As a father, your heart and soul are fully invested in the well being of your child. If your marriage is ending and you share children with your spouse, you want to minimize the disruptions and trauma that your children experience. You also want to maximize your time with your children and therefore, child custody arrangements become a critical question in your divorce. Unfortunately, we often speak with fathers who are resigned to the belief that a child custody proceeding will be unfavorable to them. This is based on a misconception that the law prefers mothers over fathers.
History of Maternal Preference
The “tender years doctrine” is the basis for the outdated notion that mothers will always receive primary custody of children. This derives from old British laws that presumed children were best served to live with their mothers during their “tender years”. This is not the law in Nevada. In the eyes of the law, as it stands today, there is no preference given to mothers over fathers or vice versa.
Best Interest of the Child Standard
Nevada’s child custody statute states that: “Preference must not be given to either parent for the sole reason that the parent is the mother or the father of the child.” Rather, child custody issues in Nevada are decided based solely on a child’s best interest, with the first preference of joint custody to both parents. Judges have a great deal of discretion in the evidence they can consider in making these vital decisions but must weigh specific factors like:
- The child’s desires;
- The nature of each parent’s relationship with the child;
- The needs of the child, emotionally and physically;
- The level of conflict between parents;
- The ability of the parents to cooperate and allow each other a continued relationship with the child;
- The mental and physical health of each parent;
- Any evidence that a parent is unsuitable, which can be shown by evidence of child abuse or neglect, domestic violence, or abduction.
While the law holds no preference of a father versus a mother, judges are human beings, which means that no two judges will make the same best interest decision when it comes to child custody issues. This is why you need an experienced family law attorney who can identify what evidence that courts find the most compelling and can effectively advocate the totality of your child’s situation.
Contact Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P.
At Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P., we represent men and women who want to resolve family law issues, such as the custody of their children. Our attorneys are experienced, proven, and knowledgeable. If you want an attorney who will listen to you and advocate for your parental rights, contact us. Call Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P. today at (775) 210-8178 to schedule a free consultation or contact our office through our website.