gavel and judgeThis is my third post in a series of articles addressing the impact of drug charges on child custody in Las Vegas, Nevada. My last article discussed changing child custody after a drug arrest. The Court will take very seriously anything that would jeopardize the safety of minor children. An arrest is a substantial change of circumstances and causes legitimate concern from the Judge. This article is about how to request that visitation be supervised following the arrest of a parent for drug charges. It is important to understand the legal process and steps to take under these circumstances. If you or someone you know needs assistance, contact us today to schedule a consultation.

The Clark County Family Court is likely to require that visitation be supervised after a parent has been arrested.

Drug arrests can range from incidents regarding possession to larger scale trafficking. Such situations are taken very seriously by the Court when minor children are involved. The Court will consider every precaution to protect the child from the concerning situation. Such precautions may include requiring that all visitation be supervised. Even if a parent is arrested for minor charges, supervision may still be required but may be implemented under less strict circumstances. For example, the Court may allow a family member to supervise and let the parent have visitation at their home or a location they choose. Conversely, if the arrest is for illegal substances such as heroin or methamphetamine, or the charge is more serious, it is more likely that the Judge will require the environment be completely controlled by the Court. This may look like a court-appointed supervisor in a courthouse facility to ensure that all communication with the child is observed.

To request supervised visitation, the custodial parent will have to file a Motion requesting a change of custody and provide grounds as to why they are seeking supervision. It is likely that the Court may grant a hearing on shortened time due to the arrest. This will require the hearing to occur within days of the Motion’s filing. At the hearing, the Court will determine if supervised visitation is in the child’s best interest. The parent must present objective evidence to support their position. This will need to include why restricting visitation is necessary to protect the child or support the child’s wellbeing. Once the Judge issues the order, the parties will be required to follow the visitation requirements and cooperate with each other.

Visitation is likely to remain supervised for some time

If the Judge orders supervised visitation, it is common for the supervision to continue for a prolonged period of time in order to show a pattern of the parent being drug-free. The Court may require “status checks” where the accused parent has to pay for a drug test at their expense. The Court can address supervision if the parent remains clean for a period of time. They may also include a schedule of time in which to revisit the supervision requirement. The Judge may not order the return to the original joint custody arrangement due to these circumstances. It is likely to remain that custody is with the clean parent even once the court removes supervision so as not to cause too much change in the child’s life.

Any matter involving minor children and the court system is complex. It is crucial to speak with an experienced family lawyer as soon as you are aware of drug charges being brought against a parent. The safety of your minor children is of utmost importance. Speaking with counsel can help ensure you understand the process and limit damage to the child. I am a Las Vegas child custody attorney who handles such cases. If you need assistance, contact my office to speak with a lawyer.