Child Custody in Nevada

Custody disputes are highly emotional matters which are factually based.

In Nevada, parents generally are considered to have equal rights to their children, and absent unusual circumstances, both parents have superior rights to third Parties. Nevada is gender neutral and bases it custody determination on facts and circumstances in the best interest of the minor children.

Nevada’s goal is to ensure that minor children have frequent association and continuing relationship with both parents and to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibility.

Jurisdictional Requirements

Nevada child custody laws are governed by Nevada’s Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act and the federal Parental Kidnapping Act. To determine child custody jurisdiction pursuant to the UCCJA, Nevada looks to the home state of the child (where the child has resided for at least six months), where the child and at least one party has significant contacts, emergency jurisdiction and whether another state has exercised jurisdiction over the minor child.


Clark County District Court, Family Division offers a mediation program through the Family Mediation Center located at the Family Court. The mediation program deals solely with the issues of child custody including visitation and holiday schedule. During mediation, the parents will meet with a mediator, without counsel, to determine if the Parties can agree on a custodial arrangement. Should the Parties reach an agreement during the mediation whether partial or whole, the mediator will prepare a Parenting Plan for the parties and the Court’s signature. Should the Parties be unable to reach an agreement, the matter will be set for Trial in front of a District Court Judge.

Mediation is Confidential.


Pursuant to Nevada Law, a parent must obtain express written consent from the other parent or the Court prior to relocating outside the State of Nevada.

There are many different factors that come into play when the Court makes a temporary or final award of custody, as such, each case is unique.