My child's father and I have been divorced for about 7 months. Prior to that we were separated for some time. In our divorce papers, I have primary custody, but legal rights are 50/50. He currently lives in the state of Michigan and I live in Nevada. as our agreement is written, i have her during school year, and he has her during the holidays. He has asked permission to have her for one school year, so he is "able to experience that with her". I'm nervous that he will try to pull some funny business, and I came up with the idea of writing a contract stating he is only to have her for ONE school year. (9 months with holiday breaks every few months, resulting in her being with me during breaks). What I'm worried about is, will this be enough to keep my safe from him trying to take away my primary rights and what we already have in our divorce papers? My child is a resident of my state, and as I said, I am legally her primary care provider. In no way shape or form am I surrendering my rights and I'm trying to avoid it looking that way, or trying to avoid giving him any fuel to a fire that he might possibly start.
The short answer is, if you let the father have the child for a year, you, under Nevada law, would be giving the father primary physical custody of the child. Nevada family judges generally do not uphold temporary agreements. He can file for primary custody of the child because you let him have her. Ass the saying goes, possession is 9/10 of the law.
Even if you draft up an agreement that is clear that the father having the child live with him would only be for a year, you are risking losing primary physical custody. Is this guaranteed? No, of course not. Nothing is certain in family court. However, if it is ok for the child to live with the father for a year, why not longer? This is what the court will ask.
As this is a complicated matter, you should consult with an experienced family law attorney to discuss the case specifics.
Mr. James is right. No matter whether you have a written agreement, it's possible you could lose simply because you gave up your child for so long. The law presumes that parents act in the best interest of their children, and if they decide that it's in the child's best interest to live with one and not the other, that's what's best. Some courts will allow for liberal back-and-forth, including what you are describing, but some don't. So it's a gamble. I strongly suggest you sit with an experienced family law attorney to help you with this.
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