If you share joint custody of a child in Nevada, you do not need anyone’s permission to make a short-distance move that does not substantially impair your co-parent’s ability to maintain a relationship with your child.
Though if you do wish to make a long-distance move such as to another city, state, or country – and this move would substantially impair your co-parent’s ability to maintain a meaningful relationship with your child – then you would need either:
- your co-parent’s written permission; or
- a court order permitting you to move despite your co-parent’s objections.1
What is the process for moving with my child if I have joint custody?
If your child’s other parent will not agree in writing to you moving away with your child, then you must petition the court for primary physical custody of your child for the purpose of relocating.
As the parent who wishes to move, you have the burden of showing the Nevada court that:
- you have a sensible, good-faith reason to relocate; and
- the move would be in your child’s best interest; and
- you and your child would benefit from an actual advantage as a result of the move.
Simply wishing to deprive your co-parent of their parenting time is not a valid reason to move. Potential examples of good reasons to move are:
- you have a higher-paying job waiting for you that would allow you to provide better for your child;
- you would be nearer to extended family to help with your child; and/or
- the school at the new location is better.
Once the court is satisfied that your request to move is in good faith, it will then weigh the following six factors:
- The extent to which the relocation is likely to improve the quality of life for your child and yourself;
- Whether your motives are honorable and not designed to frustrate or defeat any visitation rights accorded to the non-relocating parent;
- Whether you will comply with any substitute visitation orders issued by the court if permission to relocate is granted;
- Whether the motives of the non-relocating parent are honorable in resisting the petition for permission to relocate or to what extent any opposition to the petition for permission to relocate is intended to secure a financial advantage in the form of ongoing support obligations or otherwise;
- Whether there will be a realistic opportunity for the non-relocating parent to maintain a visitation schedule that will adequately foster and preserve the parental relationship between your child and the non-relocating parent if permission to relocate is granted; and
- Any other factor necessary to assist the court in determining whether to grant permission to relocate.
In short, a Nevada court will grant your request to move with your child – and for you to have primary physical custody – if you show the court that it is in your child’s best interest.2
What if I move with my child without permission?
If you relocate with your child without getting the written permission of your co-parent or the court, you could face felony charges carrying one to four years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines. Plus the court can order that you pay any attorneys’ fees your co-parent incurred in the case.3
What is the process of moving with my child if I already have primary custody?
You still need the written permission of your co-parent or the court. The court will consider the same factors described above to determine whether the move is in your child’s best interest.4
- NRS 125C.0065.
- Same. NRS 125C.007. See, for example: Flynn v. Flynn (2004) 120 Nev. 436, 92 P.3d 1224; Schwartz v. Schwartz (1991) 107 Nev. 378, 812 P.2d 1268; Trent v. Trent (1995) 111 Nev. 309, 890 P.2d 1309; Potter v. Potter (2005) 121 Nev. 613, 119 P.3d 1246; Jones v. Jones (1994) 110 Nev. 1253, 885 P.2d 563; Reel v. Harrison (2002) 118 Nev. 881, 60 P.3d 480; Gandee v. Gandee (1995) 111 Nev. 754, 895 P.2d 1285; Cook v. Cook (1995) 111 Nev. 822, 898 P.2d 702; Monahan v. Hogan (2022) 507 P.3d 588.
- NRS 200.359. NRS 125C.0075.
- NRS 125C.006.