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After filing a complaint for custody or even discussing the terms of a possible custody decree, the terms legal custody and physical custody come up almost immediately.  Many of our clients are surprised to learn that there are two types of custody that are decided in every Las Vegas child custody case.  This blog post discusses legal custody and what rights and responsibilities come along with this type of custody.

So, What is Legal Custody?

Nevada law has defined legal custody as basic legal responsibility for a child and making major decisions regarding the child, including the child’s health, education, and religious upbringing.  Rivero v. Rivero, 216 P.3d 213, 125 Nev. 410 (Nev. 2009).  Sole legal custody would allow one parent to make these decisions, while joint legal custody requires both parents to make these decisions together through communication and compromise to act in the best interest of the child.  If one parent refuses to consult or communicate with the other parent, the Court could decide that joint legal custody is not in the best interest of the child and award the other parent with sole legal custody.

Legal custody is not the amount of time spent with your children (We will discuss this in another blog post, but spoiler alert, that is physical custody).  While that may have some relevance on whether you are awarded joint legal custody or sole legal custody, legal custody it is not your time share by definition.  In fact, a legal and physical custody arrangement can be completely opposite of one another.  For example, one party can be awarded joint legal custody, while the other party is awarded primary physical custody.

The outcome of a custody dispute in a Las Vegas Family Court is a complicated subject.  There are many factors and arguments that might be made in your case.  If you would like to set up a consultation with an experienced Las Vegas Family Lawyer to determine your next step, call Doyle Law Group at 702.706.3323, or fill out the contact sheet on this page and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

*This blog post is intended to give a basic overview of legal custody in Nevada and not intended to constitute legal advice or form an attorney client relationship with our firm.  Due to the complicated nature of custody awards, it is advised that you consult a legal professional.