Determining the Best Interests of the Child - Nevada

Date: September 2023

Guiding Principles

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 128.005

The legislature declares that the preservation and strengthening of family life is a part of the public policy of this State.

The legislature finds the following:

  • Severance of the parent and child relationship is a matter of such importance to safeguard the rights of parent and child as to require judicial determination.
  • Judicial selection of the person or agency to be entrusted with the custody and control of a child after such severance promotes the welfare of the parties and of this State.
  • The continuing needs of a child for proper physical, mental, and emotional growth and development are the decisive considerations in proceedings for termination of parental rights.

 Best Interests Factors

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 125C.0035

In any action for determining physical custody of a minor child, the sole consideration of the court is the best interests of the child. In determining the best interests of the child, the court shall consider the following: 

  • The mental and physical health of the parents 
  • The physical, developmental, and emotional needs of the child 
  • The nature of the relationship of the child with each parent 
  • The ability of the child to maintain a relationship with any sibling
  • Any history of parental abuse or neglect of the child or a sibling of the child 
  • Whether either parent has engaged in an act of domestic violence against the child, a parent of the child, or any other person residing with the child

Other Considerations

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 125C.0035; 432B.550

In determining the best interests of the child, the court shall consider the wishes of the child if the child is of sufficient age and capacity to form an intelligent preference as to their physical custody.

In determining the placement of a child, if the child is not permitted to remain in the custody of their parents or guardian, it must be presumed to be in the best interests of the child to be placed together with their siblings.