Is determining child custody and parenting time in California & Nevada similar?
There isn’t really a significant difference in the determination of custody and parenting time between California and Nevada, in that both states focus on a standard of what’s in the best interest of minor children. The court will make decisions if asked to decide, and the court will only make decisions in the absence of an agreement between the parents. But the court will make decisions based upon the best interests of the children, both in terms of decision making and in terms of a residential schedule.
Now it’s my experience both in California and Nevada that courts are predisposed to favouring joint legal custody, and joint decision making. And that really means not that every decision that’s made by a parent about a minor child has to be one that is made in advance by concurrence of both parents. What it typically means to the courts is that each parent has the decision power, decision making powers, regarding a child’s health, education, and welfare while the child is in their care.
In terms of the parenting time, that’s a more case specific. That really is based upon the age of the children. It may be based on the relationship between siblings in the same family, it may be based upon the work schedules of the parents. There are so many factors and the court has given such broad discretion in parenting time that both states look at a variety of factors, both states look at largely the same factors but make a decision based upon the best interest of children in that fact specific setting.
Leslie Shaw practices family law in both California and Nevada, and has been involved in close to 1,000 family law matters largely involving litigation throughout his 40 year career. He is also a Certified Family Law Attorney, a status granted by the California Board of Legal Specialization.