Nevada Revised Statutes Chapter 125C deals with child custody and visitation while NRS Chapter 125A addresses whether a Nevada Court, or a Court of another state, has jurisdiction to make child custody determinations. NRS 125A.305(1)(a) states that Nevada has jurisdiction to make an initial child custody determination if Nevada is the home state of the child on the date of the commencement of the proceeding or was the home state of the child within 6 months before the commencement of the proceeding and the child is absent from Nevada but a parent of the child continues to reside in Nevada. If Nevada is not the “home state” of the child, a Nevada Court may exercise jurisdiction over a child custody determination provided specific factors outlined in the statute are met. If jurisdiction may be at issue in your child custody case, it is imperative that you contact The Cooley Law Firm at (702) 265-4505 immediately to discuss your case and investigate your options.
In Nevada, the paramount consideration of the Court in determining child custody matters is “the best interest of the child.” The Nevada Legislature has a stated policy in favor of equal sharing of parental rights and responsibilities. In fact, NRS 125C.0025 establishes a preference that joint physical custody would be in the best interest of a child if the parents have agreed to such an arrangement. To this end, the Nevada Legislature has mandated that Courts may not give preference to either parent on the basis of his or her gender. Pursuant to NRS 125C.0015, “If a court has not made a determination regarding the custody of a child, each parent has joint legal custody and joint physical custody of the child until otherwise ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction.”
There are two (2) types of custody that must be addressed in every matter involving children: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody deals with the rights and responsibilities to make decisions about the important aspects of the child’s life, such as the child’s education, religion, health needs, etc. Physical custody has to do with where the child actually resides. Nevada Revised Statutes 125C.0035, lists the factors the Court must consider in determining the best interest of a child.
If parties disagree about child custody or visitation issues, they are usually required to participate in the Court’s Family Mediation Center for “confidential mediation.” The goal of “confidential mediation” is for the parties to develop a Parenting Plan specifying legal custody, physical custody, and visitation terms.
If the parties are unable to agree upon a Parenting Agreement, the Court may refer the parties to an outside professional for a child custody evaluation and/or set the matter for an evidentiary hearing.
If you are going through a divorce, terminating a relationship or dissolving a domestic partnership, it is likely that child custody and visitation issues are your biggest concerns. The Cooley Law Firm will zealously advocate for you to obtain the most favorable child custody and visitation schedule that is in your child’s best interests. Please call The Cooley Law Firm at (702) 265-4505 to schedule a consultation.
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