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How is custody enforced in New Mexico during deployment?

As previous posts for this blog have addressed and discussed, going through a military divorce may be difficult for some married couple, and they often encounter more obstacles than couples going through a civilian dissolution. One major difference between a military divorce and a civilian divorce is how child custody issues are dealt with. Custodial responsibility could be impacted when a service member is deployed, thus hindering his or her ability to meet the requirements of the order or agreement.

How is custody enforced during active deployment? The deployment of a parent post-divorce could make meeting the agreement addressing the custodial responsibilities of that parent difficult or even impossible. In such matters, divorced parents in New Mexico could seek a new temporary order during the deployment of the military parent.

According to section 40-10D-7 of New Mexico Statutes, the divorced parents of a child may enter into a temporary agreement granting custodial responsibility to one parent while the other parent is on military deployment. Additionally, another nonparent party could take custodial responsibility while the parent is on deployment. For example, a new spouse or the grandparents of the child could take on the deployed parent's custodial responsibilities temporarily.

In order for this order to be valid, it must conform to the requirements set out by the Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act. The temporary agreement must be in writing and must be signed by both parents, and any nonparent party to whom custodial responsibility is granted to in the agreement.

While deployment of a military parent could complicate a child custody agreement following a divorce, both parents have options regarding this and other legal issues involved in a military divorce. In these matters, it is important that both parents understand their options and how they could meet the needs and interests of the children involved.

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