Practice Areas > Custody and Visitation
Child Custody and Visitation Lawyers in Reno, NV
Your Child. Your Rights. OUR Fight.
In life, there is no job more important than a parent’s. In law, there are few cases more rewarding than protecting or restoring a parent’s rightful position in their child’s life.
Custody battles can be deeply complex. Child custody and visitation cases are difficult and often require a trial. You need an experienced child custody attorney, and more importantly, you need an experienced trial attorney. Carlson & Work has successfully handled hundreds of child custody cases. Repeatedly, we find the results that benefit our clients. Reputations are earned. Work Law is widely considered one of the top child custody law firms in Reno, Nevada.
Nevada Custody Laws
Under Nevada law, there are two forms of custody a court will consider (1) Legal Custody and (2) Physical Custody. When you meet with one of Carlson & Work’s experienced family law attorneys, we will formulate a plan of attack to achieve your child custody and visitation goals.
Joint Legal Custody
Joint legal custody is the most common form of legal custody awarded in Nevada. Unless there is a judicial order stating otherwise, joint legal custody is presumed. In joint legal custody, both parents share the ability to make major decisions about their child, and further, have to consult with one another regarding these major decision.
Sole Legal Custody
Sole legal custody is less common. Sole legal custody requires a judge determining only one parent should have the right to make all major decisions for the child, and be the only parent to have access to critical information about their child.
In Nevada, physical custody refers to where the child will spend most of their time. An experienced custody attorney will have a significant impact on the child. Physical custody cases determine the child’s school, community, and daily child development activities. Hiring the right custody lawyer is vital in obtaining desired outcomes, including protecting parental visitation rights.
The following are the three (3) types of physical custody recognized under Nevada law:
Sole Physical Custody
Sole physical custody provides one parent with access to their child. The non-custodial parent has no custodial rights and often, has no right of visitation. Most common, this type of judgment is reached when one parent is determined to be a threat to the child’s health or safety.
Joint Physical Custody
Joint Physical Custody is one of the most common forms of custody granted in the Family Court. Joint Physical Custody authorizes 40% of the child’s time with either parent. By law, a judge must grant joint physical custody unless compelling arguments are made. Hiring an experienced custody law attorney can mean the difference between a judge awarding primary physical custody or joint physical custody.
Primary Physical Custody
Primary physical custody exists when one parent has the children more than 60% of the year. The other parent will have parenting time, commonly referred to as visitation. Often, an experienced family attorney is needed to obtain such a determination of custody. In these cases, a custody attorney will demonstrate that the factors under NRS 125.0035(4)(c) show that an award for primary physical custody is appropriate.
The following are some of the most significant factors a judge will consider when determining whether one parent may be eligible for primary physical custody:
- If the child is of sufficient age, a court will strongly consider their wishes, in regards to which parent they would like to live with.
- Which parent is most likely to make sure the non-custodial parent maintains a frequent association with their child.
- The level of conflict that exists between the parents, and which parent is the contributing cause of that conflict.
- Which parent is capable of meeting the needs of their child. This factor is strongly weighed in cases where a child has special needs.
- The relationship that presently exists between each parent and the child. Simply put, the court will consider which parent plays a more central role in the child’s life.
- Which parent is more capable of meeting the physical, emotional and even developmental needs of their child.
- Whether there are siblings from other marriages, and whether one parent will allow frequent associations with their siblings.
- Whether either parent has committed an act of domestic violence.
- Whether a parent has committed an act of child abduction.
Custody and Visitation Timeline
If there is no child custody and visitation court order in place – a parent will file a petition to establish custody.
If there is a child custody and visitation order in place – a parent can file a motion to modify the order.
If a petition to establish custody is filed, the opposing party will then have twenty (20) calendar days to file a response.
Typically, after a motion to modify custody has been filed, the opposing party with have approximately ten (10) court calendar days.
If a petition to establish custody was filed, the court will first set the matter for a case management conference, followed by a settlement hearing and possibly a trial.
If a motion to modify custody was filed, the court will set the hearing to allow the custody attorneys to argue the motion and present evidence.
The parties always have the opportunity to settle on terms that they feel benefit both parties. If no settlement is reached, a judge will decide, based on the evidence presented and the factors of NRS 125.0035(4)(c), what outcome would be in the best interests of the minor child(ren).