Our office recently won a child relocation case on behalf of a Nevada father. In a case where the parties had previously had joint physical custody of their child, the mother wished to move outside of Nevada with the child. Attorney Kari Molnar successfully argued that the father should not be permitted to leave the state. As a result, Kari’s client now has primary custody of the child and the mother, who is leaving Las Vegas, will receive visitation with the child and will have to pay child support. This case shows that relocation of a child is never an automatic issue, especially when child custody is already set up under a joint arrangement.

Nevada child relocation law varies depending on your current child custody arrangement

We have previously written about the impact of the Rivero v. Rivero decision in Nevada custody matters. Rivero holds that if each parent has a child for at least 40 percent of the time then child custody shall be considered joint. When the Parties have joint custody then the Court will apply what is known as the Potter analysis to child relocation cases. Under Potter the Court will base the decision of relocation on factors which include:

  • Which parent is better suited to meet the needs of the child
  • The relationship between the parent and the child
  • Which parent is the source of any conflict between the parties
  • The needs of the child
  • Ensuring that the child can maintain a relationship with his or her siblings
  • Which parent is more likely to adhere to a visitation schedule
  • Whether there is a history of domestic violence between the parties

The Court looks at both parties equally in a child relocation case where the parents have joint custody. After applying the Potter test, the Court will then decide with which parent the child will reside as well as visitation and child support.

It must be understood that is far more difficult for a parent to move with a child when the parties have joint custody than are relocation cases where one parent has primary custody. While the Potter test takes an in-depth look at both parents, relocation cases where a parent has primary custody tend to focus solely on the parent wishing to move. As long as the person in such cases is suitable, the Court will generally allow relocation.

Relocation win for a Nevada father based on the best interests of the child

Kari’s recent victory shows that fathers receive equal rights in Nevada. After an evidentiary hearing, which is similar to a trial, the Court held that Kari’s client would retain custody of the child in Nevada. This ruling was based on the fact that the father had been doing more to meet the child’s needs than the mother. The father, for example, was the one to enroll the child in school and had taken her to all of her medical appointments. Also, the father had a stronger relationship with the child as the mother had not exercised her custodial time on numerous occasions. This should be considered proof that child relocations are not an “automatic” issue.

Contact our office if you require the assistance of a Las Vegas fathers’ rights attorney.