Man handcuffed at nightThis is the next post in a series of articles discussing emergency child custody changes in Las Vegas, Nevada. My previous post discussed when a parent’s alcohol abuse may lead to a change in custody arrangements. A Nevada family court judge may consider serious and repeated impairment in the presence of the child adequate grounds for an emergency change. Similarly, and as we will review in this article, criminal activity that creates a threat of imminent harm to a child may justify emergency modification of custody. Your child’s safety is of the utmost importance. Contact my office today to speak with a custody attorney.

When a Las Vegas judge will consider criminal activity an emergency for purposes of changing custody

For obvious reasons, engaging in criminal activity in the presence of a child can create a dangerous situation and a threat of imminent harm to the child. A Las Vegas parent’s inherently dangerous criminal activities in the presence of a child, such as drug dealing or buying and selling stolen goods, will be adequate grounds for an emergency custody change. If an emergency custody change request is based upon a parent’s arrest for activity when the child was not present, the court will review the nature of the underlying crime and the parent’s criminal history. For example, if a parent is arrested for acquiring multiple unpaid parking tickets, this would not likely equate to an emergency situation in the court’s opinion. Violent crimes, such as domestic violence, armed robbery or assault and battery, on the other hand, may create a concern about the child’s safety. A court’s final determination will be based upon the specific facts of each case.

A Las Vegas attorney can assist with the emergency custody change process

The initial step in seeking an emergency custody change is to file a Motion with the court. The court, upon request, will schedule an expedited hearing, typically after giving the other parent at least one day’s notice. The judge will review the facts presented at the initial hearing to decide whether custody should be changed on an emergency basis. The judge may issue a temporary custody change order, pending a future hearing to determine a more permanent arrangement. If the court determines that no emergency exists, it may deny the request altogether. Alternatively, the court may postpone the matter for a future trial and open the discovery process to each party. When a parent has been arrested and incarcerated, the court will likely issue the emergency removal order pending the outcome of the criminal charges. In this case, the court will schedule periodic status checks to review the situation.

Custody matters can be emotional and highly contentious, particularly if a child’s well-being is at stake. My office is dedicated to assisting clients throughout the legal process. If you need assistance, contact my office today to speak to a Las Vegas custody attorney.