Legal Information: Nevada

Custody

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Updated: 
January 9, 2024

How will the judge make a decision about custody?

The judge will decide about legal and physical custody based on what s/he believes is in the best interest of your child.1

When it comes to physical custody, the judge will usually prefer to give primary physical custody or joint physical custody to the parents, as opposed to other relatives, if this is in the best interest of your child.2 The judge will not automatically give preference to the mother or father just based on gender.3

To decide what is in your child’s best interest, the judge will look at the following factors:

  • your child’s wishes if s/he is of “sufficient age and capacity to form an intelligent preference” about where s/he will live;
  • whether you or the other parent named a guardian for your child;
  • which parent is more likely to allow your child to have frequent contact and a continuing relationship with the non-custodial parent;
  • the level of conflict between you and the other parent;
  • the ability of you and the other parent to cooperate to meet your child’s needs;
  • the mental and physical health of both parents;
  • your child’s physical, developmental, and emotional needs;
  • the quality of your child’s relationships with you and the other parent;
  • the ability of your child to keep relationships with any siblings;
  • any history of abuse or neglect against this child or his/her sibling;
  • if either parent or anyone else seeking physical custody committed domestic violence against your child, the other parent, or anyone else living with the child; and
  • whether either parent abducted this child or any other child.4 

For more information on how domestic violence affects a judge’s decision about custody, go to Can a parent who committed violence get physical custody?5

1 N.R.S. §§ 125C.002; 125C.0025; 125C.003; 125C.0035
2 N.R.S. §§ 125C.0035(1); 125C.0035(3)
3 N.R.S. § 125C.0035(2)
4 N.R.S. § 125C.0035(4)
5 N.R.S. § 125C.0035(5)

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