Grandparents with three grandchildren holding hands at a cafe.

Hello everyone, my name is attorney Anthony Spratley I am the owner and founder of Genus Law Group in Albuquerque, New Mexico where we practice family law throughout the state. Family Law includes divorce, child custody, and Kinship/Guardianship. In the past, I have talked about uncontested divorces, contested divorces, and also custody and time-sharing. Oftentimes we get questions about kinship/ guardianship and whether or not a grandparent or uncle, or cousin, or older sibling can gain custody of a child. I usually say to them “ well it depends on why you want to get custody”. Normally under kinship/ guardian laws, you have to have a personal relationship with the child because the parent is unfit in some way. Unfit could mean maybe they are in jail, they have substance abuse issues, a history with domestic violence, etc. 

What are some reasons why people can petition for Kinship Guardianship in New Mexico?

What kinship/ guardianship means is that you essentially step in place of the parents so you are able to make decisions about the health, wellness, and best interest of the child.  If two parents are unfit and unwilling to take care of their child, then you can petition the court for permission to temporarily take care of the child until the parents get well. It may take a week, a month, a year, it may even be an indefinite amount of time. It really depends on the parents because when you are granted guardianship that doesn’t necessarily mean the parents’ rights are terminated, let’s just say they are put on hold temporarily until the parents decide to terminate it. If the parents decide to petition the court to terminate the guardianship, the court will make a decision if the termination is appropriate and in the best interest of the child.


What Standards Do New Mexico Courts Use When Determining Guardianship In Albuquerque? 


Other than considering the best interest of the child, New Mexico Family Courts will also factor in: 

  • The length of time the child has stayed with you. 
  • Your personal relationship with the child.
  • The state of the parents (It is best if both parents consent).

If only one parent consents, you need to be ready to bring them to court and be prepared for the court to grant more rights to the biological parent than to the non-parent. The best thing you can do at this point would be to contact a competent attorney who is well versed in family law to make this case go by as efficient and easy as possible. Our Albuquerque Guardianship attorneys specialize in helping New Mexicans with their custody, adoption, and guardianship issues.  If you need help with your kinship/ guardianship case contact the Albuquerque guardianship lawyers at Genus Law Group today at 505.317.4455

Anthony Spratley
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Experienced Divorce, Child Custody, and Guardianship Lawyer Serving Albuquerque and Beyond