Nevada law encourages parents to work out custody arrangements themselves without bringing the issue to court. If they cannot come to an agreement, courts make custody decisions based on what is in the "best interest" of the child. Typically, the courts favor joint custody, although sole custody may be granted under certain circumstances.
What Is a Parenting Plan?
A parenting plan is a detailed, written agreement that sets out how divorcing parents will share legal and physical custody of their children. In Nevada, the court may require a parenting plan before approving a divorce. If parents cannot agree on a plan, mediation (a dispute resolution process) may be ordered. Sometimes, parenting classes are also required.
What Does the Court Consider in Assigning Custody?
Nevada courts balance a series of factors when determining the best interest of a child. These factors include:
- Whether each parent can adequately care for the child,
- The physical and mental health of parents,
- The child’s physical, emotional, and developmental needs,
- The strength of each parent-child relationship,
- The level of conflict between the parents,
- The importance of sibling and other familial relationships,
- Evidence of child abuse or spousal abuse,
- The child’s reasonable preference (if age appropriate), and
- The parents’ wishes.
A parent’s gender is not considered as a factor. In a custody dispute, a guardian ad litem may be assigned to advocate for the child and help assess his or her best interests.
What Happens When the Court Has Made a Decision?
Once the custody and divorce orders are signed, they are filed with the court clerk. Both parents are then bound by the approved custody order and the court must approve any modification of the plan.
Should I Contact a Nevada Lawyer Regarding my Custody Issues?
Child custody disputes can be emotionally charged and require a detailed understanding of the law. If you have concerns about custody and parenting time, it is important that you speak with an experienced child custody lawyer. A lawyer will help advocate for you and your child and work to secure the best possible parenting arrangement for your family.