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What are the visitation privileges for New Mexico grandparents?

When parents in New Mexico divorce, it is not just the needs of the parents and the children that need to be considered. In most cases, grandparents are also impacted by dissolution. This is why they should be aware of their rights and options in case a messy divorce leads to a limited access to their grandchildren.

What are the visitation privileges for New Mexico grandparents? According to the New Mexico Code at section 40-9-3, when a court order has been made granting visitation privileges to a grandparent, the court is able to take various actions regarding that order. Specifically, they can take measures that could enforce the order as well as modify it.

A modification could occur if good cause is shown by an interested party. For example, a parent could seek modification of the order if a grandparent was originally granted these privileges because a parent was unfit. If the parent has shown good cause that they have changed and are able to care for their child, the court is able to use their discretion to modify the order granting grandparent privileges. Moreover, if an amount of visitation time is too little or too much, the court could adjust the amount of time spent with a grandchild.

Lastly, if a court order awarding visitation rights to grandparents is not being complied with, they could seek enforcement of the order. In addition, when grandparents have to file an action to enforce their visitation order, they could also seek costs, attorney's fees and damages related to the cause from the party in violation of the order.

It is often the case that divorce affects more that just the couple and children involved. Grandparents seeking to obtain visitation privileges or enforce an order should understand their rights. This will ensure the best interests of the child are met and their rights are protected.

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