How Does a Child’s Age Affect Custody Decisions in Nevada?

Decisions on child custody will have a profound impact on the life of a child and his parents.  It is always best for parents to work together to create a parenting plan and visitation schedule, rather than having the judge make the important decisions that affect their family. Parents know their own situation and their children best and can try to come to a custody agreement that makes sense.

If a judge has to decide on custody, the best interests of the child standard is used. The best interests of the child standard means that the judge takes many different things into consideration in order to decide what parenting plan would be the best for the children involved in the divorce. One of the many factors that a judge can consider is the preference of the child. However, a child’s age will affect custody decisions in Nevada because younger children are typically not given discretion to say who they want to live with.  A Las Vegas divorce and family law attorney at Pintar Albiston LLP will help you to determine what factors are important in your situation and what you can do to argue for your preferred custody arrangement. Call today to schedule a consultation and learn more.

How Does a Child’s Age Affect Custody Decisions in Nevada?

When a child is very young, his or her opinion is not taken into consideration when a judge decides on how parents should share parenting time and what visitation schedule is appropriate. The judge may consider what the child’s relationship is with each parent, but this will be determined based on witness testimony, testimony from the parents and perhaps the opinion of a court-appointed guardian or other professional who observes the child and family.  The child is not asked who he or she would prefer to live with.

As children get older, they can make more informed choices about which parent they would like to live with and how they want their time to be divided among parents. Older children, therefore, can be asked to express a preference in where they should live. There is no specific age in Nevada at which a child is suddenly given the ability to express a preference. A judge assigned to each family law case will consider the maturity of the child, the willingness of the child to express a preference, and the possible benefits and detriments of asking the child to affect custody decisions in Nevada.  This is referred to as “teenage discretion.”

Typically, a child will not be asked to voice a preference about custody decisions in Nevada until he or she is at least 12 years old. However, some children may be more mature or less mature than others and the judge will take the specific child under consideration when deciding whether to institute the legal doctrine of teenage discretion.

A Las Vegas divorce and family lawyer at Pintar Albiston LLP can help you throughout the process of arguing for custody so you can present the most compelling case possible to the judge. Call today to schedule a consultation and learn more.