Experienced Las Vegas Child Custody Attorney
Learn Nevada Custody Laws
Custody situations tend to be emotionally driven matters that require knowledgeable and compassionate representation. At Roberts Stoffel Family Law Group, our Las Vegas child custody attorneys have the experience necessary to handle the most difficult disputes. Let our family law attorneys be your voice in and out of the courtroom.
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What are the Different Types of Child Custody in Nevada?
Like other states, Nevada has different types of custody arrangements depending on the circumstances of each divorce case. The two main forms of child custody are legal and physical custody:
About Legal Custody
Legal custody should be thought of as decision-making pertaining to the welfare of children, and usually deals with issues involving education, religion, and health.
Pursuant to Nevada Statute, married parents have joint legal custody of their children; sole legal may be awarded in certain cases, but it does not occur very often. Unmarried parents do not automatically have joint legal custody; however, it is customary for the Court to grant joint legal custody to unmarried parents.
Legal custody can be modified by making an application to the Court. Rarely is it modified with the exception of extreme situations. These situations vary and are dependent on the specific facts of child custody cases. A Las Vegas child custody lawyer at Roberts Stoffel Family Law Group can help determine if your situation may qualify for a custody modification.
About Physical Custody
Physical custody refers to where the children will live. In addition, it determines the amount of child support and who will receive support, as well as the Federal Tax Exemption for the children.
Physical custody may be divided according to the following:
- Joint physical custody: Both parents have physical custody of their child at least 40% of the time. This is typically how physical custody is awarded in Nevada.
- Primary physical custody - One parent will have custody of the child more than 60% of the time while the other parent is awarded parenting time.
- Sole physical custody - While extremely rare, sometimes the court will award one parent sole physical custody of the child. The other parent will not have any legal right to visitation, or extremely limited visitation, with possible supervision. This can occur in cases where one parent is considered a danger to their child.
Contact now for a FREE Consultation! Our Las Vegas child custody lawyers have helped many families resolve custody disputes throughout Clark County.
How Nevada Determines Child Custody
The courts in Nevada determine custody solely based on the best interest of the child. The court no longer shows preference to the mother, but evaluates both parents according to the following factors:
- The wishes of the child if they are old enough or have the capacity to make such a decision;
- The request of a parent or guardian for the child;
- The parent that is most likely to support a favorable relationship of the child with their noncustodial parent;
- The amount of conflict between both parents;
- The ability of both parents to cooperate and meet the need of their child;
- The mental and physical well-being of both parents;
- The nature of the child's relationship with each parent;
- The physical, emotional, and developmental needs of the child;
- The child's ability to maintain a relationship with their sibling;
- Any history of abuse or neglect by parent of the child or a sibling;
- Any history of domestic violence committed against the child, the other parent, or another person residing with the child;
- Any history of abduction of the child or a sibling by the parent.
The court will award child custody in the following order of preference unless the best interest of the child requires otherwise:
- To both parents jointly pursuant or to either parent.
- To a person or persons in whose home the children have been living and where he or she has had a wholesome and stable environment.
- To any person related within the fifth degree of consanguinity to the child whom the court finds suitable and able to provide proper care and guidance, regardless of whether the relative resides within this State.
- To any other person or persons whom the court finds suitable and able to provide proper care and guidance.
Jurisdiction in Child Custody Cases
Actions should be filed where the 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 he/she 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 established, jurisdiction remains to issue 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 automatic jurisdiction transfers to the state where the child has relocated.
For assistance with your custody case, don’t hesitate to contact our Las Vegas child custody lawyers at (702) 766-5566. We offer a free initial consultation and same-day appointments.
Q:Is the Mother Always Awarded Custody?
A:Thanks to the tireless efforts of father’s rights organizations, physical custody is no longer awarded automatically to the mother. Clark County family 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.
Q:Is Mediation Required for a Child Custody Ruling?
A: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 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.
Q:Can I Make Changes to a Custody Order After the Divorce?
A:Yes, you can request to modify an existing custody order at any time after the initial order has been finalized. However, you must prove to the court that the change is in the best interest of the child and that there has been a substantial change in circumstances that is affecting the welfare of the child.
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