Child Custody Modification
McFarling Law Group routinely represents parents in post-decree motions to modify child custody. Whether you are seeking to modify custody of your children or you are defending against the other parent’s motion to modify child custody, McFarling Law Group can help.
The Legal Standard
An order for joint physical custody may be modified by the court upon the motion filed by one of the parents.
The standard of review for modification of a child custody order is detailed in the case Ellis v. Carucci, 161 P. 3d 239 – Nev: Supreme Court 2007, which provides in pertinent part:
In Nevada, when a district court determines the custody of a minor child, “the sole consideration of the court is the best interest of the child.” Under NRS 125.480(4), “[i]n determining the best interest of the child, the court shall consider and set forth its specific findings concerning, among other things … (g) The physical, developmental and emotional needs of the child.” Although “the court may … [a]t any time modify or vacate its order” upon “the application of one of the parties,” because numerous courts have documented the importance of custodial stability in promoting the developmental and emotional needs of children, we acknowledge that courts should not lightly grant applications to modify child custody.
[A] modification of primary physical custody is warranted only when (1) there has been a substantial change in circumstances affecting the welfare of the child, and (2) the child’s best interest is served by the modification. Under this revised test, the party seeking a modification of custody bears the burden of satisfying both prongs.
The court shall state, in its decision, the reasons for the court order of modification.
How the Court Process Works
Unless agreed upon, modifications of existing child custody orders generally only occur after the court conducts an evidentiary hearing and can make proper findings of fact and conclusions of law. The first step in modifying child custody orders is to file a motion. The motion will result in a hearing wherein the judge will determine whether to proceed further. The judge at the first hearing may deny the motion, send the parties to mediation, set an evidentiary hearing, or gather additional information before determining how to proceed. McFarling Law Group can assist in all phases of the process of modifying child custody from drafting motions and oppositions to putting on the best case at an evidentiary hearing, which is similar to a trial.
Reaching an Agreement
At any time, Parties can agree to modify the child custody and visitation arrangements for their child(ren). This should be done through a parenting plan or stipulation and order signed by a judge and filed with the Court. If you need help negotiating an agreement or have reached an agreement and simply need to make sure the paperwork is done properly, McFarling Law Group can help.
Experienced Attorneys at Your Side
At McFarling Law Group, our divorce lawyers are experienced in all family law matters, including child custody modification. If you would like to schedule a consultation with an experienced child custody lawyer in Las Vegas, NV area, call our office at 702.565.4335.