Judge about to pound gavelThis is the fourth post in my series on how drug charges affect child custody in Las Vegas, Nevada. My last article discussed how to request that visitation with a parent be supervised. It is important for a parent to understand the legal process if the other parent has been arrested. Protecting your child is your priority and it is crucial to speak with an attorney to understand how to protect your child through this process. The Court will take these matters very seriously as they involve minor children. This article will discuss how to establish a permanent change in a Court order after the arrest of a parent for drugs. If you need assistance then contact my office today to speak with a Las Vegas family lawyer.

The Court may not consider trial necessary if the other parent has been arrested or convicted

Generally, when a parent Petitions the Court to modify a custody order, a trial is necessary because the matter involves disputed facts. However, in the case of the conviction of a parent, a Court may not require a trial to change the order. This is because the Judge already has sufficient evidence that the convicted parent is unable to care for the child in a way that is consistent with the child’s best interests. The arrested parent cannot continue to care for the child due to their incarceration or risk of repeat drug abuse, and cannot provide for the child physically. Since an arrest is an undisputed matter that prevents the parent from adequately caring for the child, there may not be a need for a trial for the Judge to weigh and assess the evidence.

Once the parent is arrested, the Judge can modify the Court order to immediately change the custody arrangement while the criminal case is still pending. The Court will act promptly in light of a drug arrest to protect the child from any exposure to the potentially unsafe environment of the parent. Additionally, the Court takes criminal charges and arrests very seriously. An arrest weighs heavily against the parent when determining the best interests of the child. The arrested parent’s visitation may be completely suspended while their case is pending. It is also possible the Court may rule that the visitation is to be supervised depending on the specific circumstances and age of the child.

Establishing that primary custody is in the best interest of a Las Vegas child

When a parent seeks to change a joint custody order to obtain primary custody of their child, that parent is still required to prove that the change is in the best interest of their child. Proving that primary custody is in the child’s best interest is more than just showing that the non-custodial parent has problems. It also requires the primary parent to show objective evidence that they can support the child and the child’s needs on their own. The factors the Court will consider include the relationships with each parent, any conflict between the parents, and the mental and physical health of the parents. The Court will also look at the health and welfare of the child while in the care of the primary parent, including how they are doing in school. In the event of the arrest of the other parent, the primary parent may need to make changes in their life and receive additional support from their community.

Dealing with the arrest of a parent is a very stressful matter. It is important to retain an attorney to understand the steps to take legally to take care of the minor children involved. A lawyer will be able to act promptly to Petition the Court and provide the Judge with the requisite information to change a custody order under these circumstances. If the parent of your child has been arrested for drugs, it is important to contact a family lawyer right away. I devote my practice to the handling of family law matters and my office is ready to assist you. Contact us online or by telephone today to speak with a Las Vegas child custody attorney.