Acquiring Custody of an Endangered Minor Through a Family Lawyer in Albuquerque, NM

In New Mexico, family members have the opportunity to seek custody when a minor child is at risk. If the family discovers evidence of abuse or neglect, they have the opportunity to petition the court to seek a permanent assignment. A family lawyer in Albuquerque, NM could assist them in protecting minor children.

Petitioning the Court for Custody

The first step in acquiring custody is to petition the court for temporary custody. The petitioner must provide evidence of child abuse or neglect. Once they report these findings to child protective services, a social worker must investigate these allegations. A child psychologist is called in if the allegations include physical or sexual abuse.

The petitioner must appear with their findings before the judge, who will determine if they have adequate evidence to acquire custody. The social worker may testify during the temporary custody hearing.

Proving Child Abuse or Neglect

Children that have sustained abuse or neglect are evaluated to secure adequate evidence. A medical doctor must determine if the child is malnourished due to inadequate nutritional support. They must also examine any physical injuries sustained. These records are used to support the petitioner’s claim during the formal custody hearing. In most cases, the second hearing is held up to a year following the temporary custody hearing.

The Formal Hearing

During the formal hearing, the court must determine if the hazardous conditions still exist. They evaluate the parent and investigate if they have a history of substance abuse or alcoholism, and determine the cause for the reported abuse. If the parent remains a risk to the child, the court may present the petitioner with a permanent assignment. In extreme circumstances, the court may choose to terminate the parental rights.

In New Mexico, family members have the right to step in to protect a minor child. If they suspect that the child has been abused or neglected, they must report these allegations to child protective services. Family members who need assistance with these cases should contact a family lawyer in Albuquerque, NM through Carter & Valle Law Firm, or visit the website for more information today.

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