This is the next post in my series on the common question of “can a Nevada child choose which parent to live with?” My last article discussed the extent to which the Clark County Family Court will consider the wishes of the child. It is important to understand that there is no age at which the child can magically decide with which parent they will reside. Instead the Court will give increasing relevance to the wishes of the child as the youth ages and becomes more mature. How the Court will rule in any given situation is always going to depend on the facts of the case and it is strongly suggested that you discuss your situation with a family law attorney immediately. In this article I will discuss when the Court may completely disregard the wishes and discretion of a teenager. If you are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a Las Vegas father’s rights lawyer.
Clark County Family Court Judges will disregard the choices of a teenager when those choices are the result of poor judgment or immaturity. If a child is making choices that are not in their best interest, then the Court will act appropriately. What constitutes poor decision-making will always depend on the specific facts of the case and no two matters are the same. The examples in this article are meant to be for illustrative purposes only and it is strongly suggested that you seek legal advice to discuss your specific situation. An example of an instance in which the Court may disregard the wishes of the child is one where the youth is making decisions based solely on immediate gratification. Say, for example, a 16 year-old male child wishes to live with his mother. He wishes to live with mom due to the fact that she allows his girlfriend to spend excessive time at the residence and she also leaves the son and his girlfriend alone for long periods of time. Also, suppose the mother allows the youth to regularly use marijuana in the house. Under these circumstances, the Court would almost certainly rule that the boy’s choice is not relevant to any custody decision. In other words, the Court will not give a child free rein to make their own decisions simply because they are an older teenager. Again, this example is for illustrative purposes only.
The situation does not have to be as extreme as the aforementioned example. Suppose a 16 year old girl has been granted discretion to live with her mother. At the time that this discretion was granted, the child was getting straight A’s in school and participating in extracurricular activities such as athletics. Now suppose that, since the girl was given discretion to live with her mother, her grades have steadily declined and she has dropped out of her extracurricular activities. She continues to express a desire to live with her mom, however. Under this scenario, depending on the evidence of the case, the court may be inclined to strip the youth of her discretion to live with her mother. This is due to the fact that the situation is clearly not working out in a way that is in the long-term interest of the child. Whether or not the Court will strip the child of her discretion however can depend on whether or not it can be shown that poor parenting by the mother is actually causing the child’s decline. Again, all cases will be fact specific and it is important that you discuss your situation with a legal representative.
If you or a loved one are involved in a family law dispute then contact my office today to speak with a Las Vegas father’s rights lawyer. I devote my practice to the handling of domestic relations law and I’ve handled many cases involving teenagers who wish to live with one parent or another. I understand that this is a stressful time in your life and I will give your case the attention it deserves. I pride myself on providing the highest levels of service and I look forward to speaking with you. Contact my office today.