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Child Custody


     Child custody is where most couples have their largest dispute.  People have a fundamental right to be a parent to their children; however, as both parents have this right, the legal standard for determining child custody is what is in the child's best interest.  There are two types of custody being decided by courts.  Legal custody and physical custody.  Your case will have each decided--whether by agreement or by court order. 


     Legal custody is decision making.  It is a parental right to have access to information.  Legal custody gives the right to make more major decisions for the child.  Sole legal custody is available for one parent to make the decisions.  Things that are sufficient to get an award of sole legal custody are when the other parent is legally insane, has drug addiction issues, has domestic violence issues, makes unacceptably poor decisions for the child, and has severe co-parenting issues--among many other possible things.  

     Physical custody is timeshare.  Nevada is a joint physical custody by default; however, primary physical custody can be awarded if the child's best interest so warrants.  Without overcomplicating the issue, Nevada follows the 60/40 rule.  If your parenting time is between 60% and 40%, then it is joint physical custody.  If one parent has more than 60% of the time, then that parent has primary physical custody.  As stated, this is the general rule, but it get much more complicated.

     So, how does a parent prevail on a request for primary physical custody?  Again, it is the best interest of the child standard.  A parent's work schedule might prevent that parent from exercising even joint physical custody.  A long history of one parent having primary physical custody can also be enough.  Domestic violence, drug abuse, kidnapping (in family court, this is most often refusing to follow visitation orders), failure to co-parent, etc.  There are a multitude of things that can justify an award of primary physical custody to a parent.

    The court will decide 5 things in a custody matter: legal custody, physical custody, visitation, child support, and health insurance (which includes the insurance itself and unreimbursed expenses).  

        For a court to have custody jurisdiction (UCCJEA jurisdiction), generally, the child must have lived in Nevada for the last six months or since birth if younger then six months.  This issue is extremely complex, but Peter can make it easy to understand and can determine if Nevada has jurisdiction over a child.

     Peter is extremely experienced in assisting clients in determining what custody they are entitled to in their custody cases.  Child custody is much more complicated than the mere best interest factors.  Peter can help uncomplicate things for you.

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