1. Parenting

I Wish I Knew That I Needed to File for Custody in New Mexico

Share Your Story: New Mexico Child Custody Experiences

By Xandy

The County Where I Filed for Child Custody

The county was Otero. However, I did not file for custody. The father (who I was never married to) filed for custody of our son.

The Ages of My Kids

8 and 1/2

The Type of Custody I Filed For

My son's father filed for joint custody after very rarely being involved for the first six years of my son's life.

My Experience Filing for Child Custody in New Mexico

He filed for custody, and I had to fight it. Now I am having to fight again to keep my primary custody. No matter what, New Mexico rewards joint legal custody - whether the parties have ever been married or not - so be prepared.

Lessons Learned

  • I learned just because you were never married, you're not guaranteed to have custody of your child.
  • Even leaving the father's name off the birth certificate does not guarantee you sole custody of the child.
  • If you do have a child out of wedlock in the state of New Mexico, be sure to file for sole custody in addition to leaving the father's name off the birth certificate (especially if you never want to have to deal with the father ever again!).

Jennifer Wolf, About.com Single Parents, says:

Leaving the father's name off of the birth certificate does not make it easier for a single mother to secure sole custody. Any father can request paternity testing himself through the Office of Child Support Enforcement. In addition, most states do encourage at least some degree of regular visitation between children and their non-custodial parents. Regarding child custody for unwed mothers, always check with the child custody laws in your state. I also recommend meeting with a lawyer so that you can obtain the most up-to-date, accurate information on what to expect.

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