In Nevada, custody laws are found in the Nevada Revised Statutes or NRS at Chapter 125C. You can do a simple search in your internet browser to find the specific statutory language by typing in NRS 125C and what populates should be “custody and visitation.” This should be your go-to location for information regarding the law and child custody issues.
A lot of people will talk to family and friends for guidance. Unless they are attorneys who focus their practice in family law, you should get emotional support from them but avoid listening to them for legal advice. Every situation is unique, and one person’s situation is not identical to another. The slightest variation can make a difference in a custody dispute.
In Nevada, pursuant to NRS 125C.001 the goal is for children to have frequent association and a continuing relationship with both parents, and for parents to share the rights and responsibilities of making decision and caring for their children. The legislature has gone farther simply setting a goal. Pursuant to NRS 125C.0015, until there is an Order of the Court, parents have joint legal and physical custody of their children.
The question is what does this mean for Nevada families? It means that parents are supposed to work together to make decisions for their child pending a Court Order and that parents are supposed to share the physical time with the minor children. In theory this sounds self-explanatory, but the reality and the theory can be very different.
When parents split up, their feelings are hurt. The reality is that to get back at the other parent, it seems that one person may be spiteful and withhold the children. In that situation, it is very important not to wait.
You need to take steps to secure your custodial timeshare and avoid being wrongfully denied timeshare under the theory of “I said so.” To do that, you might need to file a divorce, custody or paternity action depending on your legal relationship to the children.
Parents need to set aside personal feelings and focus on the BEST INTEREST of the children. This is the legal theory that everything regarding child custody is based upon in the State of Nevada. It is not about what a parent thinks is best for their child. It is about the legal guidelines put in place for the Courts to determine what is in a child’s best interest. You can look at NRS 125C.003 and NRS 125C.0035 for additional information regarding the best interest factors.
Also, the list of factors is not all inclusive. You are permitted to request the Court consider other factors that you allege are important and explain why they are not only important and relevant to you before a Court makes a custody decision. The key thing to remember is it up the Court whether to consider the factors not set forth in the best interest factors.
If a parent is denying decision making and physical time, your recourse is opening an action and filing a Motion. You are required to try and resolve it before rushing to Court, but it may be that filing the Motion is the only option. A Motion sets a hearing date for the Court to issue an Order regarding legal and physical custody.