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FAMILY DEFENSE

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Everyone in the State of New Mexico has a legal duty to report reasonable suspicions of child abuse and neglect under NMSA 1978, Section 32A-4-3. This mandatory reporting law is in place to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of New Mexico’s children. Unfortunately, reports may often be incomplete, inaccurate or false. Further, all parents are guaranteed a consitutionally protected interest to the upbringing of their children, and must be afforded due process of the law before a government entity may interfere with that interest. (1)

Too often, children are hastily removed from their homes when there are other means of ensuring their safety while families work to address a report of abuse or neglect. Moreover, Native American and African American families are disproportionately overrepresented in the child welfare system when compared with their representation in the general population. (2) This has even led to Native American families being afforded additional protections to prevent the breakup of their families under federal law. (3)

Family Defense is a growing area of the law where attorneys work with and advocate for parents involved in proceedings brought against them by their local child protective services agency. (4) The goal is to ensure that families are afforded the protections they should be guaranteed in these child welfare matters, and to fight for families to remain together.

(1) https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/262/390/case.html
(2) https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/racial_disproportionality.pdf
(3) https://narf.org/nill/documents/icwa/index.html
(4) https://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/famlq48&div=41&id=&page=

 

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© 2018 Law Office of Brian T. Ray

raylawabq.com
P.O. Box 53339
Albuquerque, NM 87153
505.633.5561 (phone)
505.214.5310 (fax)
brian.ray@raylawabq.com

Law Office of Brian T. Ray LLC | Copyright 2018 | All Rights Reserved

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None of the information presented on this website should be construed as “legal advice.” Reading the information presented on this website does not make you a client of the Law Office of Brian T. Ray LLC. All matters are unique, and the information presented here may apply differently to your individual matter. There is no guarantee that the information presented herein is complete or current. Please contact the Law Office of Brian T. Ray LLC directly for questions regarding your legal matter.