Child custody is often a subject of movies and TV dramas, but it also happens in real life. Either way, child custody is one of the most emotionally draining issues facing families. In New Mexico, family law courts follow the long-standing principle that joint custody is in the best interest of a child. But will your child really benefit from it? As a parent, you only want what is best for your child.
If the judge needs to grant custody to both parents, it will take into consideration certain factors such as whether the child can strengthen his relationship with you both through frequent contact. Or whether your child will profit from such influence with you and your spouse.
If you want sole custody of your child, you need to prove that joint custody won’t be helpful to your child. In one case, one parent filed for full custody on the ground that her ex-spouse is an alcoholic. After careful examination of the evidence, the judge granted sole custody to the parent. Alcohol abuse or other substance abuse can have a huge impact in a child custody case because it can bring negative behavioral changes to a person that may render a parent unfit to care for the child. However, when you raise issues such as alcoholism, it’s essential to prove that it is severe and detrimental enough for your child, and, hence limited contact or no contact at all with the other parent should be considered.
Just because your ex-spouse has been drinking doesn’t mean the judge will side with you right away. You must have evidence like medical reports, DUI arrests, drug arrests, or court orders. You can also present evidence such as treatment programs or witness testimony.
There are many other grounds that can prove your child will not benefit from joint custody, such as when your ex-spouse used to be abusive to your child or when your ex-spouse has remarried in another state and it would be inconvenient for the child to move from one parent to another.
Note that if a judge needs to decide which parent will have full custody of the child, it will be a heavy responsibility that cannot be taken lightly. If you have further questions, schedule a consultation with us or call (505) 407-0573.