Las Vegas Child Custody and Visitation Attorney

The standard which governs child custody and visitation in Nevada is the “best interests of the children.” There is no preference given to one parent over another based upon gender.

When it comes to child custody and visitation rights in Las Vegas, Nevada, Karen A. Connolly is a proven family law attorney who is both knowledgeable in the law, adept in the courtroom and recognizes and understands the difficult challenges of a child custody case.

There are two aspects of custody: “legal custody;” and “physical custody.” In almost all cases, absent extraordinary circumstances,  parents will share  joint legal custody of their children. This means that the parents jointly make parenting decisions. The other aspect of custody known as “physical custody,” pertains to where the children will reside.

Child custody the  most hotly contested, emotional, difficult area of family law. The children may reside with one parent primarily, or, with both parents jointly. A “joint physical custody” time share is considered to be a 60/40 time share. In order to have “joint physical custody” the children must be in the custody of a parent at least 146 days a year.

Child Support Questions in Nevada?

What Is The Child Custody Process?

It is always best for parents to try to resolve their custody issues; they know what is best for their children. If parents cannot reach an agreement on custody or visitation, they are required to participate in  mediation at the Family Mediation Center “FMC”. Attorneys do not directly participate in mediation with their respective  clients. If the parties reach an agreement on custody and/or visitation during mediation, the agreement is memorialized in a Parenting Plan.

Child support and other financial matters are ordinarily not discussed during this mediation process. Parties are free to utilize a private mediator to address all issues should they so desire. If all else fails, it is the judge who is ultimately charged with making a custody/visitation decision which will serve the best interests of the children. The judge has the option to order a child custody evaluation to address the strengths and weakness of each parent and to address any other issues of concern.

If either parent has engaged in domestic violence, and it can be proven by clear and convincing evidence, it is presumed, under the law, that said parent  should not be awarded custody.

In some cases, the judge may order Family Mediation Center specialists to interview the children. A few judges may even speak with the children directly; however, whether or not the children have any input is generally within the discretion of the individual judge. Teenage children are far more likely to have input than are younger children.

Child Custody Modification

There may come a time when a child custody order needs to be modified for a variety of reasons. In Las Vegas, Nevada, if parents share joint legal and joint physical custody, the custody arrangement can be modified if doing so is in the “best interests” of the children. However, if the parents share joint legal custody and one parent has primary physical custody, a modification can be granted only if the non-custodial parent can prove two things: 1) there has been a “substantial change in circumstances,” and, 2) A change will be in the “best interests of the children.”


If after a custody determination has been made, one parent decides he/she wants  to move out of state with the children, written  permission from the other parent, or, permission from the court is required.

Third party/grandparent Visitation

Nevada law provides that in certain circumstances, third parties may petition for custody and /or visitation with children.  Grandparents  also have rights under Nevada law. 

If you are fighting for custody, or visitation, or considering modifying a current custody order, or are unhappy with your current order, you should seek immediate legal advice. For favorable results, you need a Las Vegas Child Custody Attorney with over 20 years of successful litigation experience. Contact Karen Connolly as soon as possible to guide you through this process and provide you with the legal advice and direction to assist you with this trying process.

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