New Mexico is a joint legal custody state.  There are three things you should know when the mother wants to change the residency of your child:

 

#1 -  She must seek your consent.  The mother needs to seek the consent of the father before moving.  Your approval of your child to move to a different state, city, or residence is equally important as hers as it may affect your time-sharing schedule with the child.

 

#2 - Because she has a valid reason for the move does not mean a change of residence for the child should occur.  If she has a valid reason for the change of residence the change should only occur if it is in the child’s best interest.  For example, if the change of residence means the child will have a 45-minute commute to school instead of the usual five-minute commute to the same school and both parents agree the child shall remain at the current school, a change of residence may not be in the child’s best interest.

 

#3 -  If she moves the child’s residence without your consent, she may violate the court order.  If you have a court order and she moves without your consent, she could be held in contempt of court. Some remedies for contempt of court could include your child being placed in your primary custody.  If you do not have a current custody court order, you can seek help through the court to address the change of residence that affected your time with your child before her move.


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Anthony Spratley
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Experienced Divorce, Child Custody, Domestic Violence and Estate Planning Lawyer Serving ABQ and Beyond
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