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Divorce Fallout: Who Gets Child Custody?

Mother and daughter bonding togetherDivorce may be an everyday reality, but it does not diminish the negative impact it has on the couples and their children. Another question also needs to be answered: with whom will the children stay after the divorce?

Settling the issue out of court is the ideal course of action. But when both parties cannot agree by themselves, a judge will be needed to decide, and so lawyers will be needed to help each one with their cause. Enlisting the services of child custody attorneys in Albuquerque can simplify the whole process.

The usual thinking in a child custody case is that courts often decide in favor of the mother, as women have the traditional role of caring for children while men earn for the family. This is hardly the case anymore, as more and more women become breadwinners themselves. Men, for their part, are proving that they can be responsible caregivers to their children as well.

When joint custody is not an option

The court will always rule for the benefit of children, like making both parents share equal duties in rearing their kids even after the divorce. Unfortunately, joint custody is not always possible, and a judge will have to decide which parent will take care of the kids most of the time while the other plays a supporting role by way of visitation rights.

How the court decides

Several factors are considered before the judge hands down a decision, which is aimed at safeguarding the best interest of the child. These considerations include the willingness of each parent to take on the role of primary caregiver, their ability to provide for the children and take care of them, the parent-kid relationship, and if there’s a history of violence in the family. Given these conditions, it’s not an automatic conclusion, then, that the mother will get custody of the children.

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New Mexico, incidentally, has a unique child custody law where it considers what the child wants if he or she is 14 years or older when handing out its verdict instead of merely deciding on what would be best for them.

Getting child support

A father who gets primary custody can ask for child support from his ex-wife to make sure that the children have enough for them to live comfortably. He can also get child support enforcement help in case his former partner reneges on her responsibility to her children.

Since it is no longer a given that child custody goes to the mother, both spouses will need to prove to the courts that they are the best option for their children’s growth and well-being.