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When Will a Judge Award Primary Physical Custody?

Sometimes parents can’t come to agreement on who will receive primary custody of the children. If you’re in a battle over custody like this, and you want to make sure you retain your custodial rights, you may want to review what the law says about the matter. This article will review the usual circumstances under which a judge will award primary physical custody to just one parent.

A Nevada judge can give primary physical custody to only one parent, or split the physical custody between both parents. In most cases, when a judge awards primary physical custody to one parent, the following circumstances may be true:

  • Evidence supports the fact that one of the parents cannot provide an adequate level of childcare for 146 days per year or more.

  • One of the parents subjected the child (or anyone else living with the child) to domestic violence.

  • A judge might award primary physical custody to the mother if the mother was unmarried when she gave birth, she did not later get married to the father, and no paternity has been formally established; or, if the father knew about his paternity but abandoned the child without aiding the mother.

  • A judge might award primary custody to the father if the mother abandons the child without offering any childcare support, and if the father provided all the childcare while the mother was gone.

A parent is deemed to have abandoned a child if he or she provides no economic or personal support for the child, or fails to establish a relationship, with the child, for six months or more.

If you’re having trouble agreeing with your spouse on who shall have sole physical custody of your children, a Nevada family law attorney can help you navigate this important legal issue. A lawyer will educate you on your legal rights and options while pursuing your legal goals in court.

Source:, “Custody,” accessed April 18, 2017

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