gavel in front of justice scaleThis is the first post in a series of articles which will address the impact of drug charges on child custody in Las Vegas, Nevada. I am writing on this issue to help parents understand how a child custody order may be changed in a situation where a parent has been arrested and charged with a drug offense. It is important to act promptly if a parent of a child has been arrested to ensure that the child is safe and protected from exposure to drug use. It is my goal to help parents understand the steps to take to protect their child from the issues that arise when a parent is arrested. If you or someone you know needs legal assistance, contact my office today to speak to an experienced family lawyer.

I will be addressing a number of topics in this series of articles. Issues which I will analyze include:

  • Changing child custody after a drug arrest
  • Requesting that visitation be supervised
  • Establishing a permanent change of child custody
  • How a parent can regain joint custody after a drug arrest

I will be addressing these topics for various reasons. First, to change a prior child custody order in Nevada, the parent must establish that there has been a substantial change of circumstances. An arrest for a drug offense would constitute a substantial change of circumstances. Secondly, Clark County Family Courts take a strict view on drug use. To protect your child, one may request for all visitation of the parent who is charged to be supervised. Supervised visitation occurs in a controlled environment chosen by the Court. The Court will issue a temporary custody order to address the changes to the custody arrangement due to the arrest. Third, if the parent is convicted and incarcerated, the Court may decide to implement a permanent change to the custody arrangement. This may include suspension of the incarcerated parent’s visitation rights. The Court will always prioritize what is in the best interests of the child when changing the custody order. Factors the Court will consider are the ability of the parents to cooperate to meet the needs of the child and the mental and physical health of the parents. Lastly, a parent can regain additional visitation or joint custody, if the parent has shown they have remained drug-free and stable for a prolonged period of time.

The Court’s primary concern for any child custody matter is to protect the child. The parent must adhere to the requirements of the court order to regain custody after an arrest for drug use. An experienced family lawyer will know how to seek an expedited hearing, and request for protections to be put in place for the child in light of the arrest of a parent. As a Las Vegas child custody lawyer, who focuses on domestic law, I am experienced in such matters. If you are in need of legal representation, contact my office online, or by phone to schedule an initial meeting.