In my fifteen years of experience, I have found that courts (not always to be sure) try to make child custody decisions
based on what is in the child’s best interest; simple as that.
Typically, the judge weighs a number of various interrelated factors. While the factors vary from state-to-state, they may generally include:
- The strength of each parent-child relationship. This is called "bonding". Sometimes a judge will hear evidence about the parent-child bond through a therapist's testimony;
If your custody case is OUTSIDE of Bernalillo County, chances are, at some point someone will mention an Advisory Consultant. In Bernalillo County, oftentimes families/parties are referred to the Court Clinic. The Court Clinic plays an integral part in custody decisions in many cases. However what happens when you don't live in Albuquerque?
If your case is in Valencia County, Sandoval County, or Cibola County you don't have access to a court clinic to help determine custody arrangements. Instead when parties reach an impasse they may be ordered to meet with an "Advisory Consultant".
One question people ask me is whether they need an attorney to represent them in their child custody and/or family law matter. Short answer...Nope! You do not need a lawyer to represent you.
In the United States and New Mexico specifically, you do not need a lawyer to represent you. You have a right to represent yourself in court. You can go to court, file pleadings, and argue your case. Many people do. I know this because they hire me to fix the mess.
Truth be told, many people have represented themselves in court and some folks have done pretty well for themselves.
What is the difference between joint and sole custody?
Custody is a legal term and refers to whom, whether parent(s)
guardian, state, or otherwise, has the legal ability to make decisions on
behalf of the child(ren). Custody is not exactly the same as where the kids
live. The details of where the kids will spend their time, which schools they
will attend, which churches if any they will attend, extracurricular activities
etc. are governed by the parenting plan. Generally speaking, custody can be
divided into two broad categories: joint custody and sole custody.
do Child Custody and Child Support Laws Come From?
ask all the time, where do child custody and child support laws come from? Are
the laws in each state completely different? Are these laws even
constitutional? Let’s find out.
law in the United States comes from several sources. Primarily, family law is a
state affair and much of the laws governing child custody and child support are
state statutory law. These laws are found in each states’ codified statutes
and/or codes. In New Mexico, we have Chapter 40 of the New Mexico Statutes
Guarantee that You Won’t be the Custodial Parent
Before you read any further, I realize what I’m about to
present is plain common sense. I’m not trying to insult your intelligence but
you would be utterly surprised at the number of times intelligent people do
rather dumb things when it comes to their personal lives and especially when a
court hearing is on the calendar. So I am going to take a different approach
because some folks benefit more from hearing what they shouldn’t do rather than
what they should do.
“Secrets” to Getting the Custody Arrangement You Want
As a child
custody attorney in New Mexico, I’ve heard it all. “Dad is always at least 20
minutes late picking up the kids.” Or “My ex won’t let me have any say in what
happens to our girls.” Or, “I want 50-50 custody because it’s not fair that she
should have the kids all the time.”
If a lawyer
tells you that they can solve these problems instantly, run. The truth is, if
you want 50-50 custody, or if you have a difficult ex who refuses to cooperate,
there are powerful steps you can take to break past the impasse.
New Mexico recognizes marriage between same-sex people. Our New Mexico Supreme Court "legalized" same-sex marriage in December of 2013.SeeGriego v. Oliver.
The Court said in an unanimous decision that it is unconstitutional to deny marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.
"We hold that the State of New Mexico is constitutionally required to allow same-gender couples to marry and must extend to them the rights, protections, and responsibilities that derive from civil marriage under New Mexico law," Justice Edward L.
There are three conditions where grandparents can petition the Children's Court for custody of their grandkids. The New Mexico Grandparents Visitation Privileges Act provides the following scenarios:
We discussed one of those scenarios in our November 28, 2014 installment. That article focused on the Kinship-Guardianship process whereby grandparents can petition for custody and guardianship for their grandchildren in cases where the biological parents have left the children with grandma and grandpa for an extended period of time and with no real end in sight.
What do you do when the "baby's momma" doesn't want to let you have visitation? I get this question a lot from guys who are dads but aren't married to the mother of their child(ren). In fact, I was just in Court dealing with this common situation just yesterday.
Oftentimes couples believe they can work things out without formalizing anything. I will ask a client if they have an actual parenting plan drawn up with the other parent. Most times they do not. People simply assume they have inherit parenting rights.