January 12

What’s the Difference Between Physical and Legal Custody in 2023?

There are two types of custody: physical and legal. In most cases, both types of custody are shared by the parents. Legal custody is the decision-making process regarding the child’s future, while physical custody is the caretaking and daily management of the child. Continue reading to find out more about the various custody types and their meanings.

Comparing Physical and Legal Custody in Nevada

What is Legal Custody?

Legal custody allows the parent to make decisions about the child’s care. Legal custody gives a parent the power to decide about the child’s education, medical care, religious upbringing, and schooling.

What is Joint Legal Custody?

Parents are usually granted joint legal custody. This means they must have equal decision-making rights regarding their children, as well as equal access to the child’s educational and medical records.

Joint legal custody is not related to where the children reside. It is important to frequently award joint legal custody because the parent with visitation rights or secondary physical custodial custody cannot be removed from the decision-making process about major issues involving the children.

What is Physical Custody?

The parent with physical custody has the right and obligation to take care of the child every day. The parent can have physical custody so that the child can live with them.

In most cases, one parent is designated primary physical custodian while the other receives secondary physical custody.

What is Primary Physical Custody?

While the courts decide primary physical custody on a variety of factors, each state has its own unique set of criteria. However, most jurisdictions give great importance to who was the primary caregiver for the child(ren).

The court’s base assumption is that both parents should be able to have a loving, safe, and stable relationship with their children. In some instances, however, this is not the case, and supervised visitation might be ordered instead of joint physical custody. A judge will also consider other factors when determining whether or not to award sole legal or physical custody to a parent. These factors include the parent’s mental and physical health, whether the other parent has committed a crime and the relationship between the parents.

What are Nevada’s laws about legal and physical custody of a child?

In the state of Nevada, the parent and child relationship extends equally to every child and to every parent, regardless of the marital status of the parents. If a court has not made a determination regarding the custody of a child, each parent has joint legal custody and joint physical custody of the child until otherwise ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction.

Richard P. Davies and his team are here to help you with your case, whether you’re seeking a new custody arrangement or revisiting an existing one. Call (775) 360-6894 today to schedule your free consultation.


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child custody, legal custody, physical custody


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