Domestic violence has a significant effect on custody hearings in Nevada. It is possible that you can lose custody of your children with a domestic violence charge.
If you are facing domestic violence charges and have children, you need to seek the help of an attorney. The team at Rosenblum Allen Law Firm can help you navigate the legal process and help you keep your kids.
What follows is a brief explanation of the effects of domestic violence on custody in Nevada.
How Does Nevada Law Define Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is any type of violence that occurs in the home. This can include physical, emotional, verbal, and sexual abuse. It can also include stalking or attempting to manipulate someone for personal gain. Domestic violence can also involve cyberstalking or online harassment.
Domestic violence is not only between spouses. It can include anyone living in the home. This includes children. Domestic violence is categorized as assault and battery under Nevada law.
Domestic Abuse and Child Custody
Custody takes two primary forms: legal and physical. Legal custody means the parent has a say in the child’s health and education. Physical custody pertains to where the child lives and care of basic needs like food and shelter.
The law takes domestic abuse into account when determining child custody. The judge will consider several factors to determine what is in the child’s best interest.
Two factors that are directly tied to domestic violence are:
- A history of parental neglect of the child or siblings
- If either parent has committed domestic violence on anyone living in the home.
The judge will examine the evidence to determine if domestic violence occurred. This is called an “evidentiary hearing.” No jury is involved in this hearing, as the judge only looks at the evidence. They will then determine if domestic violence occurred.
The accused parent will likely not get custody or will have limited custody. The judge may decide it is not in the child’s best interest to be around their abuser.
The judge will provide a written order with an explanation of their decision. The judge’s main priority will be protecting the child, victim’s parent, or other abuse victims.
Impact on Visitation
In routine custody decisions, each parent is awarded visitation rights. These rights differ with each case and family dynamic. When there are accusations of domestic violence, it can significantly affect visitation.
The court might order:
- A ban on overnight visitation
- Supervised visitation, with all costs paid by the abuser
- The abusive parent must complete certain classes. This includes anger management, parenting classes, and domestic violence classes. If applicable, they may need to attend drug and alcohol counseling. They may also have to attend therapy
- Visitations occur in a safe, neutral location such as a fire department or police station.
- Prohibiting the use of drugs or alcohol before or during visitation
- Any other conditions that ensure everyone’s safety
If the judge places any restrictions on visitation, you must follow the judge’s orders. There is the possibility that some limits can be lifted at a later date.
Termination of Parental Rights
Ideally, the court wants both parents involved in their child’s life. The abusing parent may regain or keep rights if they follow specific guidelines.
However, in some extreme cases, a parent can receive a termination of parental rights (TPR). There are several situations in which a parent can lose their parental rights.
- Become unfit to provide care
- Caused severe physical, mental, or emotional abuse
- Judges only use TPR in the most extreme cases. Such rulings are permanent. This means that if a TPR order is issued, you will not be able to regain your parental rights.
You need to seek an attorney if you are in a custody dispute where domestic violence is a factor. They will be able to defend your case and help you keep the custody of your children. They may be able to work out a deal where you can regain rights if your parental rights are limited.
Our legal team is skilled in domestic violence and family court cases. They can help you choose the right course of action. You have rights as a parent, and they will help you to keep those rights.