New Mexico Family Courts
Useful information about the Family Courts
Filing a Motion and Requesting a Hearing
During the course of your case you may need to go to court to have a motion heard. For instance, if you and your spouse do not agree on an issue such as selling the family house, one of your attorneys will file a motion with the court to have the court decide if the house should be sold.
First your attorney will file the motion, the motion tells the court what the issue is and what remedy is desired. The motion is filed with the court clerk and then sent up to the Judges office to be set for hearing. Your attorney has no input as to when the hearing will be set and it may even take weeks or months before you go to court.
At the hearing, both attorneys will plead their case, the court may ask to here testimony from the parties and witnesses. At the end of the hearing the Judge will usually give his/her ruling.
Family Court Clinic
When parents are unable to agree to child custody, visitation and time sharing, they will be sent to Court clinic for mediation to resolve these issues. The Court Clinic does not get involved in other issues related to divorce. Court Clinic does not deal with child support issues.
When mediation does not resolve issues, the Court may refer parent to Court Clinic for a custody evaluation. The Court Clinic charges for custody evaluations on a sliding scale. Parents may decide to hire a private child custody expert (Rule 706 Expert) for a child custody evaluation. Private evaluators can be very expensive, however their evaluations will be more thorough.
Your child support obligation is decided by statute. The factors considered are:
- Gross income of both parties
- Number of children
- Cost of work-related day care
- Cost of health insurance
- Percentage of time each parent has the child for 24-hour period of time.
These factors are put into a child support worksheet. You can determine your child support obligation by going to www.NMCourts.gov
11-706 Custody Evaluation
An 11-706 expert is appointed by the Judge in your case. This expert is usually a Ph.D. level psychologist specializing in child custody and time sharing evaluations. The 706 expert will make parenting plan recommendations in the form of a 706 expert report. The report gives a summary of the findings and conclusions about the family and the child(ren)ís needs. The parenting plan outlines recommendations to the Court and parents regarding legal custody, time sharing and parental communication.
Guardian ad Litem
A Guardian ad Litem in New Mexico must be an attorney and is usually appointed by the Court to represent children in a legal dispute concerning their custody and welfare. The Guardian is empowered to investigate the entire background, living conditions, family relationships, and any other matter related in order to make recommendations to the Court as to what would be in the best interests of the child. The Guardian makes a report to the Court recommending a specific outcome. It is not unusual for 706 experts and Guardian ad Litems to work hand in hand.