Putting the Children First - Child Custody and Divorce

Last week, we shared an article on our Facebook page about the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers’ newly released “Child Centered Residential Guidelines”, the aim of which is to improve the process of dividing custodial time in a divorce. These guidelines are terrific; however, they are just that – guidelines. They are not “law”, nor are they otherwise binding on Family Court litigants or judges.

Thankfully, here in Nevada, our actual laws with respect to child custody, like the AAML’s new guidelines, already place the children front and center. Nevada Revised Statute (“NRS”) 125.480 states that, “[i]n determining custody of a minor child in [a divorce] action . . . , the sole consideration of the court is the best interest of the child.” Similarly, NRS 125C.010 requires that any court order providing for parent-child visitation must, “ensure . . . that the best interest of the child is achieved”. Nowhere in Nevada’s divorce and custody statutes is there any mention of the parents’ “best interest”; it is always the needs of the children that the courts must give paramount weight.

Divorce is almost always an emotional and difficult process, and nothing brings out the worst in divorcing spouses quite like issues of child custody do. Here’s the thing: for the adults getting a divorce, as messy as the process can be, their lives will generally settle into a “new normal” fairly quickly once the decree is signed. For the children, on the other hand, a divorce often represents a significant trauma – with long-lasting, often latent consequences. You, the adult, will still probably have only one Thanksgiving dinner to think about each year; your children may have to juggle two or more such gatherings from now on.

At The Law Office of Sean D. Lyttle, we keep the focus of our divorce matters where it should be, and where the law requires it to be: on the children’s best interest. Both a son of divorced parents and a father himself, Sean knows first-hand the importance of child-focused divorce negotiations. If you have children and are contemplating divorce or separation, our office can provide representation that is not only competent, but also compassionate.

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