Child Custody In New Mexico

Establishing child custody arrangements is often a very difficult time for children and their families.  Enlisting the help of an Albuquerque child custody lawyer can help to ease some of the fear and anxiety associated with this process.  We will work hard to protect your child's emotional, mental and physical well being from start to finish.

NM Child Custody Hearing

Legal vs. Physical Custody

Legal Custody refers to the right of a parent or parents to make decisions regarding religion, healthcare, schooling, residence and recreational activities.  The state of New Mexico expects parents to share legal custody and to manage these decisions and responsibilities equally. This is preferable and known as joint custody.   Sometimes due to unfortunate and compelling factors such as drug abuse, child abuse, serious criminal activity and domestic violence the court rules in favor of sole custody where only one parent has the legal authority to make decisions for the child. Neither joint or sole custody has a bearing on how often a parent actually sees the child.

Physical custody refers to the amount of time the child spends with each parent.  Many factors contribute to the decision about physical custody.  These factors can include the parent's mental and physical health, employment demands, and the age of the child.  In short, if you want to have the majority custody of your child, you need to prove that you are the parent who meets their daily needs and that your best suited to do so. In New Mexico, the court takes into consideration the wishes of the child in determining physical custody, especially if the child is 14 or older. However, this does not mean that the child gets the “choose”, rather that the court will take their preference into consideration.

It is always the court's intent to do what is in the best interest of the child.  Because the definition of the best interest of the child is so fluid, and maybe subjective,  you need to make sure that you seek out the services of an experienced child custody lawyer.


Modification of Child Custody Agreements

While child custody agreements are ment to be permanent, child custody is not always set in stone.  Circumstances often change and the court can modify the order at any point until the child reaches the age of 18.  Usually, in order for the court to grant a modification the following two facts must be found to be true

  • There has been a substantial change of circumstances affecting the welfare of the child.
  • The modification is in the best interest of the child.

Establishing child custody or requesting a modification to an existing order is a very sensitive and personal matter.  Let the experienced child custody lawyers at Genus Law Group work with you to get the best possible outcome for you and your family. Call 505-317-4455 or chat with someone live using our website chat function to start solving your problem, today!

You can also check out some of our other great content that helps provide New Mexicans with information about how to get divorce, how much a divorce will cost, and how to change your NM child support payments

Anthony Spratley
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Experienced Divorce, Child Custody, and Child Support Lawyer Serving Albuquerque and Beyond