That’s My Child! Child Custody in Nevada

Going through a bitter child custody dispute? Here’s everything you need to know from physical or legal custody of your children. When it comes down to things, the Nevada Law will recognize two different forms when it comes to child custody in these divorce cases. The first being physical custody and the second being legal custody. 

If the parent has physical custody, this means the child lives with this parent at least for the portion of the time. While if the parent has legal custody, this means that the parent has the legal right to dictate decisions about the child or children’s upbringing. 

The court of Nevada can either award shared or sole custody to either both or one parent. However, you will not need to have physical custody to share legal custody. 

You will also want to know that the parent who has custody of the child or children, will often be referred to as the custodial parent. While the parent who does not have the custody of the child or children will often be referred to as the non-custodial parent. 

To better help you in the understanding of the child custody laws that are upheld in Nevada, we will go over everything that is commonly executed. 

Physical Custody of Child or Children

As we have previously mentioned above that the physical custody of the child ultimately refers to the physical living situation between the child and the parent. 

If the child is physically living with the parent over 60 percent of their time, this will ultimately grant this parent with physical custody. 

On the other hand, if the child is living with the parent only 40 percent of the time, then both parents share joint physical custody of the children or child. 

Legal Custody of Child or Children

As we have previously mentioned above that the legal custody of the child ultimately refers to the important decisions about the child or children’s life. These important decisions can include the following: 

  • What religious should the child participate in
  • What school should the child go to 
  • What medical treatment should the child undergo

Keep in mind if you are the parent with the physical custody of the child, you will still be obligated to share the legal custody as well. However, the court of Nevada can award joint legal custody to those parents who do not have joint physical custody. 

How Does the State of Nevada Award Child Custody?

In the state of Nevada, the courts will award child custody in one of two ways. 

The first way of being a mutual agreement between both biological parents. 

While the other way is by the state of Nevada courts determination. Until the court finalizes the custody agreement, both parents will have joint legal and joint physical custody. 

The court of Nevada will decide in joint custody based on the interest of the child if the following stands: 

  • If both biological parents agreed to share joint custody
  • If each parent tried to maintain and establish a relationship with the child or children


If you find yourself in a nasty custody dispute with the child other biological parents, you will be required to attend mediation, if you reside in Las Vegas. During this mediation visit, the biological parents will try and come to an agreement when it comes to the custody of the child or children. 

Now, if the biological parents cannot come to some sort of agreement, a judge will ultimately determine the custody of the child. 

How Does the Judge Determine Who Gets Custody?

The judge will keep the best interest of the child in mind when making the sole consideration who will get custody of the child. However, there are many factors the judge will use when they are trying to determine, where the child should stay. These factors include the following: 

  • Was there any history of abuse by the parent or was there child neglect?
  • Were there any domestic abuse incidents from the parents?
  • What does the child want?
  • Will the child or children in question be able to maintain their relationships with their siblings?
  • What is the level of hostility between the biological parents?
  • Will the parents be able to co-parent enough to meet the needs of their child?
  • What is the physical and mental health of the parents?
  • What are the emotional and physical needs when it comes to the child?
  • What is the relationship between the child and the parent? 

The court of Nevada can and will order an investigation to figure out if the physical custody agreement is appropriate or not. 

Do Mothers Have a Step Up Above Fathers?

When it comes down to it, the judges not favor the mother over the father when they are determination who will get custody of the child in the state of Nevada. 

What the judge will do is find the best interest of the child, as this is the only real thing that truly matters in the eyes of the court. If the child’s best interests are to grant physical custody to one parent or joint custody to both, they will do what is needed. 

When the judge finalizes his or her decision, it will be binding upon both parents to uphold this agreement. 

Who is the Parent Under Nevada Law? 

In Nevada NRS 126 the marital status does not deem who is a parent and who is not. However, the child and parent relationship will exist when the following: 

  • When the person has adopted the child in question
  • When someone has given birth to the child in question
  • When the child was born by a surrogate for the parent
  • When the man who donated his sperm for the intention of becoming a parent
  • Same-sex or unmarried individuals who entered into a co-parenting agreement.

Same-Sex Parents and Child Custody

When it comes down to same-sex parents, the Nevada Supreme Court has an enforceable parent and child relationship. 

The only thing that matters in this, will be the agreement to be parents. However, what does not matter is the gender of the parents involved or the biological relationship between child and parent. 

Is It Possible to Get Custody, If I Am Not the Child’s Parent? 

The Nevada Court system may award you custody of the child only if these two factors are presented within the custody case: 

  • Putting the child in custody of the parent would be bad for the child’s well-being
  • If the only option is to award custody to a non-parent and it is in the child’s best interest. 

If I Do Not Get Custody Rights, Can I Still Visit the Child? 

Now if you do get custody, you are probably wondering, if you can still be granted visitation rights. Well, a judge in the court of Nevada can still grant you visitation rights, but this will be by a court order. 

The court order will detail the time and term of the visits, you will receive. The terms can be as detailed as the following: 

  • The court order is in the best interests of the child involved
  • The court can and will enforce the right of both parents

How Do I Get my Court Order Modified in Las Vegas?

Now, either one or both parents will have the chance to petition the court to modify their existing custody order. Reasons for modifying your current custody order can include the following: 

  • The child may require special medical care
  • The custodial parent wants to move out of the state lines
  • The custodial parent cannot support the child fully

Can I Move in Or Out of State with Nevada Child Custody Laws? 

If you are thinking about moving out of the state of Nevada and you are the custodial parent, you will want to think again. You can move with the child only after these situations below: 

  • Have consent from the other parents
  • Have consent from the court

How Does the State of Nevada Determine If You Can Move Out of State?

If you are the custodial parent and you are wanting to move outside the state of Nevada, you will need to prove to the court that: 

  • The move is in the good faith
  • You are not moving to limit the other parent’s time with the child
  • It is in the best interest of the child
  • The relocation will benefit you and the child
  • Nevada will also determine if the non-relocating parent will still be able to keep a meaningful relationship

When Do You Need a Child Custody Lawyers?

You will most certainly need a child custody lawyer if the other parent is not abiding by the custody agreement or the parent has left the state with your child. 

In Nevada that is a Class D felony, and it is not taking lightly. The state of Nevada wants to ensure all children have and maintain a meaningful relationship with both of their parents.