New Mexico courts permits Joint custody and visitation rights to grandparents. “Best interest of the child” is the primary factor considered by the court to determine child custody. Though this is the same standard followed by almost every state in US but, in New Mexico if the child is 14 years old, the court considers child’s preferences rather than deciding the custody on basis of “best of child’s interest”.
To decide custody of a child under 14 years, the court considers following factors:
- Child’s and the parents wishes regarding the custodian.
- Relation and interaction between the child and parents; and any other important person (siblings and/or grandparents) of family who may affect the best of child’s interest.
- Age and health of the child and both parents.
- Child’s adjustment to the surrounding community, school and home.
NOTE: Gender and race of parents cannot be determining factors in child custody . Also, both parties can come up with a parenting plan; however if the court doesn’t find it suitable to the child’s best interest, the plan can be rejected.
Need of an attorney
Whether you are filing for the child custody or need an amendment in the child custody arrangement due to changed circumstances, it is best to consult or hire an experienced child custody attorney in New Mexico. The attorney can help you understand the updated laws and procedures as well as your rights regarding child custody. Also, he/she can assist you to prepare your case, if it goes for trial.