Rights of Unwed Parents in New Mexico

Children’s Rights: How Courts Define a Parent’s Legal Responsibilities

Rights of Unwed Parents in New MexicoUnder New Mexico law, children born to parents who are not married to each other are deemed to belong to the mother. Fathers can take measures to ensure that their names are on the birth certificate or establish paternity by blood tests. An unmarried father has to legally establish that he is the father to get assert his rights.

Establishing Maternity or Paternity

To establish parental rights, a child’s mother or father has to file a petition. This is important because child support is awarded only when paternity or maternity is established. Law Office of Dorene A. Kuffer says it's important to get legal assistance to establish a parent's rights with the necessary paperwork. 

Joint Custody

Once the paperwork has been filed, both parties should agree and file a stipulated order, which establishes that the parties are the child’s parents. Laws in New Mexico assume that parents being involved in the child’s life and joint custody are the best for a child. This type of custody offers both parents the right to make legal decisions that impact a child’s education, health, and future. Joint custody doesn’t mean that the child splits time between parents. This is awarded at the judge’s discretion.

Child Support

This is one of the most contested items in divorce cases as well as those involving children of unwed parents. It is important to understand the relevant laws and ensure that parents and most of all, children are being treated fairly. Child support calculations are fairly straightforward and often, disputes arise based on what is included.

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Child Custody

This is yet another hot button issue. Judges take the best interests of the child into consideration in making their decisions. In most cases, one parent has more time with the child than the other.

Experienced family law attorneys can help families through this difficult process, while taking the child’s needs into consideration.