Whether you are married or unmarried, child custody upon divorce or termination of your relationship can be one of the most stressful times in a person’s life.

Child custody comes in two forms:  legal and physical custody.

Legal custody is the ability to make medical, educational and religious decisions on behalf of your child(ren).  In the vast majority of all cases, parties will be awarded joint legal custody of the child(ren).  NRS 125C.002 provides, in relevant part, that joint legal custody in the child(ren)’s best interests if the parties have agreed to the same.  An award of sole legal custody may be granted to one parent if that parent can evidence to the Court that the other parent has attempted to or has in fact frustrated their intent to establish a meaningful relationship with the child(ren).  The statute also provides that an award of joint legal custody to both parents does not have any relation to the determination of physical custody of the child(ren).

Physical custody relates to how much time each parent spends with the child(ren).  NRS 125C.0025 states that, presumptively, an award of joint physical custody in is the child(ren)’s best interests.  NRS 125C.003 and NRS 125C.0035 provide factors for the Court to determine whether joint physical custody to both parents or primary physical custody to one parent serves the child(ren)’s best interests.  Some of the factors the Court will utilize in such a determination are:  the level of conflict between the parents, the ability of the parents to meet the needs of the child(ren), the respective mental health of the parents, nature of the relationship between the parents and the child(ren), ability of the child(ren) to maintain a relationship with a sibling, parental abuse or neglect of the child(ren) by a parent, and any acts of domestic violence against the other parent or child(ren).

The determination of what joint or primary physical custody entails has been modified over the years.  Presently, controlling law requires a parent to spend approximately 40% of the time with the child(ren) in order to maintain joint physical custody.  In the event that one parent spends more than 60% of the time with the child(ren), an award of primary physical custody may be warranted, subject to the factors discussed above.  Additionally, the Court may look to the time each parent has spent with the child(ren) and their respective roles,  during their marriage or relationship.

As discussed in child support, the determination of physical custody can have a profound effect on the amount of support paid by one parent to the other as and for support of the minor child(ren).

When children are involved, the stakes are at their highest.  At Leavitt Family Law, we have the expertise and experience to ensure all avenues are explored to secure as much time as appropriate and necessary between you and your child(ren).

Children First: Counseling through the Conciliation Court

Our law firm has extensive experience in developing and negotiating parenting time agreements that are in the best interest of your child while also protecting your rights.  Our highly skilled custody lawyers provide representation in the negotiation, mediation and litigation of disputes related to a variety of child custody issues including visitation, living arrangements, move-aways and parental decision-making regarding your child’s education, religion and medical care.

Our firm believes it is the efficacy of negotiated and mediated custody agreements that ensure your child’s best interests are served while meeting your goals and concerns.  This approach allows us to ensure that you have input and control in arriving at an agreed-upon parenting schedule, which often results in a better custody arrangement for the child and better dynamics between you and the other parent and helps avoid costly litigation in the future. However, if it is not possible to reach an agreement and court is the only avenue of resolution, we will aggressively represent you in court.

A Family Law Office for all of Henderson

Nevada’s child custody laws can be particularly complex. Our Henderson based custody attorneys have more than four decades of combined experience. We answer your questions and explain complex family law in easy to understand terms.

Common Concerns:

  • The impact of a parent having to move away

  • Stepparents and/or grandparents' rights to visitation and custody

  • The effect of a protracted divorce trial on custody arrangements

  • Domestic partnership or same sex dissolution and custody details

  • How accusations or a conviction of domestic violence may influence a custody arrangement

  • How educational, medical and other important decisions are impacted by custody arrangements

In our mobile society, move-aways are a common problem that arises during or after a divorce occurs.  The term “move-away” refers to situations where one parent seeks relocation, with a child, of a significant distance, typically as the result of changing life circumstances. It is Nevada’s public policy that frequent and continuing contact with both parents is in the best interest of the child(ren). Move-away custody issues can become contentious disputes without careful, insightful intervention.  Our firm has the experience and knowledge to help guide you in this process.

Our Henderson child custody attorneys have represented many clients on both sides of these conflicts. We can assist you whether you are considering relocating with your child or you want to keep your children from relocating with their other parent.


We understand how clients in family law proceedings become frustrated when they are unable to communicate with their attorney. Open lines of communication are available for our clients. We continually advise them each step of the way on what we are doing to assist them in resolving their cases.

We approach every family law case with integrity, dignity and compassion. When you retain us, you are going to receive individualized attention until your matter is resolved. We’re strong advocates for our clients and their families, and we will aggressively but professionally protect the best interests of you and your children.

Schedule a Child Custody Law Consultation

Contact us by phone or email to arrange for your confidential family law consultation with one of our attorneys. We promise to listen to you closely, answer your questions and advise you of your complete range of legal options.

Las Vegas Attorney Leavitt Family Law