Child custody situations tend to be emotionally driven matters that require knowledgeable and compassionate representation. At Roberts Stoffel Family Law Group, our attorneys have the experience necessary to handle the most difficult custody disputes. Let our attorneys be your voice in and out of the courtroom. Contact us today for a free consultation.
There are two (2) types of custody in Nevada:
o Legal custody should be thought of as decision making pertaining to the welfare of child/children. Legal custody usually deals with issues involving the child’s education, religion, and health.
o Pursuant to Nevada Statute, married parents have joint legal custody of their child/children. Unmarried parents do not automatically have joint legal custody; however, it is customary for the Court to grant joint legal custody to unmarried parents.
o Legal custody can be modified by making an application to the Court. Rarely is joint legal custody modified with the exception of extreme situations. These situations vary and are dependent on the specific facts of each case.
o Physical custody refers to where the child/children will live. In addition, physical custody determines the amount of child support and who will receive child support. Physical custody also determines the Federal Tax Exemption for the child/children.o Thanks to the tireless efforts of father’s rights organizations, physical custody is no longer determined based upon gender. The Clark County Courts are required to focus on the “best interest of the children” standard instead of the “Tender Years Doctrine” which presumed that children would be better off with their mother at a young age rather than with their father.
o In 2009, the Nevada Supreme Court issued a ruling in Rivero v. Rivero, 124 Nev. Adv. Rep. 84, 195 P. 3d 328 (2008), which defined joint and primary physical custody. Under the holding, regardless of what the custodial arrangement is called, the Court is now required to look at the timeshare and determine the percentage of time the child/children spend with each parent.
Is Nevada a proper place to file a child custody dispute?
Child custody actions should be filed where the child/children live, not necessarily in the State where a parent lives. According to the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act, jurisdiction will be decided upon the child’s home state or, where the child has been living for more than six (6) months. Other factors include, emergency jurisdiction, whether another state has jurisdiction over the child and if the child and a parent hold significant contacts in a particular state.
Once jurisdiction has been established, jurisdiction remains in the issuing state until the state loses continuing exclusive jurisdiction. Simply put, it means that no one remains living in the issuing state. Just because a parent is permitted to relocate with a child, does not mean jurisdiction automatic transfers to the state where the child has relocated.
Are parents in a custody dispute required to attend mediation?
According to NRS 3.475, due to the number of people living in Clark County, all parents are required by Nevada law to attend a confidential mediation to attempt to resolve custody disputes. Mediation is a process in which the parents meet with a mediator, outside the presence of counsel, to attempt an amicable resolution of custody issues.