Can a Parent Leave Las Vegas with a Child?

A common situation for divorced couples is when one parent wants to move out of state and bring their child. Is a parent allowed to leave Nevada with a child?

The court’s first concern is what type of child custody you have. It is much easier to make the move with your child when you have primary custody. Joint custody makes it a little more complicated.

Primary physical custody makes this easier because the court has already looked at the child’s best interest factors and awarded you custody. With primary physical custody, there are two main factors the judge will look at.

First, do you have a good faith reason for leaving? A good faith reason needs to be something like a better job opportunity, an ailing parent, or moving closer to family. If the court suspects you are trying to punish your ex-spouse, then they will not allow the move.

Second, can you work out a child visitation schedule with the other parent? The Nevada courts believe it is important for children to have a strong relationship with both parents. If you and your ex are willing to work together on visitation, then the judge will more likely allow the move. You and your divorce lawyer will have to prove both of these factors to sway the judge in your favor.

If you have joint custody of your child, moving out of state will be a little more difficult. You first need to convince the court to give you primary custody. Which means they will consider the best interest factors for the child, not your situation. Only if they determine that giving you primary custody is in your child’s best interest, then they will examine whether the move is better for the child.

Only when they meet all the above criteria, can a parent leave Las Vegas with a child.


Family Law discusses the laws and process for relocating out of state with a child. Visit our Child Custody Page for more informaiton on child custody and relocating.