Common Questions: Nevada Child Custody and Visitation

People facing divorce or separation who have children often also find themselves facing the issues of child custody and visitation. Below are some frequently asked questions about child custody and visitation in Nevada.

Nevada Child Custody and Visitation FAQs

What Factors Are Considered by the Court When Making Child Custody and Visitation Decisions?

The sole consideration of the court in determining custody is the best interests of the children (see NRS 125.480). Factors to be considered in determining the “best interests” are:

  • The wishes of the child if the child is of sufficient age and capacity to form an intelligent preference as to his or her custody.
  • Any nomination by a parent or a guardian for the child.
  • Which parent is more likely to allow the child to have frequent associations and a continuing relationship with the noncustodial parent.
  • The level of conflict between the parents.
  • The ability of the parents to cooperate to meet the needs of the child.
  • The mental and physical health of the parents.
  • The physical, developmental and emotional needs of the child.
  • The nature of the relationship of the child with each parent.
  • The ability of the child to maintain a relationship with any sibling.
  • Any history of parental abuse or neglect of the child or a sibling of the child.
  • Whether either parent or any other person seeking custody has engaged in an act of domestic violence against the child, a parent of the child or any other person residing with the child.
  • Whether either parent or any other person seeking custody has committed any act of abduction against the child or any other child.

Do Nevada Courts Have a Preference When It Comes to Custody and Visitation Awards?

The presumption is that joint legal custody is in the best interests of a child. However, If there are circumstances or conditions that would render a parent unfit or unable to be involved in decision making pertaining to the child, the court may decide to award the other parent sole legal custody.

What Is “Physical Custody” and “Legal Custody”?

There are 2 types of custody: Legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody refers to decision making related to the child’s health, welfare and life. Physical custody pertains to residence.

Joint legal custody: Both parents are involved in decision making (cite to statute and expand upon definition based upon statue.)

Sole Legal Custody: One parent makes child related decisions.

Joint Physical Custody: When the court awards joint physical custody, it means that the child will spend an approximately equal amount of time living with each parent. Joint physical custody does not necessarily mean a 50/50 time share. However, in order to have joint physical custody each parent must hare the child for at least 147 days a year; 40% of the time The purpose of joint custody is to give the child frequent contact and associations with each parent, which is presumed to be in the best interests of the child. Rivero v. River.

Primary Physical Custody: When the a court awards one parent custody more than 60% of the time, that parent has primary physical custody.

Therefore, if parents are awarded joint physical custody of the child, the child will live with both parents. Joint legal custody means that the parents share the parenting responsibilities.


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