Las Vegas Child Custody Modification Attorneys

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McFarling Law Group regularly represents parents seeking post-decree modifications to a child custody ruling. Parents wishing to modify a custody agreement for their children, or defend against the motion of another parent to modify custody, need an experienced Las Vegas child custody modification attorney from McFarling Law Group to assist them.

Nevada child custody modification law

A co-parent may file a motion to modify a court order for joint physical custody of their children. The legal standard for changing a child custody order is Ellis v. Carucci, 161 P. 3d 239 – Nev: Supreme Court 2007.

In essence, when the Nevada District Court determines the custody of a minor child, “the sole consideration of the court is the best interest of the child.” The basis for determining a child’s best interest includes, among other things, the child’s physical development and emotional needs. Also, the court does not casually grant modifications to a custody order.

Typically, a modification is warranted when:

  1. There is a significant change in the child’s welfare
  2. Modifying an existing order serves the child’s best interest

The parent seeking the modification must meet these two conditions. A court will factor reasons for modifying a previous custody order into its decision.

    How the court process works for custody modifications

    Without prior agreement, the court usually conducts an evidentiary hearing before a modification to an existing child custody order can occur. Step one is filing a motion for modification. The court schedules a hearing, and a judge determines if the motion can proceed.

    The judge may decide to deny the motion, order the parties to mediation, set an evidentiary hearing, or request additional information before ruling on how to proceed. A skilled Las Vegas custody modification lawyer from McFarling Law Group can help you at every stage of the modification process.

    Reaching an agreement for a Las Vegas custody modification

    Parents can choose to modify their child custody and visitation agreement at any time if they are in accord with the changes. They must document the changes in a revised parenting plan accompanied by a signed order from a judge and filed with the court. Parents who need assistance reaching an agreement or who only need to ensure their paperwork is completed and submitted correctly can call on the Las Vegas custody modification law firm of McFarling Law Group.

    Procedure for parents who agree on a modification

    If both parents can agree to a custody modification with the best interest of their children in mind, it has the best chance of going smoothly in court. Nevertheless, you must document your changes and file them with the court, even if you agree. Failure to submit your changes to the court could lead to unfavorable consequences later.

    Without a documented court filing, one parent could argue that the agreement was never valid in the first place. Rather than risk a future legal dispute, it is advisable to take the time and file a modification with the court. The revised court order makes your modification legally unambiguous and protects everyone involved, especially the children.

    Procedure for contested modifications

    There is a legal process for managing those situations when you and your co-parent are not in agreement on custody. If only one parent wants to modify the original custody order, step one is filing a motion for modification. The burden is on whichever parent files the petition to demonstrate how the modification is in the best interest of the children.

    If you are the parent who is not in agreement with the modification, your divorce attorney can assist and will already have the details of your case. A motion must demonstrate adequate cause to warrant a hearing. If your reasons for modification are insufficient to meet the court’s definition of adequate cause, it may deny your petition.

    However, if your motion demonstrates sufficient cause, the court will schedule a hearing and determine if the intended modification is in the best interest of your children.

    What the courts consider for modifying a custody order

    Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 125.480 and NRS 125.520 created a new standard for modifications. Factors that the court must consider are:

    • The preference of a child 14 older
    • The ability of both parents to maintain a working relationship
    • The degree of conflict between the parents
    • The probability of the parents working together to meet the needs of the child
    • The mental and physical health of both parents
    • The child’s age, physical, and emotional developmental needs
    • The nature of the child’s relationship with each parent
    • The significance of maintaining the child’s relationship with any brothers and sisters
    • The existence of any child abuse or domestic violence in the home
    • Whether either parent abducted their child

    State law requires a “substantial change in circumstances” to consider a modification. What does the court consider substantial changes in circumstances? The court recognizes the following scenarios as representing sufficient change in circumstances to request a modification:

    • One of the parents needs to relocate
    • A significant change in the relationship with a child
    • A parent with a drug addiction
    • A parent develops a medical condition
    • The custodial parent lives with or is marrying an abusive partner
    • Extreme parental alienation

    Experienced attorneys who are always by your side

    The Las Vegas child custody modification law firm of McFarling Law Group will provide you with a skilled attorney experienced in all matters of family law, including child custody modification. Our compassionate attorneys understand that parents usually only seek a child custody modification when the best interest of their children is at stake. We also recognize that it is sometimes necessary to fight a motion to modify a custody order in court.

    Let the Las Vegas custody law firm of McFarling Law Group provide you with the experienced, compassionate representation you need to review an agreement and represent you in court or provide you with representation to contest a child custody modification. Contact McFarling Law Group today to schedule a confidential appointment with an experienced Las Vegas child custody modification lawyer at 702-766-6671.

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