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A custody primer for Las Vegas parents, part one

If you have recently started the legal divorce process, you may be confused by the new legal terminology that you must now master – or at least understand. This is perhaps the most common among Las Vegas parents who are working to reach a child custody agreement. Learning and remembering the difference between physical and legal custody, joint and sole custody, visitation and a parenting plan…it can all be very overwhelming, to say the least.

To help alleviate these feelings of befuddlement among our blog readers both in Nevada and around the country, we are offering a brief introduction into the different child custody categories and terms. Of course, the specific legal requirements that apply to your situation and family will vary based on the family laws of the state in which you live, but hopefully this will provide you with a good basic understanding of child custody.

First, it is important to understand that child custody generally takes two forms: physical and legal. Physical custody refers to the child’s place of residence. Therefore, the parent who is awarded primary physical custody will generally have custody of the child for the majority of the time. Under a standard shared physical custody agreement, the custodial parent will have the child for the school week plus two weekends per month. The other parent will have the child on the remaining two weekends and for dinner visits during the week, as well as on breaks from school.

At first glance, this may seem unfair to the noncustodial parent, and that may very well be true. But judges design custody orders with the child in mind, ordering him or her to have one primary residence in order to maintain stability.

We will continue our discussion of child custody in our next family law blog post.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Custody And Its Different Components,” Eyal Talassazan, Oct. 16, 2012

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