The process for unmarried partners to file for sole or joint child custody of their children is largely the same as that for a divorce with children. The big difference is that the parties do not have to complete the financial disclosures and divide property. Also, when parties are not married, neither is eligible for spousal support. You may file and complete your child custody case online. We provide you with the resources and tools you need.
Overview of the Uncontested Child Parentage & Custody Process
The process to file for child custody starts by having the right forms. The State of New Mexico requires a Parentage Packet, which includes:
- Petition to Establish Parentage
- Order Establishing Parentage
- Custody Plan and Agreement
- Child Support Obligation and supporting Child Support Worksheet
The party who files these forms will be known as the Petitioner. The non-filing party, or Respondent, will need to file Response documents. You have options for how to file your documents—online through your local district court’s e-filing system or as hard copies delivered to the Domestic Relations Court Clerk at your local district courthouse. Both methods for filing will incur filing fees. In an uncontested case, all forms may be filed at once. A judge may sign the forms and make the submitted parenting plan and child support schedule binding. If a judge has questions or requires further information, they may schedule a hearing for which both parents must appear.
How It Works
We can help you file for sole or joint child custody (see legal definitions below) online by providing you with the forms and the instructions to complete the process without a lawyer. Using our “on your own but not alone” platform is easy:
If at any time during the process you have questions or would like legal advice, you may consult with an experienced New Mexico family law attorney. Consultations up to 15 minutes are free. (Appointment required.) Through our partnership, we also provide the mediation or facilitation services you and your co-parent may need to work through disputes so that you can continue to file your child custody case online.
New Mexico Courts presume that joint legal and physical custody are in the best interest of the child(ren). If you file for sole custody, you may need to provide evidence that demonstrates and explains why sole custody is better for your child(ren).