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How Do I Get Custody of My Child After a Divorce?

Parents who have custody of a child are called “custodial” parents. Inversely, parents who do not have custody are called “non-custodial” parents. 

There are two forms of child custody under Nevada law in a divorce case: physical and legal. If the child lives with the parents at least some of the time, the parent has physical custody. If the parent has the right to make decisions about the child’s upbringing, the parent has legal custody. The court may always award sole or shared custody to both parents or to either. Parents do not need physical custody in order to share legal custody. 

What is physical custody? Physical custody is the physical living arrangement between children and their parents. If a child resides with a parent over 60% of the time, that parent has primary physical custody subject to the other parents visitation. If a child spends less than 60% of the time with each parent, there is joint physical custody of the child. 

What is legal custody? Legal custody refers to parental rights in regard to making important life decisions for the child; this includes among other things:

  1. Schooling,

  2. practice of religion, and

  3. medical treatments received. 

A parent with physical custody will usually share legal custody but the court may also award joint legal custody to a parent who does not have physical custody. 

How is child custody determined in Nevada? Child custody is determined in one of two ways:

  1. Mutual agreement, or

  2. Court determination.

Until the court finalizes custody arrangements, parents with physical custody of a child will typicallyshare legal and physical custody. This is known as joint custody.  The court will presume that the best interest of the child is joint custody if:

  1. The parents agreed to it, or

  2. Each parent has attempted to establish a meaningful relationship with the child.

If you have a custody issue or are dealing with any challenges in the realm of family law, contact Sgro & Roger today for a free consultation at 702.384.9800.