Batley P.A. in Marquette, New Mexico, Jan is a Board Certified Family Law Specialist. In addition to litigation, she also offers alternative dispute resolution services, including collaborative law and mediation. For more information about Jan Gilman-Tepper and her firm, please visit

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October 20, 2015

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