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How Does Child Custody Work If Parents Live in Different States?

Recently, actress/director Olivia Wilde won a battle in her ongoing child custody war with her ex-partner actor/producer Jason Sudeikis. According to Yahoo, earlier this year, Sudeikis filed a petition to have his and Wilde’s child custody case heard in New York rather than California.

Sudeikis attempted to have the case moved to New York because it is his preference to co-parent the kids in New York, which is where he, Wilde, and their children lived prior to him and Wilde separating. However, the court sided with Wilde, declaring that California is now the children’s home state.

Wilde and Sudeikis were engaged but never married. They began dating in 2011, and they welcomed a son in 2014 and daughter in 2016. They broke up in 2020. Since the couple split, Sudeikis had gone on to date his Ted Lasso co-star Keeley Hazell. However, they reportedly broke up a few months ago. Wilde has been dating musician/actor Harry Styles since ending things with Sudeikis.

Despite the contentiousness of their custody battle so far, both Wilde and Sudeikis have expressed a desire to continue co-parenting their children together. Only time (and the California family court system) will tell whether they continue raising their kids together in California or New York. So far, California seems to have the edge.

Can Parents Have Joint Custody If They Live in Different States?

To understand how child custody works in Nevada, you must know what types of custody arrangements are available in the Silver State. Nevada’s two main types of custody are physical custody and legal custody.

Gaining legal custody of a child gives a parent or guardian the right to make decisions on behalf of the child regarding certain issues (religion, education, medical care, et cetera). Having physical custody of a child gives a parent or guardian the right to have the child live with them. There is more than one type of physical custody in Nevada. They are listed below:

  • Sole Custody – This involves one parent or guardian having sole physical custody of a child and the other parent or guardian having visitation rights, but that is not guaranteed. Generally, if a parent or guardian has sole physical custody of their child, they will also have full legal custody.
  • Joint Custody – Joint physical custody means just that. Both parents/guardians share physical custody of their children 50/50.
  • Primary Custody – This involves one parent or guardian having physical custody of the children most of the time (usually anywhere from 61 percent to 99 percent of the time).

If parents or guardians live in different states, it is possible to have sole custody, primary custody, or joint custody.

In the case of joint custody, while it is possible, it is unlikely. When it comes to child custody, courts base their decisions on what is best for the children, and in most cases, judges don’t feel as though parents who live in different states sharing physical custody is in the best interest of a child.

As such, if parents or guardians involved in a child custody dispute live in different states, the court will generally award one of the parents/guardians sole or primary physical custody of their kids.

The other parent/guardian (known as the non-custodial parent) will most likely have visitation rights, and there’s a chance that the non-custodial parent will share legal custody with the parent/guardian with physical custody (known as the custodial parent).

Why Child Custody Mediation May Be Right for You

If you’re involved in a child custody dispute in Nevada, your best bet for easing tension and salvaging a healthy, productive, and mutually beneficial co-parenting relationship with your ex is to resolve your dispute with child custody mediation. The following are a few of the many benefits of resolving child custody disputes with mediation:

  • Conducted in a judgment-free and non-confrontational environment
  • Provides you and your ex with more control over your own and your children’s futures
  • Maintain privacy
  • Faster and less expensive than having the court decide
  • Constant guidance from a knowledgeable, experienced, and completely neutral party

Discuss Your Situation with Our Experienced Child Custody Mediation Attorneys Today

Parents don’t want to miss a thing, especially when their children are young. They want to be a daily presence in their children's lives, protecting them, guiding them, and spending quality time with them, because they know in the blink of an eye their kids will be adults.

When parents are together and the whole family is living under one roof, they can remain a huge part of their children’s lives. However, if parents separate, especially if they end up living far apart, parents can lose a lot of time with their kids depending on their co-parenting relationship with their ex and the type of custody arrangement they’ve agreed upon.

Leavitt Law Firm has been helping parents find common ground through the child custody mediation process for decades. We are very capable of helping our clients secure a favorable child custody arrangement in court, but we prefer to help them negotiate a mutually beneficial custody agreement through mediation whenever possible. Solving child custody disputes through mediation is cheaper, less stressful, and can give birth to healthier co-parenting relationships than those that result from child custody battles that play out in court.

To learn more about Leavitt Law Firm, and the work we’ve done to successfully guide clients through the child custody process, check out our clients’ testimonials.

For more information about child custody in Nevada, or to speak with our experienced child custody lawyers about your situation, call us at (702) 996-6052 or reach out to us online today for a confidential, no-obligation consultation.

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