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Right to Counsel in Termination of Parental Rights Proceedings

October 8, 2013, by Collins & Collins, P.C.

The relationship between a parent and child is among the most closely protected rights. Termination of parental rights is severe and will not be entered into lightly in New Mexico. Because it is such a severe step, a parent has many rights throughout the proceedings. The question here is whether the parent has a right […]

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Termination of Parental Rights in New Mexico – Family Members Must be Considered for Placement

November 9, 2012, by Collins & Collins, P.C.

On September 26, 2012, the Court of Appeals of New Mexico issued its ruling in the case of State of New Mexico vs. Laura J. The Court of Appeals upheld the district court‘s termination of Laura J.‘s parental rights, but determined that the New Mexico Department of Children Youth and Families (“CYFD”) had not met […]

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Rules Regarding Parental Fitness in New Mexico Kinship Guardianship

October 3, 2012, by Collins & Collins, P.C.

The New Mexico Kinship Guardianship Act (“the Act”) establishes a legal procedure that protects the relationship between a child and what is known as a kinship caregiver. Under the Act, a kinship caregiver is an adult who has been caring for a child as a parent would, but who is not the child‘s parent. A […]

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Kinship Guardianship and Custody Disputes

June 7, 2011, by Collins & Collins, P.C.

While the state of New Mexico considers it in the best interest of children to be raised by their parents, a kinship guardianship can be granted to caregivers if parents are unwilling, or unable to give a child the proper supervision, care and guidance needed. A kinship caregiver can be a family member, or other […]

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No Escaping Death, Taxes and New Mexico Child Support

March 8, 2011, by Collins & Collins, P.C.

Both the New Mexico family law statutes and the relevant case law impose a duty on all parents to provide financial support for their children. This issue most commonly arises when parents divorce or separate and one parent must pay the other monthly child support. However, the issue can come up in other situations as […]

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Extended Family Members Have Few Rights Over Children

January 11, 2011, by Collins & Collins, P.C.

Many New Mexico families have daily ties to more than just the parents and children. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins may be an integral part of a family structure and they can provide everything from simple babysitting to emotional and financial support. Therefore, when parents divorce or become engaged in a child custody dispute, it […]

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Part Three: Adult Guardianship of Disabled Children in New Mexico – After Appointment

December 4, 2010, by Collins & Collins, P.C.

Upon appointment, a guardian is charged with the same duties, power and rights in respect to the incapacitated person that a parent would have with a minor child. Differences include the fact that a guardian is not required to provide financially for the protected person, nor is a guardian held liable to third parties for […]

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Part Two: Adult Guardianship of Disabled Children in New Mexico – The Process

December 3, 2010, by Collins & Collins, P.C.

The process of adult guardianship begins when a parent or other caregiver petitions the court in the county where the adult in need of protection resides. Typically, this petition is drawn up with the guidance and counsel of an attorney, and may include a brief history, as well as the nature of the incapacity and […]

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Part 1: Adult Guardianship of Disabled Children in New Mexico – An Overview

November 26, 2010, by Collins & Collins, P.C.

Parents of children with specific developmental disabilities, including Downs Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and Autism Spectrum Disorder face many challenges when raising their children to adulthood. Unfortunately, these challenges do not disappear once the child turns eighteen, which is the age New Mexico recognizes persons as adults with decision-making ability. Questions surrounding medical care and physical […]

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Acquiring Third Party Child Custody in New Mexico

April 27, 2010, by Collins & Collins, P.C.

Sadly, there are often times when neither of a child‘s parents is able to care for the child. In such cases, a third-party, who may or may not be a family member, may petition the Court for child custody of the Child. In New Mexico, there are five different ways in which a third-party child […]

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