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In a proceeding for dissolution of marriage or legal separation, there is sometimes hostility between the parents. Fortunately, New Mexico has programs in place to ease this heavy burden on the state’s children. The safe exchange and supervised visitation program supports the relationships of children and their parents, with a focus on protecting the best interests of the child.
Service in the armed services, particularly during this time of overseas deployments, puts a particular strain on families. For families that have been fractured by a dissolution of marriage, the impact of active military deployment on child custody and visitation can be especially difficult. Fortunately, many states, including New Mexico, have adopted laws that help courts deal with issues of deployment and child custody.
When a child is born to a married husband and wife, the father is presumed by law to be the father. This is also true of a birth that occurs within 300 days of the dissolution of a marriage or the death of the husband. A man who lives in the household of a child for two years and holds himself out to be the father is presumed to be the father, as well.
The bond between a grandparent and grandchild can be very strong and can provide a great deal of stability for a child whose parents are involved in dissolution proceedings. Fortunately, the New Mexico Legislature recognized this principle long ago and enacted the Grandparent's Visitation Privileges Act in 1978. The Act allows for a child’s biological grandparents to request visitation during proceedings to dissolve a marriage, to legally separate, or to establish paternity. Requests may also be made any time after judgment is entered in any of these proceedings.