Know the Laws: Nevada
UPDATED May 29, 2012
Please consider getting help from an organization in your area before proceeding with court action. To find an organization, please go to the NV Where to find Help page.
To change a custody order, you will need to go to the court that originally gave you the order and file a motion to modify (change) the order. What you have to prove in court depends on whether you are trying to change an order of primary physical custody (the child lives with one parent full-time) or joint physical custody (you share physical custody with the child's other parent).
Primary physical custody
Generally, if either parent has primary physical custody, a judge will only change the custody order if:
Yes. Even if Nevada does not have the power to modify a custody order from another state, a Nevada judge can still issue a temporary order to enforce visitation rights that were granted by a court in another state.*
* N.R.S. §125A.455
If you have a child custody order from another state, and want it to be enforced in Nevada, you have to register it with a Nevada court.* Many counties in Nevada refer to registering the order as "domesticating a foreign judgment."
To register your custody order from another state, you generally need to send the court the following:
For more specific information on registering your order, you can contact your local courthouse and ask the clerk what steps you need to take and what court forms, if any, you need to fill out. You can go to NV Courthouse Locations to find the contact information for the court in your county.
The court will then notify the other parent of your request to register the order to give him/her the chance to request a hearing to fight the registration. If the hearing is not requested within 20 days of being notified, the right to request the hearing is lost and the registration of the custody order is confirmed (finalized).***
After you register your custody order, Nevada courts will have the power to enforce it but usually do not have the power to change it unless certain requirements are met.*
To find out more about how to get a Nevada court to change the terms of a registered custody order, or for any other questions, we recommend you speak to a lawyer. To find a lawyer near you, you can go to Finding a Lawyer.
* N.R.S. §125A.475
** N.R.S. §125A.465(1)
*** N.R.S. §125A.465(2)&(3)&(5)
It depends. Generally, whether you can take your child out of the state for a short period of time depends on what your custody order says. The custody order may allow you to take your child out of the state, prohibit you from taking your child out of the state, or it may not address this issue at all. The judge may require that you post a bond or other security (money) to make sure that the child is returned to the state. For more information, we recommend that you speak to a lawyer who can look at your custody order and advise you.
If you have custody of your child (you are the custodial parent) and you want to move out of state with him/her, you must, as soon as possible and before the planned move, try to get the written consent of the other parent (the noncustodial parent) to move the child out of Nevada. If the noncustodial parent refuses to give consent, you must petition (formally ask) the court for permission to move before leaving the state with the child. If you do not follow these steps, it could be held against you if the other parent requests custody.*
Some examples of things that the judge may consider when deciding whether to give you permission to move the child out of state are whether the quality of life would be better for you and the child, how the visitation with the other parent would be affected, and your motive in wanting to move.** To learn more about what other factors the judge will consider and for advice on how to best prepare your case, we recommend that you speak to a lawyer before filing your petition.
To find a lawyer near you, go to NV Finding a Lawyer.
* N.R.S. § 125C.200
** See Schwartz v. Schwartz, 107 Nev. 378, 812 P.2d 1268 (1991)
Yes. In Nevada, a parent who does not have custody of his/her child may still have access to the child's records. Examples of the types of records that a parent who does not have custody may have access to are school records, medical records, and dental records.* Therefore, if you are living in a confidential address that you do not want known to the abuser, you might want to consider asking the school and your child's doctors whether you can give a P.O. Box or a relative's address for their records instead of using your confidential address.
* N.R.S. § 125.520(2)