The Custody Trial

If you and the other parent are not able to settle your case and reach a full agreement, the judge will have to set an “Evidentiary Hearing” or a “Trial.” If the judge sets an evidentiary hearing or a trial in your case, you can find information on this page about how to prepare, documents to file, and what to expect.


There is a FREE CLASS where you can learn the basics of litigation and how to get ready for your trial.  The class is offered once a month by the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, and is taught by former family court judge Gayle Nathan.  It is available online.  You can find more information and class dates on the Litigation and Trial Preparation Class page.

What is the Difference Between an Evidentiary Hearing and a Trial?

An “evidentiary hearing” is a hearing where the judge makes a final decision about one part of the case. A “trial,” on the other hand, is a final hearing where the judge will decide all remaining issues and grant a final order.  In custody cases, usually the terms "trial" and "evidentiary hearing" mean the same thing since they both typically revolve around deciding custody matters. 

At both a trial and an evidentiary hearing, both sides are expected to present witnesses and evidence to support each person’s view of the case.

If your case is set for trial, you can learn about the procedures you will need to know by visiting the Trial page (the page is designed to give information about divorce trials, but the procedures and things you need to know are the same). 


 After the Trial

After the judge issues his or her decision, the decision is not enforceable until is it written and signed into an official order. The judge may pick one party to “prepare the order” from the hearing. It is that person’s responsibility to prepare the written order from the hearing, submit it to the judge for review, and send a copy of the signed, filed order to the other party.

If the judge granted a final custody order at the trial, see Getting the Custody Final Decree for information on how to prepare a Custody Decree. Otherwise, you can use the following form to get the judge’s order entered in writing.

Order from Hearing - With Children - 1 party signs (pdf)

Order from Hearing - With Children - 2 parties sign (pdf)