Child Custody Laws 101

parents enjoying children at park during uncontested divorce

Legal Custody

Legal custody involves the parent’s right to make important decisions about their child. Decisions include where the children go to school, what religion the child will be raised as, and the type of health care that the child will receive.

Physical Custody

Physical custody involves which parent the child will primarily live with. A family law attorney can help you gain physical custody of your child.

Joint Custody

Joint custody means that the parents share equal rights with their children. The court tends to award joint legal custody, meaning that both parents will have the right to make decisions on how to raise their children. Joint physical custody means that the children will share equal time with both parents. Joint physical custody tends to be awarded when it is in the best interest of the child, the parents live close to one another, and the parents can amicably communicate with each other.

Primary Custody

Primary custody is when the children spend the majority of their time with only one of their parents, and the other parent has a visitation schedule to see the children. When one parent has been granted visitation, the court will order a visitation schedule that the parent must follow.

Sole Custody

Sole custody means that only one parent is primarily involved in the children’s life. Sole legal and sole physical custody tends to only be awarded when one parent is either abusive, incarcerated, or deceased.

Best Interest of the Child

The court considers child custody orders on the basis of the best interest of the child. Factors that are considered when determining a custody order include:

  • Age
  • Health
  • School
  • Community
  • Living situation
  • Health of parents
  • Religion
  • Special needs
  • Child’s preferences
  • Willingness to support the parental relationship
  • Parent’s history of abuse or neglect
  • Parent’s history of drug or alcohol abuse
  • Parent’s stability

If you need assistance regarding the custody arrangement of your child, contact Carlson & Work of Reno, Nevada today at 775-386-2226. Our family law attorneys are available to assist you with your child custody needs.


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