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How Do I Start Applying for Child Custody?

In Clark County, child custody issues are resolved in family court. The local court with jurisdiction must address child custody matters whenever one of the parents file a court action. If the parents are still married, then custody issues will be addressed as a part of an annulment, separation, or divorce action. When the parents are not married, the custody issues are addressed as a part of a child custody or paternity case.

If you are having difficulty agreeing with your child's other parent on how to share custody, either of you can ask the court to issue orders for both of you to follow. If you are not married, either of you can file a Complaint for Custody, Paternity, and Child Support. The parent who files the complaint is called the "plaintiff" and the other parent is called the "defendant."

The plaintiff's complaint will explain what custody and support orders the plaintiff is seeking, and the defendant can respond to this complaint by filing what is called an "answer and counterclaim," which will state which custody and support orders he or she would like.

Once the paperwork is filed, the judge may hold several hearings to sort through the issues. If the parents do not reach an agreement, the judge will set a date for a trial to decide on the matters.

Parent often want to know how fast custody cases move through the courts. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to answer this common question since every child custody case is different. If the parents can reach an agreement on all of the terms, the case can be completed rather quickly. If the parents cannot reach an agreement, they may have to go to court several times before a final custody order is granted.

On a final note, for a Nevada court to make a child custody and visitation order, Nevada must be the child's home state, meaning the child must have lived in Nevada for 6 months before the case is filed.

To learn more about applying for child custody in Las Vegas or Henderson, contact Leavitt Law Firm today. Call (702) 996-6052 for a  case evaluation.

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