Child custody disputes can be emotionally overwhelming for the parents and the children involved. New Mexico has a set of unique guidelines for child custody, which is addressed in terms of physical and legal custody. Legal custody addresses which parent gets to make important decisions such as where the children study, live, and obtain health care.
New Mexico law approaches divorce with the intent of a joint legal custody, which is in the best interest of the child. The phrase “best interest of the child” might mean different things to different individuals. That’s why the court handles this on a case-by-case basis.
How does the court determine a child custody arrangement?
The Law Office of Doreene A. Kuffer says child custody lawyers in Albuquerque take the best interest of the child as a deciding factor when it comes to how much time they should spend with each parent. In case of a disagreement, the opposing party must convince the court by presenting evidence to fully back their claim. The court may look at:
- The wishes of the child
- The parent’s wishes
- The relationship the child has with each parent
- The child’s relationship with siblings or any other party that may play a significant role
- Mental and physical health of those involved
- The child’s adjustment to the school, home, and community
In the event that both parents agree, they must submit a parenting plan to the court for the final approval. This plan lists all the custodial and time sharing agreements, including who will pay for child support, where the child will live, who claims the child for tax purposes, who pays for health care, and where the child will spend the holidays.