Las Vegas Relocation Attorney

Realities Of Relocation

One of the questions parents often ask, is whether they can relocate with their child. This is a very complicated question and can depend on many different factors. Prior to an order by the court, it is generally presumed under Nevada law that the parents have joint legal and joint physical custody. In order to relocate with the child(ren), you must either get written consent from the other parent, otherwise, you must get permission from the court PRIOR to relocating with the minor child. NRS 125C.006(1); NRS 125C.0065(1).

Relocating with the child prior to obtaining either written consent from the other parent or permission with the court can lead to the Court ordering the return of the child, and in some circumstances, can even result in criminal parental abduction charges or a presumption that the “abducting” parent should not have unsupervised visitation, and could cause the violating parent to pay the attorney’s fees of the non-relocating parent. NRS 125C.006(3); NRS 125C.0065(3); NRS 125C.007.

If there is already a court order establishing custody, the process depends on whether the relocating parent has primary physical custody or joint physical custody.

When Can You Request Relocation? 

In order for a parent to request the relocation, they must have primary physical custody. If a parent has joint physical custody, the parent must petition the court to modify custody to primary physical custody for the purpose of relocating. NRS 125C.006; NRS 125C.0065.  When there is a Joint Physical Custody arrangement, joint physical custody may be modified or terminated if it is in the best interest of the child. NRS 125C.0045; Truax v. Truax, 110 Nev. 473, 874 P.2d 10 (1994). In determining the best interests of the child, the Court looks to the factors in NRS 125C.0035(4).

Factors That Affect Relocation:

 
 
The factors are as follows:
 

  1. The wishes of the child if the child is of sufficient age and capacity to form an intelligent preference as to his or her physical custody.
  2. Any nomination of a guardian for the child by a parent.
  3. Which parent is more likely to allow the child to have frequent associations and a continuing relationship with the noncustodial parent.
  4. The level of conflict between the parents.
  5. The ability of the parents to cooperate to meet the needs of the child.
  6. The mental and physical health of the parents.
  7. The physical, developmental and emotional needs of the child.
  8. The nature of the relationship of the child with each parent.
  9. The ability of the child to maintain a relationship with any sibling.
  10. Any history of parental abuse or neglect of the child or a sibling of the child.
  11. Whether either parent or any other person seeking physical custody has engaged in an act of domestic violence against the child, a parent of the child or any other person residing with the child.
  12. Whether either parent or any other person seeking physical custody has committed any act of abduction against the child or any other child.

Requesting a Relocation

When requesting a relocation, the relocating parent must prove to the court that the parent has a sensible, good-faith reason for the move and that the relocation is not intended to deprive the other parent of his or her parenting time. The relocating parent must also prove that the move would be in the best interest of the child, and that the child and parent would both benefit from an actual advantage if allowed to move. NRS 125C.007(1).

In considering the parent’s request to relocate, the Court must weigh various factors, including: 1) the motives of the relocating parent; 2) the motives of the non-relocating parent; 3) the extent to which the relocation would improve the quality of life for the child and parent; 4) whether the relocating parent will comply with substitute visitation orders; 5) whether there is a realistic alternate visitation schedule that will adequately foster and preserve the relationship between the child and the non-relocating parent; and 6) any other factor. NRS 125C.007(2).

Requesting a relocation is a very complicated process and often very difficult to prove, even in the best of circumstances. Having an experienced family law gives you the best chance at having your relocation approved by the court. Contact us if you are considering a relocations so that your options can be discussed with time to act.

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