If two parents cannot agree on the living arrangements of their child, they may need to negotiate custody in court. If you are fighting for custody, it is essential to have an attorney who is personally invested in protecting your parental rights. The custody lawyers at Patrick J. Martinez & Associates provide the aggressive and knowledgeable legal representation you need to achieve your legal goals.
How Courts Determine Custody
In New Mexico, custody is determined by looking at what is in the best interests of the child. Joint custody is preferred, as it allows the child to maintain emotional bonds with both parents. However, if one parent is found unsuitable, the court may award sole custody.
What is Joint Custody?
If joint legal custody is awarded, both parents have equal power regarding religion, education, medical and living decisions. In this situation, the child usually lives with one parent, while the other parent has visitation. Child support is still required if there is joint custody.
Child custody laws favor joint custody, but there are specific situations in which sole custody is awarded. These include:
- An absent or missing parent
- An incarcerated parent
- Substance abuse by a parent
- Violent behavior toward the other parent
A parent may file for sole custody if any of these circumstances occur after the court has ordered joint custody.
Creating Custody Arrangements
When creating a legal custody arrangement, it is recommended to consult child custody lawyers. The first legal custody arrangement you make may determine the ease of making further modifications. At Patrick J. Martinez & Associates, we can help you create a custody agreement by:
- Meeting with you and discussing your custody goals
- Helping you file the necessary custody paperwork
- Defending your parental rights aggressively in mediation or court
- Amending or modifying existing child custody agreements if a significant material change occurs
At Patrick J. Martinez & Associates, we are committed to protecting our client’s best interests. We provide detailed and informed legal guidance throughout every step of your child custody case; Attorney Martinez will even give you his personal cell phone number so you can call at any time with questions or concerns.
Patrick J. Martinez & Associates provides legal support and guidance so you can navigate New Mexico child custody laws with confidence. Call us today to schedule in our Albuquerque offices.