Child Custody Attorney

Las Vegas Child Custody Lawyer

One of the main reasons parents hire Las Vegas child custody lawyers is because it benefits their child. At the RIGHT Lawyers, our focus is on creating parenting plans that ensure your child’s well-being and your unique situation. Let us act as advocates for you and your children as we protect your interests.

As experienced family law attorneys in Clark County, we know how detrimental high levels of conflict between parents can be for kids. Think of us as a buffer between you and the other parents as you navigate your new arrangement. We promote more productive communication with the goal of creating a more peaceful, stable environment for your child.

Having a fair and equitable custody arrangement is in your child’s best interest, but it also means more peace and stability for you. We can reduce stress and uncertainty as you negotiate custody with your former partner by answering your questions and helping you to stay focused on what matters most: your child.

If you need to file a child custody case or you need help in a current dispute, you need answers to your questions about your rights and legal options. The child custody team at RIGHT Lawyers has put together this guide for parents in Clark County:

Child Custody Cases in Nevada: A Guide for Las Vegas Parents

  1. How can hiring a Las Vegas child custody lawyer can benefit your child?
  2. How is child custody determined in Nevada?
  3. When is it a good idea to get help from a Las Vegas child custody lawyer?
  4. What is the difference between legal custody and physical custody?
  5. What is the 30 30 rule in Nevada in child custody?
  6. How hard is it to get full custody in Las Vegas, Nevada?
  7. Can a child decide which parent they want to live with in Nevada?
  8. Can a parent with joint custody in Nevada move out of state?

How is child custody determined in Nevada?

When it comes to child custody, one of the main things that will determine your arrangement is state law. You may want to keep your ex as far away from your child as possible, but the State of Nevada may see it differently. In general, in Nevada, parents have joint custody unless otherwise ordered.1

One of the most helpful things to keep in mind during this process is that these laws are meant to prioritize children’s needs. There will be some elements of your custody case that you can control, and other times, like the song says, you’ll need to let it go, let it go.

So what do the Clark County courts consider when they’re determining custody? Here are the main points they focus on:

  • The relationship your child shares with each parent and their siblings
  • Your ability (and your ex’s) to provide a safe, stable, nurturing environment
  • Both parents’ mental and physical health
  • Your child’s emotional and developmental needs
  • Your child’s preference, if the court thinks they are old and mature enough to have a say
  • Any history of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence regarding you or your ex
  • The level of conflict between you and your ex and your ability to cooperate
  • Your willingness to encourage and support your child’s relationship with your ex
  • Your child’s ties to their extended family, their school, and their community
  • How close (or far) you and your ex live to each other

Many of the above factors are within your control. Now is the time to keep this in mind as you consider whether or not you’ve done everything you can to put yourself in an advantageous position to win your custody claim. Are you taking care of your physical and mental health? Are you doing your best to cooperate with your ex? Make any improvements you can before court.

When is it a good idea to get help from a Las Vegas child custody lawyer?

If you’re going through a divorce or you’ve had a change in your situation, you may be wondering if you need to get help from a Las Vegas child custody attorney. You may be trying to work an arrangement out on your own but you’re wondering if you’re missing anything important, or you’re trying to be amicable with your ex but you have a feeling things are about to go downhill.

The simple answer is, if you think you might need help from a child custody lawyer, you probably do.

So when is it a good idea to seek help from a family law attorney for help with child custody situations? If anything on the following list sounds familiar, it may be the right time to call us for a free 15-minute consultation:

  • Complex cases: Custody cases can get complex fast. If you’re dealing with issues like relocation, mental health or substance abuse, or allegations of child abuse or neglect, it might be a good idea to contact a Las Vegas child custody lawyer.
  • High-conflict situations: Does it seem like you and the other parent can’t agree on anything? Does your ex cause a conflict even when you know they actually do agree, just out of spite? If this describes you, call us.
  • Unfamiliarity with the legal system: When you try to decipher Nevada’s child custody laws and court procedures, does it seem like you’re reading another language? We can walk you through the case step-by-step, breaking it down for you.
  • Modification of existing orders: Maybe you have an existing order, but now your circumstances are changing and your custody order needs to change along with it. We can present a compelling case for modification.
  • Violations of custody orders: Some parents can’t get enough of violating custody orders, and they will use it as a weapon against you – at your child’s expense. We help enforce custody orders and hold the other parent accountable.
  • Unmarried parents: You may have dodged a bullet by not marrying your ex, but because you were never married, your custody case may be more complex. Let us help you establish paternity and secure your parental rights.
  • Out-of-state custody issues: If the other parent lives in another state, we can help you navigate interstate custody laws as they pertain to your child custody case in Clark County.
  • Mediation and negotiation: Having a lawyer to advise you is a good idea even if you have decided to try resolving your custody case through mediation or negotiation. We can review your agreement before you sign to make sure you don’t have any regrets.

When it comes to custody, you don’t want to risk making any mistakes that can jeopardize your child’s well-being. You also don’t want to make any mistakes that will make custody any harder on you than it needs to be. When you have us on your side, you can be confident that you have experienced legal advocates protecting you at every turn.

Not all types of custody are created equally. This is why one of the most important things parents should understand before entering into custody negotiations is the difference between legal and physical custody.

Legal custody and physical custody are two distinct aspects of child custody that define the different rights and responsibilities of each parent. When you have joint custody, it means you share certain rights equally. Which rights those are depends on if you have joint legal custody, joint physical custody, or both.

Note: Nevada law presumes that joint legal and physical custody is in the child’s best interest unless there is clear evidence to the contrary.

Joint legal custody means that both you and your ex equally share the right and responsibility to make major decisions about your child’s upbringing. Joint physical custody, however, means that your child spends significant amounts of time living with both of you.

Here are the major points parents need to know about legal and physical custody:

Legal custody means both parents have equal say regarding certain major decisions about your child’s upbringing. This means you will have to cooperate and agree with each other about:

  • Where your child goes to school
  • Your child’s healthcare and medical treatments
  • Which religion your child follows
  • Your child’s extracurricular activities
  • Other major decisions in your child’s life

If you have joint legal custody with your ex, you are going to need to consult with each other before you make any of these important decisions. And, you will need to make them cooperatively together. But if one of you has sole legal custody, you will have the legal right to make these decisions on your own. The court may award joint legal custody without awarding joint physical custody.2

Physical custody

Physical custody is just that – who physically has custody of the child aka who the child lives with. The parent with physical custody is responsible for the child’s day-to-day care. The court may conduct an investigation into whether or not joint physical custody is in the child’s best interests.3 There is more than one type of physical custody agreement. Here are the main types:

Joint physical custody: Joint physical custody means your child spends a significant amount of time with each of you, but it doesn’t necessarily mean an even 50/50 split. It just means that your child has frequent and continuing contact with both of their parents.

Primary physical custody: Primary physical custody means one parent has been appointed the “custodial parent,” and the child primarily lives with you. The other parent then becomes the “non-custodial parent,” and they have visitation rights or more limited parenting time.

Sole physical custody: Sole physical custody means one parent is awarded sole custody and the child only lives with that parent. The other parent may have limited, supervised, or no visitation rights. Sole physical custody is rare, but it is sometimes necessary.

If you or the other parent can demonstrate that joint custody is not in the child’s best interest, the court may give one of you primary physical custody and grant visitation rights to the other. And if a parent is deemed unfit, they may lose custody altogether.

Note: You may not be awarded the same percentage of legal and physical custody. For example, you may have joint legal custody but the child may only live with one parent.

What is the 30 30 rule in Nevada in child custody?

As of 2022, 7.6% of children in Nevada did not have health insurance, and now that COVID protection laws are being lifted, more children will lose their healthcare coverage in the future. If your child is among them, you need to familiarize yourself with the “30/30 rule.” This rule is meant to address the payment of medical expenses for kids who don’t have health insurance.

So how does the 30/30 rule work? Say you are the parent who covered your child’s medical costs. Under the 30/30 rule, you would need to send proof of that expense to the other parent within 30 days of making the payment. Then, the other parent will have 30 days to reimburse you.

How hard is it to get full custody in Las Vegas, Nevada?

It’s not easy to get sole custody in Nevada because the state’s laws believe joint custody arrangements are usually in the child’s best interests. But if you’re trying to get full custody right now, you know that this law is general and doesn’t necessarily apply to your situation. If you believe full custody is right for your child, it’s possible to get it – but you’ll have to fight for it.

When may the Clark County family courts decide to grant sole custody? Here are some situations in which the courts may rule against joint custody4:

  • Your ex has a substance abuse problem that may endanger your child, such as an alcoholic parent who may drive drunk with your child in the car.
  • Your ex is mentally unstable or can’t provide a safe environment, such as an ex who is off their psych meds against medical advice or has a partner in the house who is.
  • Your ex has a history of child neglect or abuse or domestic violence, such as an ex who leaves the child alone or may assault a new partner in front of the child like they assaulted you.
  • Your ex is an absent or uninvolved parent, such as an ex who rarely shows up and seems to have forgotten that they ever had a child. At least until you want sole custody.

If you want full custody, you will need to file a petition with the Clark County family courts. A Las Vegas child custody lawyer can help you navigate the legal system and present a strong case for full custody.

Can a child decide which parent they want to live with in Nevada?

In Nevada, if a child is old and mature enough, their preferences can carry some weight in a Las Vegas custody claim.5 However, it isn’t the sole determining factor in a custody case. Nevada doesn’t have a specific age when a child’s decision will become decisive. However, in general, the older and more mature a child is, the more their choice will factor into the final decision.

If your child has a preference as to which parent they live with, the court may not agree it is in their best interests. They may choose not to follow your child’s wishes if they believe they have been manipulated or influenced by the other parent or if they see any evidence of parental alienation.

Can a parent with joint custody in Nevada move out of state?

Are you considering moving out of state with your child? Is your ex planning a move and you’re wondering about your rights? In Nevada, no matter which parent is planning to move, they will need the written consent of the other parent.6

If the other parent agrees to the move: If you or your ex agrees to the move, you will need to draft a written agreement to modify your custody arrangement. Your child custody lawyer in Las Vegas can help you draft the documentation to accommodate this relocation, including creating a revised visitation schedule with provisions for transportation and communication or modifying child support.

If the other parent objects to the move:

If the other parent objects to the move, or if you object to the other parent’s move, things can get complicated – and fast. A motion will need to be filed with the court seeking permission for the move with the child.

Note: If either parent relocates with the child without the other parent’s permission or permission from the court, they may face legal consequences.7

Get Help From a Las Vegas Child Custody Lawyer

Whether you’re considering filing a case for child custody in Clark County or you need help with an ongoing case, turn to the RIGHT Lawyers. Our Las Vegas child custody lawyers invite you to contact us for a free consultation.

We are dedicated and compassionate family law attorneys with experience in child custody cases in Nevada. Let us protect your rights and your child’s interests if you’re involved in a custody dispute. Call us at 702-664-8651 or contact us online to learn more about your legal options.

  1. NRS 125C.0015
  2. NRS 125C.002
  3. NRS 125C.0025
  4. NRS 125C.003
  5. NRS 125C.0035
  6. NRS 125C.006
  7. NRS 200.359
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Rock Rocheleau