This post is the third in a three part series on grandparents rights in New Mexico. If you haven’t already read parts 1 and 2, I recommend you do before continuing.
Factors in determining what’s in the best interests of the child (continued)
- The child’s experience – some children are highly adapted to changes in arrangements. Maybe they are part of a military family, and are used to moving and making new friends. Conversely, some children rely very heavily on routine, and even a small change would be very upsetting to them. The court will take this into consideration either way.
- Evidence of parenting ability – although among the most important considerations, this one can be the hardest to prove. Many people are good parents, but would probably be taken aback if you asked them to provide evidence of that, especially with the added pressure that evidence must be presented in court. If you’re seeking evidence of parenting ability, be sure to look at the whole picture – tangible things like food and shelter, clothing and medical care, education and activities, as well as less tangible ones, like love, support, and guidance. It’s also important to remember that the court’s want a child to see a good example of adult life when they look at their parents. They will consider the physical, mental, and financial health of all parties when deciding on a custody arrangement. Evidence of parenting ability cuts both ways. If there is evidence of bad parenting, that will impact the courts decision just as much, and sometimes more so, than evidence of good parenting.
Grandparents rights and mediation
NM Statute 40-9-2 also provides that, “The district court may order mediation and evaluation in any matter when a grandparent’s visitation privileges with respect to a minor child are at issue.” As is the case with many family law issues, mediation can be a powerful tool for dispute resolution in grandparents rights cases. In cases where it is appropriate, mediation tends to be faster, less expensive, and less stressful than litigation in resolving family law issues.
Finding solutions through family law
PJ Hartman has over 15 years of experience resolving family law issues in New Mexico. Whether your case ends up in a courtroom or can be resolved through mediation, she has the kind of skills and experience you’re going to want on your team. Call the office today to set up a consultation.