Gov. Lujan Grisham indicators laws for brand new youngster help legislation

SANTA FE, NM (AP) – A measure signed Monday by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham modernizes New Mexico’s child support law and brings the state into compliance with federal regulations and national best practices.

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State officials said the changes would keep New Mexico from losing more than $ 147 million in federal funds that could temporarily help low-income families.

The legislation updates the statute of the state to align it with federal regulations based on the actual income of the combined parents and the solvency of the parents without custody. It also allows the state to focus on providing employment opportunities and job security to help non-custodial parents meet their obligations.

Lujan Grisham said the law will lead to more support for children in New Mexico.

“Working with parents to find work and establish affordable child support contracts is a better way to increase consistent child support payments in New Mexico,” she said in a statement. “Working parents who do not live with their children can develop closer relationships with them when they feel good, when they can support them financially.”

The governor’s office pointed to studies showing that unconscious parents who have fewer debts to support children are far more likely to have contact with their children and are more effective parents.

The new law also adapts the schedule for assessing fees and costs, as well as assessing backward child support arrears, shortening it from 12 to three years. The court can examine over a longer period of time whether there are indications that a paternity suit could not have been brought before the court earlier.

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