Different Day, Same Questions

Posted: 9 October, 2021

We receive dozens of calls each day and typically the same questions are asked over and over.  I guess this is a testament to the fact that although we are all individual human beings with different thoughts we all experience similar situations.  Below are the most asked questions when it comes to child custody.

What is the Difference Between “Legal Custody” and “Physical Custody”

Legal Custody is the responsibility each parent shares in making decisions regarding the health and well-being of thier children.  Typical legal custody decisions are medical, religious, or schooling related.

Physical Custody defines the actual living arrangements of the children. Most disputes are based on physical custody because having Primary Physical Custody can have major economic effects on child support calculations. Primary Physical Custody means the child spends 61% or more of their time with one parent.  Joint Physical Custody means the child spends splits between 60% and 40% with each parent.

Although parents love labels, they should not get so caught up in who has “primary” or “joint”.  Because the court has ruled that the label is not as important as the actual living situation.

How Do I Get Primary Physical Custody

The default custody label is “Joint Physical Custody” and “Joint Legal Custody”. If a parents wishes to ask the court for “primary” they need to be prepared to show the court how this arrangement is in the best interest of the child, not of the parent.  This is not an easy burden to prove and the court has established eleven factors that it will primarily review.

Factors like mental and physical ability of parents, which parent will foster relations between the child, and the wishes of a child.  All eleven factors can be found on our website at https://rightlawyers.com/Divorce-Family-Law/customer-forms.html.  Not all factors are evenly evaluated and the decision of the judge could be mainly based on several of the factors or one of the factors.

If We Share Custody Does Anyone Pay Child Support 

Yes, most likely.  When parents have Joint Physical Custody the child support calculation is offset by each parent’s income.  For an estimate of child support visit our Child Support Calculator page. Unless both parents make identical incomes the offset calculation will result in one parent paying support.

Can I Suspend Visitation if the Other Parent is not Paying Child Support

Although many parents feel they can attach receiving support to visitation, this is failed logic.  The Nevada Courts do not attach visitation rights to payment of child support.  In one judges words, “A child is not a leased vehicle.  This is not a pay for play arrangement”.  Be careful in witholding visitation simply because the other parent refuses to provide child support.

Can Child Support Be Modified

Yes. Every three years or if either parent has seen a 20% change in their incomes a child support order can be modified.  How do you know if the other parent has received an increase in income.  We recommend you ask, first.  If you only suspect they are receiving more income then you run the risk of filing for a modification and the court denies your request.

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Brittney Salvatore-Perkins