My husband has had joint custody of his now 16 1/2 year old daughter. She stays at our house from Wednesday to Sunday every week and he maintains health insurance. His ex is now taking us back to court because she says that the daughter no longer wishes to live with us. We know its because mom lets her have more freedom and do things that we do not agree with. I'm sure that the judge will revise the support order making us pay more. Will they take into account that mom lives with grandma and only pays 1/2 of monthly bills and we only have one income? Also we have 2 other children. Can we still have joint custody if she chooses to live with her mom? So we will still be involved with major decisions?
2 Answers from Attorneys
Although teens at the age are allowed teenage discretion it is likely that joint legal and physical custody will remain as it is. However, the mother's expenses are irrelevant to child support. The Judge can make some adjustments for other children your husband has to support. The fact that you're not working does not help him.
Your question assumes a change in the custodial status, which I believe will not happen given the facts you state in a contested change of custody hearing. It is typical for adolescents (especially daughters) in joint custody arrangements to want to live with the more permissive parent, for a variety of reasons, and the courts are aware of that and are usually averse to going against the policies of NRS 125.460 and 125.490 when a joint custodial status already exists. Since child support flows from the custody status, your best strategy is to vigorously oppose the custody change.
Roger R. Harada, Esq.
475 S. Arlington Ave., Ste. 1A
Reno, Nevada 89501