How Does Domestic Violence Affect Child Custody in Nevada?
Domestic violence has the potential to destroy a marriage and cause long-lasting trauma. There can also be devastating impact on any children of the relationship. Domestic violence can and does affect child custody determinations, and it is important to understand how.
Domestic Violence Broadly Defined In Nevada
Domestic violence can be defined as encompassing much more than just physical contact – it can be emotional, mental, or sexual abuse, and it can encompass acts like breaking and entering, bullying or stalking (including cyberbullying and cyberstalking), and other harassment. Nevada’s legislature expanded the state’s domestic violence laws to ensure that more victims were able to seek justice.
Nevada’s Battery Domestic Violence (BDV) laws, which primarily deal with physical abuse, also expanded, extending the benefit of the law to numerous people who might share a domestic situation without being married. Examples include co-parents, significant others, parent/guardian and child, roommates or flatmates, and many others. This may not seem like much, but a BDV conviction can often impose harsher sentences on offenders than being convicted of simply battery.
How Does Domestic Violence Affect Child Custody?
The public policy of the state of Nevada is to put the best interests of the child above almost anything else, because the state has a vested interest in ensuring children are protected. As a result, Nevada law absolutely takes domestic violence allegations into account when determining child custody. If you have a documented history of domestic violence, it creates a rebuttable presumption that granting you primary custody would not be in your children’s best interests.
You will be given a chance to rebut that presumption at an evidentiary hearing, but if you cannot, it likely means you will not receive joint or primary custody. That said, it does not mean that you will never see your children. However, the custody schedule and terms may be restricted to protect your child. Depending on the nature of the offenses, a judge can take steps like banning overnight visits or require supervised visits. The court may require you to complete anger management courses, or put in place other conditions that they think will ensure everyone’s safety. Failure to comply with these requirements can result in you losing custody, however, so it is important to follow instructions.
Contact A Las Vegas Child Custody Attorney
Domestic violence allegations are serious and can have a substantial impact on your life and case. If you are concerned about child custody and domestic violence, calling an experienced Las Vegas child custody attorney should be your first step before proceedings begin. The Kainen Law Group has been helping parents set the record straight for many years, and we will work hard for you. Contact our Las Vegas offices today to schedule a consultation.