mother and father pointing at childThis is the next post in my series on how Las Vegas parents are impacted by Nevada’s joint custody laws. My last article provided an overview of topics which this series will be addressing. It also stressed the need to speak with an attorney if you find yourself in a family law dispute. Speaking with and retaining counsel can be far more effective than engaging in back and forth conflict with the other party as such conflict will often hurt your case in Court. This article will expand upon this discussion by discussing the fact that our state presumes that parents should share joint custody of their child. If you are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.

Nevada law presumes that each parent should have the child at least forty percent of the time

Nevada is like many other states in that Family Court Judges must begin each case with the presumption that the parents should share joint custody of the child. Where Nevada differs from many states, however, is in its definition of “joint custody.” Many states consider the arrangement shared only if each parent has the child an equal amount of the time. In Nevada, however, a parent is considered as having joint custody as long as they have the child at least forty percent of the time. This means that a parent who has the child three days a week in our state will be considered as having joint custody. Many other states would consider such an arrangement as one where the parent, who has the child four days a week, as the person with primary custody.

It is important to remember that the presumption of joint custody is just that – a presumption. While the Court will begin the case with the idea that custody should be shared, a parent will be awarded primary custody if it is in the best interest of the child. When considering what is in a child’s best interests the Court will consider factors such as:

  • The wishes of the child (depending on their age and maturity)
  • The needs of the child and the ability of each parent to meet those needs
  • The level of conflict between the parents and the source of that conflict
  • The willingness of each parent to cooperate with the other
  • Any history of domestic violence

A case need not involve extreme facts for the Court to find that a parent should not have joint custody of the child. If, for example, a parent’s work schedule simply leaves them unavailable to care for the child at least three days a week then the Court may very well grant primary custody to their counterpart. What will and will not constitute adequate grounds for primary custody will always depend on the specific facts of the case.

Las Vegas parents should discuss their custody situation with a lawyer

It is common for parents to believe that it is in the best interests of the child for them to have primary custody. It is important to remember, however, that disagreement over parenting styles does not mean that the other parent will be seen as “wrong” in the eyes of the Court. Unfortunately, many parents attempt to litigate a claim for primary custody when they were likely to receive joint custody all along. This can result in wasted time, wasted money, additional aggravation, and unnecessary detriment to the child. Discussing your situation with an attorney can help you to have realistic expectations as to how the Court may rule in your case.

I am a Las Vegas child custody lawyer and I strive to provide the highest level of service to each of my clients. We understand that nothing is more important than one’s children and we will give your case the attention it deserves. Contact us online or by telephone today to schedule an initial consultation. We look forward to speaking with you.