Child Custody

Ensuring fair Child Custody Agreements in Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas Child Custody Lawyer

Child custody tends to be a difficult and often divisive matter between parents. When families break up, it can be emotionally challenging for all concerned. As a parent, you may worry about how custody will affect your relationship with your child and be understandably anxious about the outcome. If you and your spouse (or the other parent in an unmarried relationship) are in dispute, it can be extremely stressful.

Child custody almost always requires the assistance of an experienced attorney. A major mistake here could severely and irrevocably harm your child’s best interests long into the future. Property and debts come and go, but you only get one chance to raise your children. To ensure that the custody issue is done right, we urge you to seek the guidance of our highly-experienced Las Vegas child custody attorney at Gary Huntsman Law.

Our family law firm can assist with all types of child custody cases, such as those in a pending divorce, in a post-divorce dispute, in a petition to modify a current custody order, or to enforce a current custody order that a parent has violated. Our attorney can fully prepare your case, help you negotiate a fair custody arrangement and parenting plan, advise you when going through mediation, or represent you in court hearings.

Ensure your parental rights are protected as well as the best interests of your child with help from Gary Huntsman Law.

Child Custody Determination in Nevada

Custody involves some type of agreement or order as to how children will be raised after a divorce or separation of parental households. This is done through a parenting plan and/or visitation schedule, where applicable.

In Nevada, as in most states, the controlling court custody policy is to do what is in “the best interests of the child.” Parents can and do often vigorously disagree as to what custody arrangements may or not align with this policy. If the parties can’t agree, ultimately a court will hear the evidence from both sides and decide for you what it deems is best for the child(ren). Generally, family courts assume that maintaining a continuing and frequent relationship with both parents is best, which replicates how they lived prior to the divorce or separation. 

What are the two types of child custody in Nevada?

baby in white and red striped shirt

The two forms of custody include legal custody and physical custody.

Legal Custody

Legal custody gives parents the legal right to make important decisions on behalf of the child, such as those related to health, education, religion, and more. This can be awarded on a joint or sole basis. There are two subtypes of legal custody:

  • Sole Legal Custody: In this arrangement, one parent is granted the sole authority to make all major decisions concerning the child without consulting the other parent.
  • Joint Legal Custody: Joint legal custody is when both parents share the responsibility for making important decisions regarding the child’s well-being. They must consult with each other and reach an agreement on matters affecting the child’s life.

Physical Custody

Physical custody refers to where the child resides and who has physical care and control of the child. Similar to legal custody, physical custody can be awarded as either:

  • Sole Physical Custody: This means that the child primarily resides with one parent, and the other parent may have visitation rights or scheduled parenting time.
  • Joint Physical Custody: In joint physical custody, the child spends significant time with both parents, and they share physical care and control of the child. The exact arrangement may vary, and it can be based on an equal time-sharing schedule or one that is more suitable for the child’s best interests.

In Nevada, the court’s primary consideration in determining child custody is also the best interests of the child. The court takes into account various factors, such as the child’s age, the parents’ ability to provide for the child’s needs, the child’s relationship with each parent, and any history of abuse or domestic violence. The specific custody arrangement will depend on the unique circumstances of each case and what the court deems most appropriate for the child’s well-being.

We Can Help with All Child Custody Matters

Physical custody gives parents the right to have the child reside with them. This type of custody is generally awarded on a joint or primary basis. A parent granted primary physical custody would typically consist of a parent having the child more than 60 percent of the time. As stated above, courts generally see some form of joint custody as more favorable to children unless some parental factor would put a child at risk.

To get primary physical custody of your child(ren), it is important to seek it early on. Once custody has been determined, a change of custody arrangement requires a much higher burden of proof; you would have to prove your case with what is called “clear and convincing evidence.”

Custody can be determined by a mutual agreement between the parents. This can be the result of negotiations or through mediation ordered by the judge. Where those methods fail, custody will be determined by the court. Temporary custody orders may be issued while the case is ongoing with permanent custody orders issued after the custody case has been resolved.

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