Friday, February 5, 2016

Child Custody - Something to think about if you're considering divorce

A house, a car, a happy marriage and 2.5 children. It's the American Dream, right? 

But it doesn't always work out that way, does it? 

Sometimes a marriage is doomed from the beginning. Sometimes people have kids in an effort to save the marriage, (don't do this, by the way...) and sometimes the kids just get caught in the crossfire of two people who've grown apart. 

If you're considering ending a marriage and you and your soon-to-be-Ex have kids, you have a lot to think about. 

  • Who gets primary physical custody? 
  • Who gets legal custody? 
  • Who can claim the children on their taxes after the divorce? 
  • Where do the kids live? 
  • Where do they spend the holidays? 
These questions, and many others depending upon your unique circumstances, need to be addressed before a final decree of divorce can be granted. 

Whether your divorce is a mutual decision between the two of you or if it's going to be a protracted battle, you should know that going back and forth about these issues can get very expensive very quickly. Each time the parties disagree, they have to run to their lawyer and air their disagreement with the other party, then that lawyer has to contact the other lawyer via a motion or a countermotion or an opposition to a motion or an answer & counterclaim. The labor lawyers charge for drafting these documents can cost thousands of dollars and that doesn't even include the filing fees that the court charges just to file the documents. 

And really, who can justify such shenanigans?
The point is that it's best for both of you to try and put your differences aside, at least briefly, and try to calmly work out these details before you file for divorce. Divorce is never pleasant, but sometimes it's necessary. That doesn't mean two people can't be civil for the sake of a greater good. The smoother you and your spouse can make the divorce process, the cheaper and less traumatic it will be for everyone involved. 

A good place to start would be by reading Nevada Assembly Bill 263 (A.B. 263). This is the bill that changed Nevada state law on how it pertains to divorce, custody and visitation issues. 

As always, it's best to have legal representation, even if you and your spouse seem to agree on most things. Unless you two agree on literally everything there's bound to be some friction and an experienced attorney can help you safely navigate through rough waters. 

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