How to Overcome Sole Legal Custody

Some people are living with a custody situation where the other party was granted sole legal custody. This is a challenging situation whenever one is faced with such a dilemma. This is especially true in New Mexico where the legal presumption when it comes to custody is for parents to share joint legal custody. Nevertheless, the awarding of sole legal custody is a reality that many families must face.

Usually the person who loses and allows the other party to receive sole legal custody generally must face the fact that there are many things that probably contributed to their current situation. From our experience, sole legal custody is usually awarded for serious issues such as alcohol or drug issues, domestic violence, sexual abuse and other unsavory conduct. To overcome sole legal custody you must first understand that it takes time. It takes a dedication to changing a pretty significant issue. You won’t change sole legal custody with one hearing or one motion. Instead, you must be dedicated to a long process. A process that, at a minimum, will usually take a year. Once you have that foundational understanding you can then focus on the details of gaining joint legal custody.

To do this you will embrace the “problems” that brought you to this situation. For example, if the other side won sole legal custody because of domestic violence then you cannot go on denying the domestic violence. You must embrace the past and then take affirmative steps to overcome the hurdle. This is not impossible but will take a mind set shift on your part. Even if you deny that anything ever occurred, judges won’t want to listen to someone who denies an issue that they found was the contributing factor to sole legal custody. Thus, you will need to take steps to overcome your obstacles.

This too requires some planning but overall if you understand that the process will take time and understand that you must overcome the obstacles that got you to this point then you are on your way to changing your custody situation. To learn more on how to change sole legal custody contact our custody experts at or call us at 505-880-8737.