Establishing Paternity

New Mexico Child Support and Visitation Lawyers

New Mexico's Unmarried Parents Have Rights and Responsibilities Too

Paternity actions are relevant to unmarried mothers who want child support from their children's fathers and to unmarried fathers who want formal agreements with their children's mothers about visitation time or child custody.

A paternity case may be no more difficult than filing papers to formalize an existing agreement between unmarried parents who have a friendly relationship. In other situations, a father may dispute the child's parentage or the mother may not want the father to have visitation time with the child. In contested paternity cases, assistance from an experienced and protective family law attorney can make a world of difference to the children involved in these cases.

Atkinson & Kelsey is the largest law firm in Albuquerque to focus exclusively on family law-related legal issues. Our team of family law attorneys includes lawyers certified as family law specialists by the New Mexico Board of Legal Specialization, attorneys with AV Ratings* from Martindale-Hubbell, and attorneys listed in Best Lawyers in America and in Southwest Super Lawyers Magazine.

In paternity cases and all other types of family law conflicts, we provide customized solutions for our clients' unique problems.

Child Support and Visitation for Unmarried Parents

New Mexico law requires unmarried fathers to pay child support. New Mexico law also gives unmarried fathers the right to have formal visitation time (called time sharing) with their children. Furthermore, unmarried fathers may seek custody (called periods of responsibility) of their children in cases where evidence or abuse or neglect is available.

First, the family court must issue a ruling that the man is the legal father of the child. If the supposed father did not sign an acknowledgment of paternity form or did not hold himself out as the child's father, then the mother can request paternity testing. The family court will order the supposed father to undergo a DNA test, which involves a simple, noninvasive mouth swab.

Once the court has issued an adjudication of paternity, then the court will help the parents create a visitation schedule and then issue a child support order based on time sharing and New Mexico's child support guidelines.

Learn More About Paternity Actions and the Rights of Unmarried Parents

Consult one of the experienced attorneys at Albuquerque's first family law firm. To make an appointment, call our office toll free at (888) 350-5903 or contact us online.


* CV, BV, and AV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards, and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell ratings fall into two categories - legal ability and general ethical standards.