Child Support Hearing Officer
Child Support Enforcement Program
The state Human Services Department (HSD) is designated as the agency responsible to administer the child support enforcement program in New Mexico. HSD administers a statewide plan to establish paternity, child and medical support and enforcement of support obligations in compliance with the federal Social Security Act. HSD contracts with the Third Judicial District Court to provide the services needed to meet the requirements of federal law. Under the terms of a cooperative agreement between HSD and the District Court, HSD provides funding and the District is responsible for implementing measures for the use of a Child Support Hearing Officer in the adjudication of legal actions for child and medical support. The Court, under this agreement, implements the Child Support Hearing Officer Act.
The purpose of the Child Support Hearing Officers Act is to:
provide the personnel and procedures necessary to insure the prompt and full payment by obligated parties of child support obligations for their dependent children and, where applicable, attendant spousal support obligations.
ensure that support payments are made in compliance with federal regulations governing the state's federally mandated program pursuant to Title IV D of the federal Social Security Act requiring a state plan and program to enforce child support obligations.
ensure compliance and speed up the processing of cases and completion of enforcement actions, thereby reducing expenditures for aid to families with dependent children.
Under the terms of this cooperative agreement, the Court has established the Child Support Hearing Officer in a Child Support Division. The Division is staffed by the Child Support Hearing Officer, as well as an Administrative Assistant, a Bailiff, Court Monitor, and three Court Clerks who provide support to the Division.
Judicial Role of Child Support Hearing Officer
Pursuant to the Child Support Hearing Officers Act NMSA 1978 [40-4B-1 to 40-4B-10] , the Child Support Hearing Officer is governed by the child support standards and guidelines set out by the New Mexico Supreme Court, by New Mexico statutes or by the Secretary of the Human Services Department.
Please refer to the statute for a complete description of the role of the hearing officer.
Child Support Hearings
Attorneys and persons representing themselves pro se are permitted to speak to the Child Support Hearing Officer about a particular case only at a formal hearing for which all parties have been given proper advance notice and opportunity to appear. All hearings are recorded by a certified court monitor.