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Your Questions Answered About Las Vegas Child Custody

Child custody is one of the most contentious legal issues in family law. It is also one of the least understood. If you are preparing to divorce or separate from your spouse or significant other, and you have children, it’s essential that you understand how child custody works in the state of Nevada. To speak with an experienced child custody lawyer in Nevada, contact the capable legal team at Smith Legal Group. We work to alleviate as much of the stress and emotional burden associated with custody issues as possible.

For most couples who are considering divorce, child custody is an unfamiliar subject. Here are some questions that many people have about child custody:

How is child custody decided?

Nevada prefers that parents share Joint Custody of their child(ren) unless there are specific, demonstrable reasons why Joint Custody is not in the child(ren)’s best interests.

Is child support related to child custody?

If one parent has Primary Physical Custody of a Child, the other parent may be ordered to pay Child Support. However, if both parents have Joint Physical Custody of a Child, Child Support may be set by agreement, set on a statutorily set sliding scale based on income, or zeroed out, depending on the facts and circumstances of the case. If Child Support is a concern, our experienced attorneys can assist you in getting Child Support set at the appropriate level pursuant to Nevada’s Child Support laws.

How does child custody affect grandparents?

Custody of a Child is typically set by the Court between the Child’s parents. The Grandparents’ time with the Child is usually limited to a subset of the time awarded to each parent, at the parents’ option. These rights are typically not considered in a typical divorce or child custody case. However, where a grandparent believes that they need a set Visitation schedule, such may be available through a separate case opened by the grandparent. To be eligible for such a schedule, the Grandparents will need to prove that they have a strong bond with the Child, that they are supportive of the parents’ roles as parents, and that their time with the Child is being unreasonably restricted, among other things.

Can a child custody arrangement be altered?

If one parent believes that it is in a Child’s Best Interests to change the terms of the Parties’ Custody arrangement, such a change may be available through the Courts. Different rules apply to Child Custody Orders designated as either Joint or Primary Physical Custody. Accordingly, prior to jumping into a Custody case, it is important to understand the difference between the Custody types and the different rules that affect each type of case.

Is a child obligated to appear in court?

The general rule in Nevada is that Children are specifically not to appear in Court, with certain exceptions. In fact, in Clark County, the Family Court has rules that specifically instruct the Parties to not even discuss the case with their Child. If a Child must be brought into a case, it may only be done with the Court’s permission. Accordingly, prior to attempting to bring your Child to Court, it is best to discuss this with our experienced attorneys. Doing otherwise may subject you to fines and sanctions by the Court.

What are the types of child custody in Nevada?

Child custody is a term used to describe the legal relationship between a child and his or her parents. In Nevada, child custody is defined in two ways:

Legal custody. This refers to the right to make important decisions for a child. It includes things such as the ability to make decisions regarding a Child’s religious upbringing, where the Child attends school and the Child’s medical care. It also includes the right to be informed as to medical and educational issues.

Physical custody. Physical Custody is the term used to define the amount of time the Child resides with each parent. Joint Physical Custody is an approximate 50/50 split of a child’s time between the parents. Primary Physical Custody is where a Child resides more than 60% of the time with one parent.

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