Nevada Custody Law - Can a Las Vegas Custody
Attorney assist me with my case?
1 Can I file for custody in Nevada?
Jurisdiction in custody cases is governed by the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, or UCCJEA. In general, you can file for custody in Nevada if Nevada is the home state of the child. The home state of the child is determined by the state where the child has resided for the previous 6 months.
2What is the difference between Legal Custody and Physical Custody?
Las Vegas Custody attorneys are asked this question by many parents during the course of their Nevada Custody case. “Physical and legal custody involve separate legal rights and control separate factual scenarios.” Rivero v. Rivero, 125 Nev. 410 (2009).
Definition of Legal Custody in Nevada: The Supreme Court of Nevada has defined Legal Custody as the “basic legal responsibility for a child,” and the right and responsibility to make “major decisions regarding the child, including the child’s health, education, and religious upbringing.” Id. Parents can share Joint Legal Custody, or one of the parents may be vested with Sole Legal Custody.
Definition of Physical Custody in Nevada: Physical Custody involves that time that a child physically spends in the care of a parent. Parents can share Joint Physical Custody, or one party may be granted Primary Physical Custody with the other parent having visitation rights
What is the difference between Joint Physical Custody and Primary Physical Custody?
Joint physical custody means that each parent has custody of the child between 40 to 60 percent of the time. Primary physical custody means that one parent has custody of the child for over 60 percent of the time.
How do the Courts determine whether to grant Joint Physical Custody or Primary Physical Custody?
Many times, parents will simply agree on a custody schedule that works for them. However, some parents may disagree on how much time the child can or should spend with the other parent. If you find that you simply cannot come to an agreement, you may need the assistance of a Las Vegas custody attorney.
Most of the time, parties will be sent to mediation after the first hearing in their Nevada custody case. If the parties do not come to an agreement, they will have to go to trial, where the judge will review all of the evidence and arguments of the parties and make a decision regarding custody.
In determining custody, the sole consideration of the court is the best interest of the child. NRS 125.480(1). Preference cannot be given to either parent for the sole reason that the parent is the mother or the father of the child. NRS 125.480(2). Nevada courts tend to prefer granting joint physical custody to parents when appropriate, but several factors will affect the court’s decision. Courts look at the following factors in determining custody:
- The wishes of the child if the child is of sufficient age and capacity to form an intelligent preference as to his or her custody.
- Any nomination by a parent or a guardian for the child.
- Which parent is more likely to allow the child to have frequent associations and a continuing relationship with the noncustodial parent.
- The level of conflict between the parents.
- The ability of the parents to cooperate to meet the needs of the child.
- The mental and physical health of the parents.
- The physical, developmental and emotional needs of the child.
- The nature of the relationship of the child with each parent.
- The ability of the child to maintain a relationship with any sibling.
- Any history of parental abuse or neglect of the child or a sibling of the child.
- Whether either parent or any other person seeking custody has engaged in an act of domestic violence against the child, a parent of the child or any other person residing with the child.
- Whether either parent or any other person seeking custody has committed any act of abduction against the child or any other child.
During the trial, or evidentiary hearing as it is often called, the court will look at all of the evidence presented and apply that evidence to the relevant factors. Once the court has had the opportunity to review the evidence, it will make a decision as to whether the parties should be granted joint physical custody, or whether it is appropriate to grant primary physical custody to one of the parents.
An experienced Las Vegas custody attorney will be able to look at the facts of your individual case and determine how best to proceed. It may be important to conduct an investigation, or to gather the documentation necessary to prove the facts that are relevant to your case. At Acherman Law, our Las Vegas custody attorney has the expertise and the experience necessary to ensure that your case is properly presented, and your rights duly preserved.
View our video series for more information on the basics of Child Custody in Nevada: Family Law Video Series