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FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT

COURT CONSTITUENT SERVICES

P.O. Box 2268

Santa Fe, New Mexico 87504

505.476.0177


PARENTAGE PACKET

  1. Overview: Parentage (Paternity) Cases

  1. Parentage/Custody Flow Chart

  1. INSTRUCTIONS for completing Domestic Relations Information Sheet; Domestic Relations Information Sheet

  1. INSTRUCTIONS for Completing Petition to Establish Parentage, Determine Custody and Time Sharing, and Assess Child Support

  1. INSTRUCTIONS for Completing the Summons

  1. INSTRUCTIONS for Completing the Order to Produce Discovery for Child Support and Interim Allocation Hearings Documents; Order to Produce Discovery for Child Support and Interim Support Hearings.

  1. INSTRUCTIONS for Completing the Order for Mediation

  1. INSTRUCTIONS for Completing the Acceptance of Service

  1. New Mexico Statute 40-4-9.1 Joint custody; standards for determining; parenting plan

  1. INSTRUCTIONS for Completing the Parenting Plan

  1. INSTRUCTIONS for Completing an Order Establishing Parentage, Custody, Time-Sharing and Child Support

  1. INSTRUCTIONS for Notice to Withhold Income

OVERVIEW: PARENTAGE (PATERNITY) CASES

A legal case filed under the Uniform Parentage Act is called a “parentage” case. A “parentage” case can be brought by a father or mother or even the child (up to age 21). The purpose of a parentage case is to establish whether a person is or is not a natural parent of a child and, if parentage is established, to determine how the child will be parented and who should help pay for the support of the child.

If you own property together, such as a house or a car, and you are not married, the proper action to divide that property is a separate civil (CV, not DM) action. You cannot take care of property issues in a parentage case.

The New Mexico Human Services Department, Child Support Enforcement Division, will help either parent file a paternity case. You can reach them at 1-800-288-7207 or visit their website at /csed.

These are the forms you will need to complete for your parentage case.

1. Domestic Relations Information Sheet

This is an information sheet to alert the Court that children are involved in the legal case. It should be filled out as completely as possible. When completed, give it to the Clerk of the Court along with all other papers. This form does not become part of the public record.

2. Petition to Establish Parentage

This is the formal request for the Court to determine parentage (who the father is), establish a parenting plan and assess child support. The Petition must be “filed” with the Clerk of the Court. “Filing the Petition” means that the original Petition is given to a person in the Court Clerk’s Office, who then opens a court file for the case, assigns the case a number, and assigns a judge to hear the case.

The person who files the Petition is called the Petitioner. The other party is called the Respondent, because that person must file a Response to the Petition (see #6 below).

There is a filing fee of $137.00 that must be paid by cash, cashier’s check, or money order only, no personal checks, at the time the Petition is filed.

If you can’t afford to pay the filing fee, you may request a Motion and Affidavit for Free Process, fill it out completely, and file it before you file the Petition. If the Motion is granted, you will not have to pay the filing fee when you file the Petition.

Along with the Petition, the Petitioner must also file a Summons, a Order to Produce Discovery for Child Support and Interim Allocation Hearings Documents, and an Order for Mediation.

3. Summons and Return of Service

A copy of the Petition must be promptly “served” upon the Respondent. A Summons is notice to the Respondent that a legal case has been filed against him or her, and that a formal written Response must be filed with the Court within 30 days after the Petition and Summons are served.

Service is very important. To “serve” means placing the Petition [as well as the Summons, Notice of Hearing and Order to Provide Documents and Order for Mediation] in the hands of the Respondent; in other words, service must be personal. Mailing the papers is NOT sufficient, even if it’s done by Certified Mail.

Anyone who is over 18 and who is not a party to the case may serve the papers. That means that the Petitioner CANNOT serve the papers, even if the Petitioner and the Respondent see each other and have a cooperative relationship. The Sheriff’s Office or a professional process server can serve but they usually charge a fee. If the Court has already found that you can’t pay court fees (by approving your request for Motion and Affidavit for Free Process), the Sheriff’s Office will serve the papers for free.

To prove that service is done, ask the person who performed the service to complete a Return of Service and then make sure it is filed with the Clerk of the Court.

4. Filing and Service of Other Pleadings

All documents asking the Court to do something are called “pleadings”. All pleadings must be filed in the Court Clerk’s Office. “Filing pleadings” means that the original document is given to a person in the Court Clerk’s Office, and that person adds it to the official Court record in the case. No pleading is official until it is filed.

A copy of every pleading that is filed must be provided to the other party. Except for the Petition, every pleading that is filed must include a “Certificate of Service”, stating that a copy of the pleading has been provided to the other party. They may be mailed, faxed, or hand-delivered

5. Order to Produce Discovery for Child Support and Interim Allocation Hearings Documents

An Order to Produce Discovery for Child Support and Interim Allocation Hearings Document is used for pre-trial and interim child support. This hearing is mandatory unless both parties agree on the amount of child support. You MUST provide the other party a copy of the filed Order to Produce Discovery for Child Support and Interim Allocation Hearings.

If the parties agree on child support, they must complete and file a Child Support Work Sheet (see section 8 below). If a Child Support Worksheet, signed by both parties, is filed with the Petition, the Order to Produce Discovery for Child Support and Interim Allocation Hearings Documents does not need to be filed.

6. Order for Mediation

An Order for Mediation schedules a mandatory Information Session on Children and Separation to provide information about how the roles of parents may change while the case is in progress. You MUST provide the other party a copy of the Order for Mediation. At the Information Session, you will have the opportunity to request mediation through Family Court Services to develop a Parenting Plan (see section 8 below).

7. Response

The Respondent has 30 days after he or she is properly served to file a formal, written Response to the Petition. If a Response is not filed within 30 days after proper service, the Petitioner may apply to the Court for a “Final Decree” based on the default of the Respondent by filing a Motion for Default Decree and a Certificate as to the State of the Record and Non Appearance. The Judge may then enter a default decree. A default decree means that the Petitioner’s requests are granted, because the Respondent hasn’t objected.

8. Parenting Plan and Child Support Worksheet

The parties must develop and file a Parenting Plan and complete and file a Child Support Worksheet before a Final Decree can be entered.

The two of you may develop your own Parenting Plan so long as it is specific and complete. A Parenting Plan form is included in this packet. If you don’t develop a Parenting Plan very soon after the legal case is filed, the Court will order you to attend mediation through Family Court Services. The mediation fee is based upon your income. Two or three sessions are usually enough to work out a Parenting Plan, but sometimes more sessions will be required.

The Child Support Worksheet may be completed by hand or by using a computerized program. You may access the Worksheet on-line at , or at the Child Support Enforcement Division website, /csed/guidelines. You may also request a form at the Self Help Information Center.

If wage withholding for child support is to be pursued, you must file a child support case with the NM Department of Human Services, Child Support Enforcement Division, in order to obtain a case number. Child Support Enforcement Division may be reached at 1.800.288.7207 or on the website, /csed.

9. Final Decree

When all your issues have been resolved, either by your agreement or by court decision, a FINAL DECREE is entered. This is the document which marks the official end of the case. A Final Decree is included in this packet.

INSTRUCTIONS for completing the individual forms are included in this packet.

Useful Telephone Numbers:

Child Support Hearing Office 827-5050

District Court Clerk’s Office 476-0189

Domestic Violence Office 827-4350

Family Court Services (Mediation) 827-5051

Self Help Center 476-0177

Santa Fe Police Department 473-5080

Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Dept. 986-2455

Rio Arriba Sheriff’s Department 753-3320

Los Alamos Sheriff’s Dept. 662-8028

Child Support Enforcement Division 1-800-288-7207

Esperanza 473-5200

Law Access New Mexico Legal Help Line 1-800-340-9771

New Mexico Legal Aid, Inc. 1-800-373-9881

local number: 982-9886

INSTRUCTIONS FOR COMPLETING THE

DOMESTIC RELATIONS INFORMATION SHEET

In order to start your divorce case, you must complete the Domestic Relations Information Sheet.

The Domestic Relations Information Sheet will not be filed in your court file and the public will not be able to get your social security number from the Domestic Relations Information Sheet.

The Court Clerk will fill in the case number and assigned judge in the official use section.

Fill in all the information requested.

DOMESTIC RELATIONS INFORMATION SHEET

(for self represented people)

THIS SECTION FOR OFFICAL USE ONLY

Case number: Assigned judge:

The following information is requested by New Mexico Law and federal law for the child support enforcement. The

Information also is needed to identify and keep up with your case. If child support is not paid, this information will help the court get the money for your child(ren).

1. Information regarding petitioner and respondent. (Look at the paperwork you are giving to the court to see who is listed at the top as petitioner and respondent. Use a separate sheet if necessary.)

Petitioner Respondent

Name: Name:

(Last name, first, middle) (Last name, first, middle)

Other names (e.g. maiden name): Other names (e.g. maiden name):

Address: Address:

City: City:

State: State:

Zip code: Zip code

Date of birth: Date of birth:

Social Security number: Social Security number:

2. Parties’ minor children. (Provide the date of birth and social security number for each minor child, if any. Use a separate sheet if necessary.)

Name: Name:

(Last name, first, middle) (Last name, first, middle)

Date of birth: Date of birth:

Social Security number: Social Security number:

Name: Name:

(Last name, first, middle) (Last name, first, middle)

Date of birth: Date of birth:

Social Security number: Social Security number:

Has any court made an order for child support? Yes No

Has any court changed the amount of child support you requested? Yes No

If you answered “Yes” to either question, what state and what court issued the order?

State Court

3. Request to limit access to information. (Optional – Complete only if applicable.)

[ ] I have reason to fear domestic violence or child abuse. For this reason, please limit access to information about me in the Child Support and Parentage Case Registry to the extent possible. I realize that this request may make it more difficult to assist me in collecting child support. I also understand that the other party and the public may still view information about my case under some circumstances.

Under penalty of perjury, I affirm that this request is legitimately made and not designed to harass or intimidate the other party or mislead the court.

NOTE TO THE COURT CLERK: DO NOT PLACE THIS COVER SHEET IN THE COURT FILE.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR COMPLETING

PETITION TO ESTABLISH PARENTAGE, DETERMINE CUSTODY

AND TIME-SHARING, AND ASSESS CHILD SUPPORT

  • Read the overview first.

  • Type or print neatly using black ink.

  • For numbered paragraphs that offer choices separated by “OR”, CHOOSE ONLY ONE.

Lines 1 through 4 are the caption of the case.

  1. Write in the name of the county where you reside.

  1. Leave this line blank. The Court Clerk will assign a number to your case when you file your petition.

  1. Write in your full name (Petitioner).

  1. Write in the full name of the other parent (Respondent).

  1. Write in your full name exactly as you did in blank three above.

  1. Write in the name of the County in which you reside.

  1. Write in the name of the mother of the child(ren).

  1. Write in the name of the father of the child(ren).

  1. Write in the full name(s) of the child(ren). Also, write in the date of birth for each child and the present age(s) of the child(ren).

  1. Check this box ONLY if the father’s name is NOT on the birth certificate or the father has NOT acknowledged his paternity in writing filed with the New Mexico Health Department, Vital Records and Health Statistics Office or a similar office in another State. OR

  1. Check this box if you did not check number (10).

  1. Write in the full name of the father in this section ONLY if this choice applies to your situation.

  1. Write in the full name of the father in this section ONLY if this choice applies to your situation.

  1. Write in the full name of the father in this section ONLY if this choice applies to your situation.

  1. List the names and addresses of the person(s) the child(ren) have lived with during the last three years. Also, list the dates the child(ren) lived with those persons at the addresses listed.

  1. Check either 7(a) or 7(b). If you choose 7(b) complete the Table on page 4 by writing in the case name (the names of the Petitioner and the Respondent). Then write in the case number and the name and location of the court.

  1. Check either 8(a) or 8(b). If you choose 8(b) complete the Table by writing in in the case name (the names of the Petitioner and the Respondent). Then write in the case number and the name and location of the court in the Table provided.

  1. Check either 9(a) or 9(b). If you choose 9(b) complete the Table by writing in the name and address of the person who has custody or claims to have custody of or visitation rights with the child(ren).

  1. Check either 10(a) or 10(b). (Attached is the statute regarding the definitions of joint custody, sole custody, and physical custody). If you choose 10(a) write in the name of the person the child(ren) will spend most of their time with. Then write in the name of the other parent. OR

If you choose 10 (b) write in the name of the parent who should have primary custodial rights. Write a brief explanation telling why “sole” custody is best for the child(ren).

(20) Check this box if you want the judge to order one party to pay child support, and write in the name of the parent who should pay child support.

(21) Check the box if you think one party should be ordered to purchase life insurance, and write in the name of the parent who should be ordered to purchase life insurance.

(22) Check this box if you are requesting child support from the Respondent during the time until the case is finished.

(23) Check this box if you want the judge to order child support from the date of birth of the child(ren).

(24) Check this box if you want the judge to order the Respondent to pay the childbirth/hospital expenses.

(25) Write in the name of the parent who should provide health and dental insurance.

(26) Check either a, b, or c.

Check (a) if you think one party should be responsible for expenses not covered by the insurance, and write in the name of the parent who should pay health and dental expenses not covered by insurance. OR

Check (b) if you think each party should pay one-half of the expenses not paid by the

insurance. OR

Check (c) if you think the parties should pay the expenses not covered by the insurance

according to the percentages shown on the child support worksheet.

(27) Check this box only if the father’s name is not on the birth certificate and you want the Court to order blood tests to determine paternity.

(28) You, as the Petitioner, must sign the Petition IN FRONT OF A NOTARY PUBLIC. You can print your name and fill in your address, but DO NOT SIGN until you are in front of a notary public.

(29) Write in the name of the County where you are having the Petition notarized.

(30) Write your name on this line.

(31) You will need to sign your name here while you are with the notary public. DO NOT sign except in front of a notary public.

(32) This section will be completed by the notary public. DO NOT fill in any of this information.









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