Ending a marriage is difficult on the partners who have chosen to break their legal relationship. However, it’s especially hard on their kids. All across Nevada and right here in Las Vegas families are doing their best to normalize their lives in the wake of divorce and separation. Bringing order to children’s lives after a divorce can greatly depend on how custodial matters are organized by their parents and the court.

There are two types of custody that parents should understand when they prepare to negotiate the terms of their child custody agreements and orders. The first and most recognizable is physical custody. If a parent has physical custody of their child, then that parent has the right to have their child live at least part time in their home.

While some physical custody arrangements allow for equal time for both parents, others utilize different timing structures. A parent who is denied physical custody may still be able to retain visitation rights with their child; they may also be able to retain legal custody to stay involved in the upbringing of their child.

Legal custody concerns the ability of a parent to have a voice in how their child is raised. It concerns the big issues, such as religion, education and medical care. A parent does not have to have physical custody to have legal custody and, therefore, legal custody is an important right for a parent to fight for during their divorce.

All child custody cases must be reviewed on their own merits so that the best interests of the children can be determined. Working with family law attorneys can be a good way for parents to understand their custodial options and preserve their relationships with their children after their divorces are finalized.