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".
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.
Child Custody Part 1
The Holidays seem to bring out the questions in people and a
couple of folks have asked about their rights as grandparents when it comes to
physical custody of their grandchildren. Sometimes children are left with grandparents,
aunts and uncles, or other family members by the child’s parent for one reason
or another. And usually this is done in the best interests of the child or
children. What do you do when a weekend
becomes six months and mom or dad are nowhere in sight?
The Best Interests of
the Child Standard
The underlying goal for any children’s court judge or family
court judge is to determine what’s in the best interest of the child or
children. They do this in every child custody decision, every child support
determination, and in CYFD abuse and neglect cases. Parents believe their
ideas, goals, and plans are in their child’s best interests. Lawyers draft
motions and advocate for what they believe is in the best interests of
child-client or in the best interests of their clients’ children.
I represent many people including children in child abuse and neglect cases. These cases have increased dramatically in recent years and the television news and newspapers publicize many of these cases. Because these cases are very unique in terms of the law and rules governing them, most people simply are not familiar with the nuances of the law including most lawyers.
The custody hearing which is the first legal proceeding held at the initiation of the abuse and neglect case. This hearing must be held within ten days of CYFD filing an ex parte order and taking a child or children into custody.