This is the next article in series on how “teenage discretion” impacts child visitation. My last post looked when a Las Vegas Judge may defer to a child’s parental choice. It is important to understand that a Court will only defer to a child’s wishes if the youth is of sufficient age and maturity to be given input into the matter. The concept of giving a child “discretion” over to where they should spend their time is, for effective purposes, limited to teenagers. Even then, the child will still be required to spend time with the non-custodial parent. In this article I will discuss an important topic – situations in which the Court may revoke the discretion it has given to a teenager. If you are a parent and need assistance, then contact my office to speak with a child custody lawyer.
Clark County Family Court Judges may revoke a teenager’s discretion if it is no longer in the child’s best interests
The Clark County Family Court will always focus on the best interests of the child in any custody case. When determining what is in a child’s best interests, the Court will consider factors such as the needs of the child, the ability of each parent to meet those needs, the suitability of each parent, and more. This remains true in matters involving teenagers. While Judges may grant a child discretion as to how they arrange their time with each parent, the child’s choices will remain subject to the Court’s review. This means that the Court may revoke any discretion if a child is engaging in conduct that is against their best interests and the custodial parent is failing to properly supervise the child.
The foregoing rule is best explained by way of example. Suppose a child splits his or her time equally between both parents. As the child gets older, he or she wishes to live primarily with the father and the Court grants the request under the concept of teenage discretion. The child’s grades begin to decline after moving in with the father. The child also drops out of extracurricular activities and begins to exhibit behavioral problems. As it turns out, the father is not ensuring that homework is completed and is not even making sure that the child is attending school each day. The mother files a Motion to change custody. Under this scenario, there is a good chance that the Court, at a minimum, would revoke the teenager’s discretion and put a stricter schedule in place. This is due to the fact that the child’s wishing to live with the father, simply because the father does not make him or her go to school, will not be seen as being in the best interests of the child. It is important to remember, however, that how the Court will rule in any given situation will always depend on the specific facts of the case.
Las Vegas parents may file a Motion to revoke a child’s teenage discretion
If a Las Vegas parent wishes to revoke their child’s teenage discretion, then the first step is to file a Motion with the Court. If the situation is extreme enough then the requesting parent’s attorney can also file a request to hear the matter on an expedited basis. Whether the Court will entertain the request to modify custody will depend on several factors. It is strongly suggested that you discuss your situation with an attorney in order to fully understand your options.
I am a Las Vegas child custody lawyer with extensive experience in matters which involve teenagers. I pride myself on providing a high level of service. This includes promptly responding to phone calls, quickly replying to emails, and ensuring that your questions are timely answered. Call my office today or contact us online. We look forward to speaking with you.