The state of New Mexico uses several criteria to determine child custody. Primarily, the court determines child custody based on the best interests of the child. Parents who wish to file for child custody in New Mexico should first become familiar with the custody statutes in this state.
Related: Help our readers by sharing your experience with New Mexico child custody laws.
Best Interests of Child
Child custody in New Mexico is determined based on the best interests of the child. Factors included in a best interests of the child determination are:
- The parents' wishes
- The child's wishes, if the child is age 14 or older
- The child's relationship with his/her parents, siblings and extended family members
- The mental and physical health of all involved parties
- The child's adjustment to home, school and community
Joint Custody in New Mexico
A court in New Mexico assumes that joint custody is in the best interests of the child. In reaching a determination for best interests of the child, a court will consider the following factors:
- Whether the child has a close relationship with his/her parents
- Whether each parent may adequately provide for the child's needs, including relinquishing the child to the other parent for appropriate times
- The geographic distance between the parents
- The parents' ability to communicate on decisions that affect the rearing of the child
- Whether each parent is willing to foster and encourage a continuous relationship between the child and the child's other parent
- Whether either parent was found to have committed an act of domestic violence against a child, a parent or another household member
Modification of Child Custody in New Mexico
A parent seeking the modification of a current custody order should be prepared to present proof of a material and substantial change of circumstances. In addition, a New Mexico court will expect a parent to prove that the material and substantial change of circumstances adversely affect the best interests of the child.
For further information about child custody in New Mexico, speak with a qualified attorney in New Mexico or refer to the New Mexico Code.