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Co-Parenting In New Mexico: Joint Custody Tips for Divorced Parents


Under the law of New Mexico, custody is generally broken down into two categories—physical and legal custody. Physical custody refers to the practices of caring for the child and taking them to activities, while legal custody is related to decision-making regarding the child—such as medical care, education and where the child will live. The court will consider the best interests of the child when awarding custody including the wishes of the child, the mental and physical health of each parent, and the preference for the child to be raised in the same environment that they did prior to the parents’ divorce. The court will award both sole and joint custody, where one parent has primary physical and legal custody, or both parents share in the parenting responsibilities.


Child Support

New Mexico statute 40-4-11.1 outlines the process for establishing and collecting child support payments. The court will consider a wide range of factors when determining the amount of support, including both parent’s income and assets, the child’s assets, the child’s standard of living prior to the divorce, daycare costs, medical expenses, and other court-determined expenses. The court will also consider any parenting time the non-custodial parent is allowed. Each parent is responsible for their share of support, and the court may order one parent to make payments directly to the other, or through the New Mexico Child Support Enforcement Division.


Co-Parenting Expenses

In co-parenting situations, both parents need to take responsibility for expenses related to the care of their children. These expenses can include daycare, school tuition, medical expenses, extracurricular activities, and other necessary expenses for the well-being of the children. Both parents should plan how these expenses will be handled, either with each parent paying their appropriate share, or one parent paying for them outright. New Mexico statute 34-8-6 addresses the issue of childcare payments in court orders, allowing either parent to apply for reimbursement from the other parent.


Parental Rights and Decisions

Each parent in a co-parenting situation has certain rights and responsibilities with regards to decisions related to their children. New Mexico statute 32A-7-2 defines the rights and responsibilities regarding legal custody of a minor child. Generally, these rights may include the right to make decisions about the child’s issues such as upbringing, religion, health care, education and discipline.


Parenting Plan

The parenting plan outlines the responsibilities of each parent in a co-parenting situation, as well as any restrictions imposed by the court. This plan must take into consideration the best interests of the child and will provide a framework for both parent’s involvement in the child’s life. New Mexico statute 33-6-11 outlines the requirements of the parenting plan, which must include provisions regarding the physical custody and visitation schedule, decision-making authority of each parent, payment and reimbursement of child support, and dispute resolution.


Visitation Rights

If the court awards joint parenting rights, each parent will also have specific visitation rights. Visitation is typically outlined in the parenting plan and can either be imposed by the court or agreed upon by the parents. The courts prefer to award generous visitation rights that allow for the non-custodial parent to remain involved in their child’s life. Under New Mexico statute 40-4-9.2, a court can impose restrictions, such as supervised visitation or absence from the home during times of visitation, if it is in the best interests of the child.



When two parents cannot reach an agreement on their own, the court may require that the two parties go through mediation. The court will appoint a mediator to help the two sides work through their issues and come to an agreement. The mediator will act as an impartial third party, who can provide guidance and assistance with negotiations and reaching a mutually beneficial agreement. Mediation is typically recommended, and in some cases, required by the court. New Mexico statute 34-6-7 outlines the requirements for mediation in a divorce and custody situation.



Co-parenting can be a huge challenge for the two parties and require a lot of work to ensure that the children are well taken care of. Each state has different laws regarding custody, visitation and support payments, so it is important to be aware of these laws in order to ensure that the best interests of the children are met. New Mexico provides clear guidelines and stipulations regarding co-parenting, which can be helpful in coming to an agreement between the two parents.


Fact Check and Resources

In writing this post, we conducted thorough fact-checking and research, consulting the following sources:


Co-parenting in USA


Co-parenting in Canada


Warning:  This post is neither financial, health, legal, or personal advice nor a substitute for the advice offered by a professional. These are serious matters, and the help of a professional is recommended as it can impact your future.

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