Sometimes when a couple divorces or has never been married but still split up, they are able to come to an agreement themselves about the terms surrounding custody of their children without the involvement of a judge. This is called mitigation and is a more peaceful and less stressful solution than litigation, which involves the legal representation of a child custody attorney and a judge to make the final call.
When the couple cannot agree to a set of terms, litigation is the next step. It is during this time that both parties must plead their legal case as to who should get custody of any minor children, and when. A child custody attorney helps parents to know what their rights are, whether they are married or unmarried to the other parent.
But at the core of the subject, a child custody lawyer acts on behalf of the best interests of the child or children involved in a separation.
What Does a Child Custody Attorney in New Mexico Do?
A child custody attorney has a wealth of knowledge and experience related to family and juvenile law that they put to use for the betterment of a child’s well-being in any given situation. In a custody dispute between two parents, a child custody attorney is capable of, but not limited to:
- Conducting investigations, such as if there have been accusations of child abuse or neglect.
- Negotiating conditions of custody and visitation.
- Negotiation of physical custody (who the child lives with) and legal custody (matters relating to the child’s overall care, education and health).
- Assisting in making arrangements for any custody exchanges that have been implemented as a part of the custody terms.
- Taking into consideration the best interest of the child, at times with direct input from said child.
It also falls under a child custody attorney’s purview to consider any third parties, like grandparents and siblings, that may request custody or visitation rights to the child.
What is Factored Into a Judge’s Custody Decision?
Ultimately, a custody attorney will urge the courts in favor of what is genuinely in the child or children’s best interests. The attorney, the parents/guardians and the judge must consider every detail relating to:
- The parents’ mental states
- What each parent wants
- What the child wants, if they are old enough to make such decisions on their own
- The quality of life that the child had prior to the separation/divorce
- Medical and legal histories, particularly anything that indicates toward child abuse, neglect or endangerment
A custody attorney has a lot to be responsible for when they are hired during the litigation process. They must know the family’s dynamics when negotiating solutions that benefit as many people in the situation as possible-particularly the child or children involved. Family law is no simple matter, especially when things have not been resolved amiably. A family and juvenile law attorney best understands the finer points of these emotional circumstances and will put that knowledge to use by acting in the child or children’s favor.