Judge looking at lawyersThis is the next article in my series on the handling of Las Vegas, Nevada child custody cases when a parent is accused of domestic violence. My last article provided an overview of topics which this series will be addressing. It also stressed the need to immediately contact an attorney if you are involved in a family law dispute. It is important that you contact counsel immediately as claims of violent behavior are something which the Court is going to take very seriously. In this article I will be discussing how allegations of violence impact custody cases in general. If you or a family member need assistance then contact my office today to speak with a fathers’ rights lawyer.

Nevada law presumes that a parent who has committed domestic violence should not have joint custody of the child

Nevada is like many states in that the sole concern in any child custody case is for protecting the best interests of the child. It is presumed, under NRS 125C.0035, that the parents should share joint physical custody of their son or daughter. This presumption changes, however, if the Court finds by clear and convincing evidence that a parent has committed domestic violence against their counterpart, the child, or anyone residing with the child. Under such a scenario it is then presumed that the offending parent should not be granted joint custody. This presumption is “rebuttable,” meaning that if the offending parent can establish that joint custody is still in the child’s best interests then the Court may make such a ruling.

It is important to note that a parent does not have to have been arrested or criminally charged for a judge to find that domestic violence occurred. This is understandable given that many instances of violent behavior go unreported. Furthermore, if a parent is arrested for domestic violence, and subsequently acquitted in a criminal case, then the Family Court judge can still enter a ruling that the act occurred. This is due to the fact that criminal cases must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt while such acts only need to be proven by clear and convincing evidence (a lesser standard) in Family Court. When deciding whether or not such acts occurred the Court will consider evidence such as a party was arrested. The Judge will also consider the outcome of any criminal charges. If no arrest was made the court will consider evidence such as photographs, witness statements, medical records, the testimony of the parties, and circumstantial evidence such as text messages, etc.

Las Vegas fathers should contact an attorney immediately if they are accused of domestic violence

If you are a dad and have been accused of violent behavior then it is important that you contact an attorney immediately even if you have not been arrested. It is understandable that one may see the matter as frivolous if no criminal charges have been brought. It is important to remember, however, that the Court will take the matter quite seriously and your time with your child may be reduced. As a Las Vegas fathers’ rights lawyer, I am familiar with handling such matters. Contact us online or by telephone today to schedule an initial consultation. We look forward to speaking with you.