Child Custody and Time Sharing
Few family law issues are more important than those involving child custody and time sharing.
Since 1967, Atkinson & Kelsey has represented mothers and fathers in child custody and time sharing disputes statewide.
Our attorneys have extensive experience in all manner of child custody and time sharing disputes. We are committed to protecting the rights of our clients and promoting the best interests of their children.
Developing a parenting plan
The law requires a parenting plan to be entered in all cases involving minor children. The parenting plan includes provisions regarding the children’s residence, schooling, health care, recreation and religion. The parenting plan also allocates the time that children spend with each parent, which is called “periods of responsibility.”
New Mexico law presumes that it is in the best interests of children for their parents to share joint legal custody. Joint legal custody does not mean equal time sharing. Joint legal custody means that the parents have equal decision making authority concerning the areas of the children’s residence, schooling, health care, recreation and religion. At the time of the final custody determination, the children’s status quo concerning each area listed above is set forth in the parenting plan.
Thereafter, neither parent may make a change to the status quo without agreement of the other parent or order of the court.
In limited cases, the court may grant one parent sole legal custody in one or more of the above areas of the children’s life. In this instance, the parent with sole legal custody exercises sole decision making authority.
We work closely with our clients to achieve workable, cooperative custody and time sharing agreements that promote the best interests of the children. Child development specialists and mental health professionals may assist in this process. We have extensive experience working with these professionals.
Modification of Child Custody and Time Sharing
Following entry of a court’s final custody order, children continue to grow and parents’ lives change, and the order may need to be reassessed. Modifications of custody and time sharing agreements are possible upon a substantial change in circumstances. This may occur if one parent seeks to relocate from New Mexico with the child. There are other changes in circumstances the court may consider as well.
Whatever custody or time sharing circumstances you face, we can help you. For a consultation with a child custody lawyer at Atkinson & Kelsey, call 505-883-3070, or contact us online.