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High-profile dispute reflects NM custody issues

Jon Gosselin, the former reality star, recently revealed that he intends to sue his ex-wife, Kate, for primary custody of their sextuplets. He told reporters that his plan is to file an emergency petition as soon as he is able to afford the attorney fees. This dispute between the former couple, who have been fighting since their divorce in 2009, sheds light on important aspects of New Mexico law regarding child custody cases.

According to an interview he gave to InTouch magazine, the final straw for Gosselin was an appearance that his older children, twins Mady and Cara, made on the "Today" show. The show received negative press due to the apparent reluctance of the twins to speak up as host Savannah Guthrie questioned them about their lives. Gosselin states that the children are afraid of their mother and have frequently expressed a desire to live with him.

RadarOnline.com, meanwhile, reports that the 13-year-old twins have not seen their father in nine months, and that Jon waived his rights to decisions regarding of the children's television appearances so that he could avoid making child support payments. The sextuplets, who are 9 years old, still have visitation periods with their father.

In child custody cases, the court strives to determine what is in the best interests of the child when the parents cannot agree on the terms of custody. The wishes of minor children are generally only one factor in determining which parent will get primary custody; the court also considers issues such as the child's adjustment to their environment and the mental health of the parents. Consulting a family law attorney may help individuals to determine what is truly in the best interests of the children after a divorce.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Jon Gosselin To Sue Kate Gosselin For Primary Custody Of Sextuplets", January 23, 2014

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