Contact Us 505.843.7303
Twitter New Mexico Legal Group Facebook New Mexico Legal Group Youtube New Mexico Legal Group Contact Us 505.843.7303
Primary Custody Vs. Sole Physical Custody in New Mexico Is There a Difference

Primary Custody Vs. Sole Physical Custody in New Mexico: Is There a Difference?

Child Custody can be a contentious issue. Get the facts about primary custody and sole physical custody.

In the realm of family law, navigating child custody matters can be one of the most emotionally charged and complex journeys. When it comes to arrangements about where the child will live and with whom, one option that parents may consider is sole physical custody in New Mexico, commonly referred to as primary custody. Like in many other states, understanding the nuances of sole physical custody in New Mexico is essential for parents seeking the best interests of their children. As you begin this family law journey, explore the advantages and disadvantages sole physical custody in New Mexico, what to expect with visitation, how to choose a visitation schedule that works for everyone, and why working with a family law attorney is your best course of action for child custody matters in New Mexico. 

Defining Sole Physical Custody in New Mexico

Sole physical custody, also known as primary physical custody, is an arrangement where one parent is granted the exclusive right to have the child physically reside with them for the majority of the time. In New Mexico, this means that the child primarily lives with one parent, while the other parent, often referred to as the non-custodial parent, typically has visitation rights.

The Difference Between Physical Custody and Legal Custody

Legal custody is the right of the parent to be involved in major life decisions that impact the child. This can include where to go to school, what religion to raise the child in, and medical decisions. Physical custody refers to who the child resides with and when. 

Situations Where Having Sole Physical Custody and Legal Custody Makes Sense

In the state of New Mexico, there are various situations where having sole physical and legal custody may be deemed appropriate and necessary. One such scenario is in cases where there are concerns about the safety and well-being of the child. This could include instances of domestic violence, substance abuse, or neglect by one of the parents. In such circumstances, awarding sole custody to the more responsible and stable parent can provide the child with a secure and nurturing environment. Additionally, if one parent is deemed unfit or unable to make decisions in the best interest of the child due to factors such as mental illness or incarceration, granting sole legal custody to the other parent or guardian ensures that important decisions regarding the child’s education, healthcare, and upbringing are made responsibly. Ultimately, the paramount consideration in determining sole custody in New Mexico is the welfare and best interests of the child, ensuring their safety, stability, and overall development. 

What to Expect with Visitation

Sole physical custody in New Mexico often includes one parent having physical custody and the non-custodial parent having at least some visitation rights. Visitation schedules can vary widely and are usually determined by the court or agreed upon by both parents. The frequency and duration of visitation depend on the specific circumstances of the case and the best interests of the child.

Visitation schedules may include:

  • Weekend Visitation: The non-custodial parent may have the child on weekends, allowing for consistent contact.
  • Holiday Visitation: Special arrangements may be made for holidays and special occasions to ensure that both parents have the opportunity to spend time with the child.
  • Summer Breaks: Extended visitation during school breaks, particularly summer vacation, can provide the child with more quality time with the non-custodial parent.

Choosing a Child Visitation Schedule that Works for Everyone

Selecting the right visitation schedule is crucial for the well-being of the child and the peace of mind of both parents. It’s essential to consider the child’s age, school schedule, extracurricular activities, and the distance between the two households when designing a visitation plan.

Flexibility and open communication between parents are key to creating a schedule that works for everyone. Being willing to adapt and make necessary adjustments as the child’s needs change is vital for a successful co-parenting arrangement.

Working with New Mexico Legal Group for Family Law Matters

Navigating family law and divorce matters, especially sole physical custody arrangements, can be challenging and emotionally taxing. At New Mexico Legal Group, we understand the complexities and sensitivities when children are involved in cases. Our experienced family law attorneys are here to provide guidance, support, and advocacy to ensure the best interests of your child are protected.

Our legal team can help you:

  • Understand your rights and options regarding child custody in New Mexico.
  • Negotiate and draft agreements and visitation schedules that are fair and in the child’s best interests.
  • Represent you in court if litigation becomes necessary to resolve family law disputes.
  • Advocate for the enforcement of orders and modifications when circumstances change.

Sole physical custody in New Mexico has its advantages and disadvantages, and navigating the complexities of visitation schedules can be challenging. However, with careful consideration, open communication, and the support of experienced legal professionals at New Mexico Legal Group, you can successfully navigate this challenging journey, ensuring the best possible outcome for your child’s future. Contact us today and fill out your free case evaluation.