Your Las Cruces Child Custody Lawyer
While there are many difficult situations that one encounters within the realm of family law, some of the most challenging and sensitive circumstances involve child custody. Material goods and monetary success come and go, but no matter their age, children will always hold a special, enduring position of love within the hearts of their parents. Both parents usually want what is best for the child, but sometimes the differences between them can be irreconcilable when it comes to determining exactly what is the best decision for taking care of the children's needs.
One of the aspects that can help resolve this constant source of conflict and give you peace of mind is through establishing clear child custody boundaries. If you are looking for a powerful child custody lawyer in Las Cruces, you can trust Advanced Legal Resolutions, LLC to give you the support you need.
Call us today at 575-647-8802 to get all the answers from our reliable child custody attorney.
How Is Custody Determined in New Mexico?
In contrast to merely sharing different periods of time, gaining custody is the legal process where one or both parents are able to actually make crucial decisions in the lives of their children, as opposed to merely where the child is physically staying.
These decisions involve five primary areas, including the child's residence, manner of religion, place of education and place of day care, and medical treatments for non-emergency care. Usually, the state of Mexico desires that the child remains in the same religion and education system or style as prior to the marriage. Both parents must stay within 50 miles of their current town, and the child should continue having the same medical providers as before, unless insurance costs increase.
Seeking the "Best Interests of the Child”
Here in the state of New Mexico, there is no cut-and-dry method of establishing the amount of time a parent should be allotted to have with their child. Instead, any schedules for time-sharing primarily get designated depending on which person was involved in the primary care of the child prior to the legal separation or the divorce. Most importantly, the best interests of the child are placed as the highest priority.
Some of the factors which are involved in determining the child's best interests could include:
- Any appropriate opportunities for the child to continue in their current health care provisions, educational system or style, or moral and religious development
- The child's age at the time of the custodial distribution
- Each parent's ability to continually provide enough financial resources so that the child's needs are completely taken care of
- The relationship of the child to other siblings, grandparents, and additional family members
- The nature and quality of the parents' individual relationships to each child
- Any background information of alcohol and drug over-usage from either parent
- Potential cases of violence or domestic abuse from each parent
- The child's choice, if they are old enough and mature enough to make a decision (usually at the age of 14).
Get Sole or Joint Custody
While usually joint custody is the primary form of child custody in New Mexico, there may be cases where it is safer for the child to remain with one parent as the primary custodian. If you believe this is the case in your situation, Advanced Legal Resolutions, LLC is ready to support you with tailored, personalized advocacy.
What Age Can a Child Choose Which Parent To Live With in New Mexico?
New Mexico courts are legally required to consider the child's preferences once he or she reaches the age of 14. Under New Mexico law (§ 40-4-9 B): “If the minor is fourteen years of age or older, the court shall consider the desires of the minor as to with whom he wishes to live before awarding custody of such minor.” The court typically won't make a decision that contradicts the child's wishes unless there is a reasonable justification for doing so (i.e., living with that particular parent would not be in the child's best interests).
Although it's not mandatory, a judge may decide to factor in a younger child's wishes. This information is obtained in a private discussion with the judge or with the judge and a licensed therapist, during which the judge will attempt to understand the child's reasoning behind his or her preference. This discussion plays a role in the court's decision, but the court ultimately makes the decision based on what they believe would be in the child's best interests.