Child custody cases are difficult, expensive and emotional, both for clients and their lawyers. Child custody lawyers should be experienced enough, compassionate enough, and tough enough to either negotiate or litigate the easiest as well as the most complex in contentious custody cases that are pursued in Las Vegas, Nevada. Look for a law firm that has proven it can efficiently and aggressively handle these complex cases on behalf of their clients.
Child custody law in Nevada has undergone dramatic changes as a result of legislative and Nevada Supreme Court decisions.
*There is no longer a tender years doctrine. Mothers are no longer automatically preferred custodians, but have to prove their fitness just as fathers do.
*Nevada law has changed to favor joint legal and joint physical custody arrangements between parents, where the parents have an equal role in child rearing after divorce or separation.
*Non-custodial parents no longer have to settle for a simple every other weekend schedule. Parents are being required to alternate weeks, or divide the weeks equally, unless they can prove why joint physical custody is not in the best interest of their children.
*Las Vegas Child Custody lawyers have to be sharp enough to quickly analyze the given facts to advise their clients about whether to settle for joint physical custody or fight for primary custody. A recent Supreme Court decision has determined a parent having 40% of custody time qualifies as a joint physical custodian.
*Based upon the decision between primary custody and joint physical custody, parents have to deal with changing legal standards. And their decision impacts the amount child support, relocation issues, where the child attends school, tax deductions and other important parenting issues.
*Parents no longer have to have “equal time” to be considered joint physical custodians.
*Complex factors have to be presented to the Court to facilitate a wise decision to serve the best interest of the children, while not destroying the family.
For instance the “best interests of the child” standard is still the paramount consideration of the Court in Las Vegas Child Custody cases; but sometimes the best interests of the child conflict with a parent’s best interests. If the parents share legal and physical custody jointly, there is still child support to be paid by the parent who earns more than the other. The relocation to another state standards change based upon whether the parents share joint physical custody or whether the moving party has primary physical custody.
In Potter v. Potter the Nevada Supreme Court decided to make it extremely difficult for a joint physical custodian to relocate to another state without parental consent. With primary physical custody, a parent can more easily relocate.
Custody lawyers need to know how to advise clients and present custody cases to the Court to help their clients prevail. They should know the nuances in the law, and the individual preferences of the judges on how cases should be handled and presented.
Joint physical custody is easier to get, but it impacts child support and even school issues. Parents sharing physical custody who do not live in the same area of Las Vegas often cannot decide which school the child should attend.
The Nevada Supreme Court in the Rivero v. Rivero decision has further complicated the distinctions drawn between primary and joint physical custodians. Child custody lawyers unfamiliar with the nuances of these recent changes in the law can make litigating a family court case difficult for all parties involved.
Make sure your attorney emphasizes keeping clients informed, and cases are well prepared, so as to ensure the best chances of serving the children’s best interests, be it through settlement or litigation.