A lot can go wrong when we expect an emotionally drained couple to navigate a complicated legal system. When involved in custody negotiations, however, it’s a challenge you can’t avoid.

Because every family is so different, most custody cases end with slightly different results. For this reason, it’s important to know as much as you can about in Nevada so that you are able to protect your child’s best interests.

When it comes to custody, most of us have the same commonly asked questions:

  • What is the difference between legal and physical custody?
    • Legal custody usually belongs to both natural parents, unless a judge deems one parent unfit. A legal custodian can weigh in on decisions related to major life decisions such as school, religious participation and medical care.
    • Physical custody dictates where the child resides.
    • One further distinction is that of joint or sole custody. For example, you may have sole physical custody and joint legal custody. This means the child lives with you, but you consult the other parent about all important life decisions.
  • How is custody decided?
    • A judge will decide what is in the best interests of the child on a case by case basis.
  • How are the best interests of the child defined?
    • In Nevada, there are many factors that go into a court’s decision. Some of those factors are:
      • Ability to maintain contact with loved ones
      • Mental and physical health of both natural parents, including history of any form of abuse
      • The level of conflict between parents
      • The child’s physical and emotional needs
      • The child’s wishes 
  • What is teenage discretion?
    • When a judge decides that a child has reached a certain developmental milestone, they can determine their own physical custody arrangements.

When facing custody negotiations, it’s important that your thoughts, words and actions show your focus is on the best interests of your child. A parent who prioritizes in this way will have a greater chance of being viewed favorably in the eyes of the judicial system.