Child Custody and Visitation in Nevada
When parents are no longer living together in the same household, it is beyond wise to get the appropriate legal paperwork in order to establish the legal rights and obligations that each parent will have towards each other with respect to raising the child(ren) the two have in common.
Starting the Legal ProcessIn order to have the legal and physical custody and child support arrangements legally binding the parents must have a valid "court order". A court order can only be obtained by initiating a case in family court. To do this, a person must file a "Complaint" with the court to get the case started. A small filing fee of several hundred dollars is required to file your Complaint with the court. After the Complaint is filed, it must be properly served upon the adverse party. The court will schedule a hearing with both parents. If the initial hearing with both parents is unsuccessfully in determining custody arrangements, the court will set the matter for mediation.
Mediation is a way for parents to decide between themselves, with a neutral party employed by the court, to decide what is in the best interests of the parties' child(ren). The attorneys are not usually involved in the actual proceedings at Family Mediation Center ("FMC"). The goal of mediation is to develop a Parenting Plan specifying legal custody, physical custody, and visitation issues. Other issues, such as money matters, are usually not included in FMC mediation in Clark County.
Best Interestes of the ChildIn Nevada, the key concept regarding all child custody and visitation rights for parents is "the best interest of the child." There is no automatic preference in favor of either parent, and both "legal custody" (who has the right and responsibility to make parenting decisions) and "physical custody" (in whose custody the child will physically be placed) must be specified in every court order involving minor children. Proof that a parent has engaged in acts of domestic violence generally disqualifies that parent from being a custodian of a child.