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1521 words; 45 Child; 27 divorce; 19 alimony; 3 attorney; 22 support; 7 Prenuptial


From:  https://www.nvbar.org/lawyerreferral/lawyer-referral-information-service/family-law-and-divorce/nevada-child-custody-child-support-laws/


Child Custody

In cases of divorce and separation, the court presiding over the divorce proceedings may also be the court to determine child custody arrangements.

There are two types of custody – legal custody and physical custody.

Legal custody permits a parent to make parenting decisions on a non-emergency basis. Specifically, a parent with legal custody may make decisions regarding school enrollment, extracurricular activities, religious upbringing, medical needs, and the location where a child resides. In most cases, parents share legal custody.

Physical custody can be joint (custody shared between both parents) or one parent can have primary custody. In joint custody situations, the parents share near equal parenting time. In determining all custody decisions, the court looks to reach a decision in the best interest of the child. The best interest of the child includes the wishes of the child if the child is of sufficient age, the level of conflict between the parents, the nature of the child’s relationship with each parent, as well as the mental and physical health of the parents.

Child Support

Child support is the financial support of minor children. In Nevada, child support is a percentage of gross monthly income earned by a parent. Child support payments are intended to provide food, clothing, shelter, and other necessities for a minor child. The amount of child support is determined by considering several factors, including the number of children and, in joint custody situations, the income of each parent.



Alimony is financial support from one spouse to the other after the dissolution of a marriage, so that both spouses may maintain a certain standard of living.

Nevada law recognizes several types of alimony, including:

  1. Temporary maintenance (aka spousal support),
  2. Rehabilitative alimony
  3. Periodic or permanent alimony

Temporary maintenance, or spousal support, is financial support that has been awarded and paid to a spouse during divorce proceedings. Temporary maintenance is paid prior to a Judgment of Divorce being entered.

Rehabilitative alimony requires a spouse to pay toward the training or education of the other spouse. This type of payment is intended for spouses who have been home-makers and require further education or training to re-enter the workforce.

Periodic alimony is awarded once a divorce is final, and is often awarded in the form of monthly payments.

Permanent alimony is a form of alimony requiring the paying spouse to make payments to the other spouse for an indefinite period of time. In determining alimony, a court will consider many factors, including:

  1. The financial condition of each spouse
  2. The length of the marriage
  3. The couple’s standard of living during the marriage
  4. Each spouse’s pre-marriage career





Prenuptial Agreements 

A Prenuptial Agreement, or Premarital Agreement, is a contract between two people who are planning to get married. Premarital contracts are used by future spouses to protect assets and to simplify common issues the couple may face in the event of a divorce.

Prenuptial Contracts define the way in which property is divided and how support is determined in the event of divorce. They can address each spouse’s rights and obligations in separate or marital property, distribution of assets, entitlement to alimony, and each spouse’s rights to death benefits from the other’s life insurance policy.

The Prenuptial Agreement does not take effect until the couple actually marries. Once the Agreement is in effect, it can only be modified or revoked by the written consent of both spouses.

Postnuptial Agreements 

A Postnuptial Agreement is a written contract entered into by spouses after they are married. The terms of a Postnuptial Agreement dictate how a couple’s assets will be divided in the event of divorce. The Postnuptial Agreement may address how the couple’s separate and joint property, acquired prior to or after the marriage, will be divided. It may also state how the couple’s debt will be divided. In certain circumstances, the Agreement may also contain provisions for spousal support. Finally, a Postnuptial Agreement may be used to protect a spouse’s business interests in the event of a divorce.

In Nevada, a spouse may not use a Postnuptial Agreement to limit his or her obligation to provide alimony. Such a limitation may only be made in a Prenuptial Agreement.



Adoption Law

Adoption is the legal process to transfer permanent custody of and responsibility for a child from the birth parents to the adoptive parents. In Nevada, there are several different types of adoptions, including:

  1. Infant Adoptions
  2. State and/or Court Wards
  3. Relative Adoptions
  4. Step-Parent Adoptions
  5. Inter-Country and Inter-State Adoptions
  6. Adult Adoptions

Nevada law permits the adoption of any person. However, a child age fourteen (14) or older may not be adopted unless they provide consent. Nevada adoption laws are designed to protect the best interests of children, birth parents, adoptive parents, and adult adopted parties.

Surrogacy Law

Surrogacy is a third-party assisted technology procedure where a woman carries a child for another person or couple. Surrogacy is legal in Nevada, first requiring all parties to enter into a Gestational Carrier Agreement. Nevada does not require parties to a Gestational Agreement be married. However, Nevada law requires separate legal representation for all parties involved and for the agreement to be made in writing.

A surrogate, also known as a gestational carrier, may not be biologically related to the child she is carrying.

Payment to the surrogate may be negotiated between the parties.





Nevada Family Law & Divorce Attorneys

Family law encompasses all those legal issues involving those related by blood, marriage, adoption, or domestic relationship; whereas, divorce law deals with the dissolution of a marriage and associated legal issues, namely property distribution, alimony, child custody, and child support.

Generally, Nevada family law and divorce lawyers handle legal issues dealing with marriage, prenuptial agreements, divorce, same sex couples, living together, name changes, adoption, surrogacy, grandparents’ rights, child custody, paternity, child abduction, child support, alimony, child abuse, minor emancipation, guardianship, and domestic violence.

Child Custody & Child SupportAlimony • Adoption & Surrogacy • Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements

Family Law and Divorce FAQs

How much alimony will I have to pay if I get divorced?
The goal of alimony is to keep one spouse from becoming impoverished; when you got married, in the eyes of the law, you promised to financially provide for your spouse.  And, although, you have the right to get divorced, you must fulfill that original promise of support to the extent required by law.
The amount of alimony required is decided on a case by case basis and your divorce attorney can provide a specific estimate based upon your individual circumstances.  However, in general, alimony is determined by analyzing any financial support provided by your spouse while you obtained your education or started a business, the length of the marriage, and the income, earning capacity, health and education of both you and your spouse.

If I get divorced will I lose custody of my child?
Often parents share both legal and physical custody in a “joint custody” agreement.  This means that the children spend equal time with both parents.
In other cases, because of an agreement between parents or if the court deems it to be in the best interests of the child, one parent is granted custody and the other has visitation rights.

If my spouse doesn’t pay the required child support, can I keep him or her from visiting our child?
The right to visitation is not conditional upon the payment of child support.  If you are not receiving mandatory child support payments, consult with a qualified Nevada family law attorney.  Wages and bank accounts can be garnished to better ensure payment.

Family Law Glossary

Grounds for Divorce
Nevada, like all states, has no-fault divorce which is most commonly selected in divorce filings.  “No-fault” means that neither spouse is being legally blamed for the divorce; instead, “irreconcilable differences” are cited as the cause of the divorce.
Though not as commonly cited as no-fault divorce, fault-based divorce can be based upon adultery, impotency, mental cruelty, physical cruelty, desertion, attempted murder, habitual drunkenness, use of addictive drugs and insanity.

Parents of minor children should appoint a guardian and contingent guardians, in a stand-by guardianship document and in their will.  A guardian takes physical care of minor children when their parent cannot.   Legal guardians are authorized to make legal, medical, welfare and lifestyle decisions for the child when a parent cannot due to incapacity or death.
A stand-by guardianship document is effective during incapacity in the parents’ lifetime; whereas, a will is effective after the parents’ death.

Best Interests of the Child
Only those facts that directly affect the well being of the child are considered by the court in deciding custody and visitation.

Minor Emancipation
Minor emancipation is often called a “divorce from parents” because a minor seeks to break the legal parent/child bond while the child is 17 years of age or younger.  If granted, the minor can make his or her own legal, medical, lifestyle, and welfare decisions