Understanding Child Custody in Nevada: A Focus on the Best Interests of the Child

Posted by David Jacks | May 03, 2024

Child custody decisions are among the most critical issues handled by family courts in Nevada. At the heart of every child custody decision is the paramount principle of the "best interests of the child," as stipulated in NRS 125C.0035. This article provides a detailed exploration of the specific factors considered by Nevada courts under this statute to determine what best serves the interest of the child. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list, and the child's best interests are always paramount.

Detailed Factors Considered in Nevada Child Custody Cases (NRS 125C.0035(4)(a-l))

  1. "(a) The wishes of the child if the child is of sufficient age and capacity to form an intelligent preference as to his or her custody."

    • Example: A 12-year-old child expresses a preference to live with the parent who resides in the same neighborhood as their school and close friends, enhancing their social stability and educational continuity.
  2. "(b) Any nomination of a guardian for the child by a parent."

    • Example: A parent who is terminally ill may nominate their sibling to be the guardian of the child, influencing the court's custody decision to provide continuity in the child's care.
  3. "(c) Which parent is more likely to allow the child to have frequent associations and a continuing relationship with the noncustodial parent."

    • Example: The parent who routinely facilitates weekend visits and mid-week dinners with the noncustodial parent may be favored for primary custody.
  4. "(d) The level of conflict between the parents."

    • Example: Parents who demonstrate an ability to communicate effectively and resolve disputes without hostility are likely to be viewed more favorably by the court.
  5. "(e) The ability of the parents to cooperate to meet the needs of the child."

    • Example: Joint custody might be considered appropriate when both parents have historically collaborated on educational decisions and medical appointments for the child.
  6. "(f) The mental and physical health of the parents."

    • Example: A parent's chronic illness that significantly impairs their ability to care for the child may be considered in determining their custodial capabilities.
  7. "(g) The physical, developmental and emotional needs of the child."

    • Example: A parent who has consistently adjusted their work schedule to accommodate the child's therapy sessions for developmental delays may be seen as better suited to meet the child's needs.
  8. "(h) The nature of the relationship of the child with each parent."

    • Example: A stronger emotional bond with one parent, who is also the primary caregiver, might influence custody decisions.
  9. "(i) The ability of the child to maintain a relationship with any sibling."

    • Example: Keeping siblings together might be prioritized to support their emotional well-being, influencing custody arrangements.
  10. "(j) Any history of parental abuse or neglect."

    • Example: Evidence of past abuse or neglect by a parent will weigh heavily against them in custody deliberations.
  11. "(k) Whether either parent or any other person seeking custody has engaged in an act of domestic violence against the child, a parent of the child or any other person residing with the child."

    • Example: A parent found to have committed domestic violence may be denied custody to protect the child's safety.
  12. "(l) Whether either parent or any other person seeking custody has committed any act of abduction against the child or any other child."

    • Example: A history of abduction attempts by a parent will likely disqualify them from receiving custody.

Equal Custody Rights When Not Determined by Court

In Nevada, when custody has not been judicially determined, both parents are presumed to have equal rights to their children, regardless of the parents' sex or whether they were married to each other.


This blog post is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Each child custody case is unique and requires specific legal counsel tailored to the individual circumstances. If you need legal advice regarding your child custody case, please contact the Jacks Law Group at 702-834-6300.

About the Author

David Jacks

David Jacks has over a decade of legal experience and he is a lifetime resident of Las Vegas and a veteran of the United States Army. After the completion of his service in the military, Jacks began working as a construction superintendent in Las Vegas during a major period of growth for the city.

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