New Mexico Legal Group handles child custody cases throughout New Mexico. We help clients determine the best way to reach a child custody agreement that is beneficial for the family. When our clients understand all of the options available, it increases the chances of them arranging a child custody agreement that best suits the needs of the children. If the child custody issues became contentious, however, we are prepared to fight aggressively on our clients’ behalf.
Legal Custody of Children
Legal custody of the children refers to which parent has the right to make major decisions in the lives of their children. New Mexico courts presume that parents will share joint legal custody of their children, meaning they share the same amount of responsibility when it comes to making decisions about the children’s education, healthcare, and other aspects of their lives. Joint custody arrangements require a collaborative effort between the parents. Legal custody, however, is determined on a case by case basis, and in some situations the court may award one parent sole legal custody of the children.
Physical Custody and Visitation
Physical custody is completely separate from legal custody and refers to the amount of time the children spend with each parent. These time periods are usually called “periods of responsibility,” and they vary greatly depending upon the circumstances of the parties and the age of the children. If the children are with one parent a majority of the time, that parent is typically referred to as the “primary custodian,” or “primary parent.”
Factors to Consider When Determining Child Custody
The standard by which the court will determine child custody is what is in “the best interests of the child.” In order to minimize the trauma of divorce and an unhealthy custody arrangement, the parties should always remain focused on this standard, taking into account such things as the age of the children, their emotional well-being, and their present and former relationships with each parent.
Call a New Mexico Child Custody Lawyer
If you need more family law information regarding child custody arrangements, call us at (505) 843-7303 to schedule an initial consultation. We are a client-focused firm that will protect your needs and those of your children.