What Happens At First Custody Hearings In Nevada

What Happens at a First Custody Hearings In Nevada

A child custody hearing is one of the most challenging parts of a divorce. 

Sometimes, it is an ordinary and necessary step for both partners to move forward. In Nevada, couples seeking a divorce with children must attend mediation. The mediator will see if the pair can agree on legal custody, physical custody, visitation, and other matters during mediation.

There are two types of custody; legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody involves being legally able to make decisions on the child’s behalf. Most custody disputes are over physical custody or where their child will primarily reside

What Happens At First Custody Hearings In Nevada

What happens during a first custody hearing? The following will help you know what to expect when you begin the custody process.

What Happens at the First Custody Hearing?

In general, the courts favor joint custody so that both parents share the physical responsibilities of the child. One parent may get granted primary custody, meaning that is the parent the child will spend most of their time with. 

There are many factors a judge must consider when determining a custody dispute. The court will always attempt to make a ruling in the child’s best interest.

The court must consider several factors when making its decision. These factors can include:

  • The child’s age
  • The child’s mental and physical health
  • Psychological and physical health of both parents
  • Lifestyles of both parents
  • Each parent’s ability to offer a stable environment for their child
  • Willingness to cooperate with the other parent to meet the needs of the child

The judge may also look at the outside testimony to help determine what is best for the child. This can include testimony from family and friends, child phycologists, representatives from CPS, or other witnesses.

Depending on the child’s age, their wishes may also get considered. In the end, the court will attempt to do what they deem best for the child.

While this may seem very straightforward, it can be a complicated process. You will want a skilled child custody attorney to help provide the best case in your favor. The family law attorneys at Rosenblum Law Firm can help get you the best outcome for your current custody dispute.

Questions to Expect

Every custody hearing will involve the judge asking a series of questions. These questions will aid them in making their decision on the custody dispute.

You can expect questions on:

  • Preferences on a custody schedule 
  • Drug and alcohol use
  • Domestic Violence
  • A parenting plan to relocate with the child
  • Financial status
  • Communication with the other parent
  • Personal life and significant others

Custody Hearing Tips

Here are a few handy tips for when you are at your hearing. When in doubt, defer to your attorney to take care of any questions or issues that you find difficult.

  • Trash-talking your spouse will make you look bad. Please leave it to your attorney to tactfully address your former partner’s shortcomings legally. 
  • Brush up on your courtroom etiquette. You don’t want the judge to question your behavior.
  • Dress for the courtroom. Wear nice clothes, take out the piercings, and cover tattoos. Some people may make judgment calls on your attire. Dressing up shows respect for the court and the judge.

When the Court Makes its Decision

Once the judge makes their decision, this might include a decision about the designations of custody arrangement and visitation rights. Remember that even if you disagree with the judge’s decision, it is best not to have a bad reaction in front of the judge – this will still be the judge that hears your case in the future, so telling the judge they are wrong won’t help if you need to return to family Court. 

Instead, if you receive a poor decision, you should talk to your attorney about asking for a new hearing or clarifying parts of the decision you don’t understand. If the decision is wrong, you may consider filing an appeal. Keep in mind that it does not guarantee a different judge.

Having a skilled family law attorney such as the team at The Rosenblum Allen Law Firm can help you every step of the way. If you are not satisfied with the judge’s ruling, they can help you determine your next step.

Ask an Attorney

Our lead attorney, Molly Rosenblum, Esq answers tough legal questions in these videos.

Does the Court Consider Domestic Violence in a Custody Case?

Can a Child Have a Say in Custody Decisions

Does a Parent's Sexual Orientation Affect Child Custody in Nevada?

What is a Parenting Plan?

Can Substance Abuse Affect Your Custody Case?


Frequently Asked Questions

How can I prepare for a custody hearing?

Gather evidence like school and medical records, make a list of witnesses, meet with your lawyer to discuss strategy, and practice staying calm under pressure. Being prepared can help your case.

What if my ex and I agree on custody before the hearing?

If you and your ex-spouse agree on custody, you can create a custody agreement for the judge to review and approve at the hearing. This can save time and conflict.

Can I speak directly to the judge at a hearing?

Most communication at a hearing goes through your attorney. But the judge may allow you to directly address them briefly in some cases. Ask your lawyer what to expect.

Can custody arrangements be modified later?

Custody orders can be modified if there are substantial changes to the circumstances affecting the child’s well-being. However, courts prefer stability.

How long do custody hearings usually last?

The length can vary greatly depending on the complexity of the case. Some last less than an hour, while contested cases can involve several hearings over months.

What if I can’t afford an attorney?

If you can’t afford an attorney, research low-cost legal aid services in your area. You may qualify for free representation or assistance with custody cases.



Joint Custody – Custody arrangement where both parents share in decision-making and physical custody.

Primary Custody – When one parent has the child living with them most of the time and makes day-to-day decisions.

Legal Custody – The right to make important life decisions about a child, like medical care and education.

Physical Custody – Which parent the child lives with on a regular basis.

Visitation – The scheduled time a non-custodial parent spends with their child.

Parenting Plan – A written plan of the custody schedule and arrangements for caring for a child.

Testimony – Oral statements made by witnesses under oath at a legal proceeding.

Appeal – A request to a higher court to overturn a lower court’s decision.

Modification – Making changes to an existing custody order, which requires showing a substantial change in circumstances.

Evidence – Documents, statements, photos, videos, etc. presented in court to prove facts and support a case.

Courtroom Etiquette – Rules of respectful behavior expected during court proceedings.

More Resources for You

Additional Resources for You

Here are the additional posts that can provide assistance to our readers:

  1. Do You Have Child Custody Questions?” – This post offers general information and addresses common questions readers may have regarding child custody.

  2. How Do You Win a Custody Battle in Nevada?” – This post focuses specifically on winning a custody battle in Nevada, providing strategies and considerations for achieving a favorable outcome.

  3. How Much is a Custody Lawyer?” – This post provides information about the potential costs associated with hiring a custody lawyer, helping readers understand the financial aspects involved.

  4. Reasons a Mother Can Lose Custody in Las Vegas” – This post explores some common situations and actions that may lead to a mother losing custody rights in Las Vegas or similar jurisdictions.

  5. What Not To Say In Child Custody Mediation” – This post offers guidance on what to avoid saying during child custody mediation sessions to prevent potential negative consequences.

  6. What Happens At First Custody Hearings In Nevada” – This post outlines the typical proceedings and events that take place during the initial custody hearings in Nevada, providing readers with an understanding of what to expect.

  7. The Mediation Advantage: Cost-Effective Mediation For Divorce And Custody Cases” – This post highlights the benefits of mediation in divorce and custody cases, emphasizing its cost-effectiveness compared to litigation.

  8. How to Get Child Custody from a Narcissist in Las Vegas” – This post offers strategies and suggestions for individuals seeking child custody from a narcissistic parent in the context of Las Vegas or similar jurisdictions.

  9. Does My New Spouse Income Count for Child Support” – This post provides information on how a new spouse’s income may or may not be considered in child support calculations, offering clarity on this specific issue.

  10. Tips for Family Mediation” – This post offers helpful tips and advice for successful family mediation, providing insights and strategies for navigating the process effectively.

These posts provide valuable information and guidance to readers who may be dealing with child custody matters and seeking clarification on related issues.

Offsite Resources

Offsite Resources You May Find Helpful

Here are seven offsite resources that provide information about what happens at first custody hearings in Nevada:

  1. Nevada State Bar: The official site of the Nevada State Bar, providing resources about various legal topics including child custody hearings.

  2. FindLaw: This online resource provides free legal information, a lawyer directory, and other resources on a wide range of legal topics, including child custody laws in Nevada.

  3. Justia: A platform that provides free legal information and a directory of attorneys for various legal issues, including child custody.

  4. Avvo: This website provides a directory of lawyers, legal advice, and other resources on a broad range of legal topics, including child custody.

  5. American Bar Association: The ABA provides a variety of resources on legal topics, including information on child custody hearings.

  6. LegalMatch: This online legal matching service helps individuals find lawyers in their area, including family law attorneys in Nevada who can provide guidance on child custody hearings.

  7. Nolo: This website provides legal information to consumers and small businesses, including articles, blogs, FAQs, and news on family law and child custody hearings.


A Special Message fromOur Lead Attorney


Molly Rosenblum, Esq

Thank you for taking the time to read the ‘What Happens At First Custody Hearings In Nevada’ resources. Your effort to inform yourself and understand the custody hearing process is commendable and represents an important first step in your journey.

Navigating the complexities of a custody case can be challenging and emotionally draining. Rest assured, my team and I are here to help. We have extensive experience in handling custody cases and we understand the intricacies of Nevada’s legal framework.

I invite you to call us at (702) 433-2889. This is your opportunity to discuss your situation in detail, ask any questions you may have, and explore your options moving forward. Our goal is to provide you with the necessary guidance and support to help you through this process.

Remember, you’ve already taken the first step by seeking knowledge. Let us help you with the next steps, so together, we can work towards the best possible outcome for you and your children.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

The Reason You Haven't Hired A Child Custody Attorney Yet​

We’re ready to fight for the rights of your family if you hire us. We’re waiting to jump into action on the behalf of your family.


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