Trusted Henderson Child Custody Lawyers Ready To Serve You
The divorce process is difficult for everyone. There’s no question about it. This is true even when both parties are cooperative and agree that the decision is for the best. Even in the best of circumstances, however, difficult decisions have to be made during the divorce process, and perhaps no decisions are more emotional and difficult than those involving child custody.
In these situations, you’ll need guidance from a knowledgeable and experienced Henderson child custody attorney who can provide you with guidance and help you take a stand for what you believe is best for your children. Here at Mills & Anderson, we are those attorneys.
At Mills & Anderson, we are proud of our generations of experience helping families just like yours, in the Henderson area and beyond, with their child custody issues. We know that there is nothing more important to a parent than a happy, healthy child who lives in a loving home. We view it as our mission to do our very best to help our clients reach that goal.
Understanding Child Custody Law
In the State of Nevada, the legal presumption is always in favor of the parents having joint custody of the children. There are two different types of custody under Nevada law, and both types must be considered when a couple divorces. There is physical custody and legal custody.
Physical custody refers to actual physical possession (for lack of a better word) of the child or children. In other words, if the child is at mom’s house, mom is said to have physical custody of the child as the child is under mom’s supervision and is her responsibility.
Legal custody refers to who has the decision making power over important aspects of the child’s upbringing. This custody can be solely the domain of one parent, but most often is shared by both. This decision making responsibility extends to questions like where the child will attend school, what medical treatments they will receive, and what church or religion they will be raised in, among other things.
Physical and legal custody are two separate issues, and as such, can be awarded unevenly. For instance, a parent may be awarded primary physical custody because the child’s best interests are served by that parent having the child at home 70 or 80% of the time. But, while mom has primary physical custody of the child, the parents will very likely share joint legal custody. In a joint legal custody situation, both parents have the right to be part of the decision-making process on important matters – though the child may spend more time at one parent’s residence than the other. For example, the child may be living at one home during the school week and with the other parent on weekends. Or the child may be living with one parent during the school year and the other parent during the summer. This would give primary physical custody to one parent while maintaining joint legal custody so that both parents are equally involved in decision making.
Though extremely rare, a couple or judge may decide that it is in the child’s best interest for parents to have joint physical custody – where the child is in each parent’s physical presence for at least 40% of the time – but only one parent has legal custody or decision making power. There are a number of scenarios that families decide upon, depending upon their particular circumstances and which arrangements will best serve the child.
Given the preference for both parents to be involved in their children’s lives, the vast majority of cases filed result in the parties sharing joint legal and physical custody of their children. In those situations, the parents seek to divide the time with the children as evenly as possible, though one parent may still have slightly more custodial time than the other. And of course, with joint legal and physical custody, both parents retain an equal say in important decision-making matters.
A growing trend, however, is for the parties to have joint legal and physical custody of their children. In those situations, the parents seek to divide the time with the children as evenly as possible, though one parent may still have primary physical custody.
Though very rare, it is possible for a parent to have sole legal and physical custody of the child, with visitation for the non-custodial parent being supervised, at the discretion of the custodial parent, or with no visitation at all. This is only considered in more extreme circumstances such as if one parent has almost no involvement with the child, has a serious criminal record involving violent crime or drug abuse, or simply does not want to have any custodial rights. Factors that may cause a judge to award sole custody to one parent include, but are not limited to:
- A history of domestic violence perpetrated by one parent on the other parent
- A history of abuse or neglect on the part of either parent
- A past that shows one parent has very little interest in the welfare of their child
- An obvious lack of interest in pursuing a relationship with the child on the part of one parent
- A serious criminal record
- A history of substance abuse on the part of one parent
You may be seeking to reach a custody determination for the first time or you may be seeking to modify an existing custody arrangement because circumstances have changed. Regardless, courts will always seek to make a decision that is in the best interest of the child based on the statutory factors discussed above, and any other matter that the Court deems relevant to determining what is in the child’s best interest.
Regardless of what situation you feel will be best for your children and your family circumstances, it is important to find a proven Henderson child custody lawyer who will be able to help you through this process. Family law can be complex, and navigating the maze of child custody laws is not something you should attempt to do alone or with a lawyer who is not experienced in this type of practice. The custody of your children is one of the most important matters you can decide upon, and you should make those decisions with the guidance of a knowledgeable and trusted Henderson child custody attorney on your side.
Reaching a Custody Agreement
Ultimately, a well-drafted custody agreement that covers all of the necessary legal basis can help the parties resolve their conflicts and issues far more effectively than contentious court battles can. The goal should always be for the parties to reach an agreement they both feel satisfied with and that serves the best interests of their children. This option gives the parties more control over the ultimate outcome of the case and saves time and money as well.
Unfortunately, however, this is not always an option, depending upon the relationship between the parents and the unique circumstances of the case. In those situations where the parties cannot agree, hearings will be held and a court will ultimately make the determination. In either scenario, it’s important to have a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer fighting on your behalf.
Call Us Today
At Mills & Anderson, our primary goal is to take care of our clients and their families. Please contact us today and speak with reliable Henderson child custody lawyers, so we can help you achieve the best situation for the people you love the most. We are proud to have helped many families in the Henderson area with their child custody matters, and we would be honored to help you as well. We also provide support for adoption process in which we have helped a lot of families over the years. We look forward to speaking with you soon.