What Are the Child Custody Types in Las Vegas?

Child Custody Las VegasChild custody types are some of the most delicate issues in a Las Vegas divorce proceeding. If you have questions about where your children will live if you get divorced, our Las Vegas child custody attorneys are available to guide you. Las Vegas family courts encourage joint-custody situations. But sometimes primary or sole custody rulings are in the best interests of your minor children. The type of custody arrangement can have a direct effect on child support.

Child Custody in Divorce Proceedings

You may come across a lot of different words describing child custody types. It’s important to recognize what these terms mean and how they affect your child custody rights. You’ll want to know what to fight for during your divorce. You also don’t want to be agreeing to a custody order and later realizing you’re in a situation that doesn’t work for you or your children. The child custody types in Nevada divorces include:

  • Physical Custody
  • Legal Custody
  • Primary Physical Custody
  • Joint Physical Custody
  • Joint Legal Custody
  • Sole Legal and Physical Custody

Physical Custody

In the broadest sense, physical custody means who the children will live with and for what period of time. It often includes provisions for vacations, holidays, birthdays, school events, and extra-curricular activities.

Legal Custody

Legal custody means who will have the right to determine issues involving religion, schooling, and medical treatments. It’s rare for one parent to have sole legal custody.

Primary Physical Custody

Primary physical custody means that the children spend more time with one parent. So if children spend the majority of their time living with one parent, that parent has primary physical custody. Your children will live with you the majority of the time if you have primary physical custody. You are the primary custodian while your ex is the noncustodial parent. The noncustodial parent typically has visitation rights according to a formal written parenting plan.

The family courts consider numerous factors when awarding the primary physical custody type. It’s essential to make sure you have professional legal advice when attempting to establish parenting time or access to your children. Some considerations are:

  • Have you been the primary caretaker for your children?
  • Does either parent have a history of mental health problems?
  • Is there a history of substance abuse or a criminal record?
  • Does each parent have a schedule supporting adequate parenting time?
  • Have both parents been involved in the children’s lives?
  • How far apart do the parents live post-divorce?
  • What will the living situation be like with each parent?

Joint Physical Custody

Joint physical custody is the preferred physical custody type by the family courts. It means that both parents share relatively equal time with their minor children. The children live with both parents according to a set schedule that roughly equates to a 50/50 time split. Even though this is a significant change from being a full-time caregiver, joint physical custody is typically better for your children because they get to keep a relationship with both parents.

Joint Legal Custody

Joint legal custody means that both parents have equal rights as to determining their children’s religious, schooling, and medical decisions. If both parents cannot agree, a family court judge has the final decision.

Sole Legal and Physical Custody

Sole legal and physical custody means that one parent has the right to determine the issues described above. The minor children also live with one parent only. The custodial parent does not have to get permission from the other parent for any child related decisions. The courts award this child custody type when one parent is unfit in some way. For example, proven charges of child abuse, child neglect, domestic violence, or drug and alcohol dependency and abuse.

It’s Always What’s Best for Your Children

Each Las Vegas divorce is a unique situation. The same goes for the lifestyles of both parents after divorce. Maybe your ex has started having problems that put your children in unsafe environments or situations? Maybe they are not showing up on visitation days or for school pickups.

When your child custody order is no longer what’s best for your children, it’s time to modify it. We can help. Our experienced child custody lawyers understand the complex issues for the best custody situation for your children. Call our office at 702-222-4021 to learn how we can assist you and get what’s best for your children.