Guidelines for Alimony: The New Mexico Experiment

Larkin, Twila B.
March 2004
Family Law Quarterly;Spring2004, Vol. 38 Issue 1, p29
Academic Journal
Family lawyers generally agree that alimony is the largest single impediment to settling divorce cases when alimony is at issue. A request for alimony may present a difficult decision for a judge. Because alimony settlements and awards are so unpredictable, attorneys cannot advise clients as to outcome. Alimony cases end up being among the most appealed. In many jurisdictions, the unpredictability of maintenance awards has led courts and bench/bar committees to work on guidelines for maintenance. A committee of family-law practitioners and accountants was authorized in January 2001, to study the alimony problem and make recommendations to the family court judges as to whether alimony guidelines would be appropriate for use in Bernalillo County. Most alimony guidelines, however, apply to the interim period between filing of the petition and entry of the final decree, alimony pendente lite, and not to a permanent alimony award. Other state guidelines were not immediately adoptable for New Mexico because of the differences in law.


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