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Child custody enforcement and uniform laws

Parents in New Mexico have many concerns regarding their children. Even when parents divorce, the decisions made regarding custody and visitation can be difficult and cause them to have numerous questions. What if they want to modify the agreement? What happens if a parent is not complying with the order? What if a parents moves to another state? How is child custody enforcement applied in these matters?

The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) could help answer these and other questions plaguing divorcing or recently divorced parents. While this Act was designed to discourage interstate kidnapping, it also helps to keep original jurisdiction in the court that ruled on a child custody agreement. In addition, this Act also ensures that an order in one state is upheld in other states as well.

Uniform child custody laws ensure that an agreement is held up even if a parent moves to another state. In addition, it helps protect visitation rights afforded to a non-custodial parents if they no longer live in the same state as the custodial parent. Also, these laws help parents work through custody problems regarding enforcement, even if parents do not reside in the same jurisdiction.

Whether divorcing or divorced parents seek to enforce or modify a child custody agreement, it is important that they understand their rights and options. This not only helps them address and resolve their divorce issues and prevent post-divorce issues, but it also ensures that the decisions made focus on the needs of and the best interests of the child. Divorcing parents in New Mexico should make sure to obtain the advice they need to understand how the UCCJEA affects them.

Source: Uniform Law Commission, "Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Summary," accessed Feb. 16, 2015

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