Can you deny access to a child to the other parent?

As a parent, you’re expected to share responsibilities with the other parent in the caring of your child and making sure the child grows into a good citizen. This doesn’t stop even when you’ve divorced or separated. In New Mexico, the law presumes that joint custody is in the best interests of the child.

Joint custody doesn’t only mean sharing in the financial and emotional needs of the child, but it includes allowing access to physical custody or visitation rights. When parents cannot agree on a visitation schedule, the court can go further in helping both parents create a parenting plan, which will serve as a guide on how parents spend their time with their kids.

When making a decision, the judge considers not just the contention of each party involved but also the standards set by law. When determining whether joint custody is in the best interest of the child, the court will consider whether each parent is willing to accept the responsibilities of child care or sacrifice specific times for the other parent to spend time with the child.

There are times when one parent doesn’t accept responsibilities of parenting so the court may grant sole custody of the child to only one parent. In most cases, this happens when one of the parents presents characteristics that are not in the best interests of the child. Behaviors such as drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence or criminal activity could all be activities that impact on the court’s decision to award sole legal custody.

Rarely is there a situation where, you could deny physical custody of your child to the other parent. To do this, you need to prove to the court that the best interests of the child are served by limiting access to the other parent. The protection and safety of your child is of utmost importance. There are times where joint custody is no longer in the best interests of the child due to some reasons like your ex-spouse is suffering from drug addiction or is mistreating your child. It is also possible that the circumstances surrounding the joint custody has changed, which is no longer for the best interest of the child. For more details about child custody, feel free to reach out to us at (505) 407-0573 or email us at