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Does a judge decide custody of my children?

When you are a parent considering a split or divorce, one issue that may worry you is a judge unfamiliar with your situation deciding custody issues.

The good news is that as long as you and your spouse work out a parenting plan that both of you are happy with, a judge is unlikely to override it. 

Compromise is the norm in parenting plans

If a judge has to decide on custody issues, there is no telling what his or her ruling will be. Therefore, it is in your best interests to work out a plan, even if that means you have to make compromises. In fact, it is helpful to not think of concessions as compromises but rather as decisions you make in the best interests of the children. Except for extreme circumstances, children tend to benefit from having equal time and access to both parents. The default under Nevada law is for both parents to have joint custody until or if a judge decrees otherwise.

Your parenting plan should be comprehensive

If your parenting plan is thorough, a judge is more likely to be persuaded that you and your spouse have put a lot of thought and effort into it. Issues to consider include who has custody (you could opt for joint custody) and who pays for what (math tutoring lessons, for example).

Parenting plans set you and your ex-spouse up to be co-parents who put the interests of their children first while helping to ensure a judge does not make a custody decision you do not agree with. An attorney can help you write one or, if that is unsuccessful, press the matter in court.

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