Nevada law favors joint custody of children. NRS 125C.0015 provides that parents have joint
legal and joint physical custody, regardless of marital status, until there is a court order. If you

believe the other parent should not have joint custody, you will need to seek an order from

the court. If you withhold custody from the other parent, without cause, this can severely affect

your custody rights. You should always seek legal counsel when withholding children from

the other parent. Further, the custody schedule you adopt after separation will be considered

by the court. When possible, you should follow a temporary custody schedule to help your

children adjust to the separation.

If either parent questions paternity, then a paternity action should be filed. Once paternity is

confirmed through testing, the case will proceed the same as a custody case. One of the

major differences between a paternity and custody case is that paternity cases are

automatically sealed from public view.

In most cases, the parents will share joint legal custody and make decisions together

regarding their children’s health, education and welfare.

For physical custody, Nevada law starts with a presumption of joint physical custody unless

one of the parents can prove that joint physical custody is not in the child’s best

interest. Nevada case law defines different types of physical custody of children. There are

many myths surrounding joint physical custody, such as that the parties must have equal

time with the children. One example of a joint physical custody schedule is where one parent

has three days of the week, and the other parent has the remaining four days. An

experienced family law attorney can guide you towards the schedule that will work best for

your children’s ages and both parents’ work schedules.

If you and the other parent cannot reach an agreement on custody, you will be required to

attend mediation at the Family Mediation Center. If an agreement is not reached in mediation,

the Court will schedule a trial to decide on custody and an experienced trial lawyer is highly

recommended. Marathon lawyers are highly trained and skilled to both settle and litigate

cases when necessary.