parents talking in front of childThis is the next post in my series on Nevada child custody law in matters where no order is in place. My last article discussed the rights of Las Vegas dads who lack a custody order. In this post I will address why Las Vegas fathers should seek to establish a custody order even if they are on good terms with the mother of the child. It is important to understand the impact of not having a custody order and how it can jeopardize your relationship with your child. The legal rights of parents when there is no court order is often misunderstood. It is important to understand your rights and the obligations you have as a parent to protect your ability to see your child. If you are a father in need of assistance, please contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.

Nevada parents share joint legal and physical custody of the child when there is no court order

Nevada law provides that if there is no custody order between parents, both parents will share joint legal and physical custody of the child until otherwise modified by the Court. Joint legal custody means that both parents are responsible for the decisions regarding the child. Joint physical custody is shared time with the child. The structure of visitation, amount of time at each parent’s house, and amount of child support is completely left up to the parties’ mutual agreement. If one parent disagrees with the other parent, the Court will not step in and enforce the arrangement without an order.

As a father, the first step is to ensure you are on the birth certificate or have an order of paternity. Next, it is important to petition the Court for a custody order. If you have been regularly visiting with the child and maintaining a joint parental role for the child, it is likely that the Court will continue the “status quo.” However, if the mother has prevented you from having time with the child, and you have delayed petitioning the Court, this can be used against you. Joint physical custody does not necessarily mean that each parent has equal time. It is important that you continue a regular schedule of time with the child and petition the Court to incorporate the schedule into a court order.

Having a custody order reduces the risk of conflict and protects your rights to your child

Without an order of custody, all decisions are left up to the parents. These include who is able to spend holidays with the child each year and how often each week the child stays at each parent’s house. The order would also address health insurance, child support, if any, and how significant decisions are to be made. It is common that the parents are unable to agree on all of these matters. Often the child suffers due to the parent’s inability to communicate or get along. Additionally, if one parent retaliates and withholds time from the other parent, this can damage the relationship with the child.

Even if you are in an amicable relationship with the mother of your child, it is likely that there will be conflict in the future. As the child grows, life can change and decisions become more difficult. The court order protects a baseline requirement that both parents work together to ensure they each have a healthy relationship with their child. Having a court order will also prevent further court involvement, legal fees and give you a clear process to enforce the order. An experienced attorney will help you to ensure all pertinent decisions are included in the court order to prevent conflict in the future. This prevents the parties from having to agree all the time and places the decision-making in the Judge’s hands. Of course, if the parties continue to have an amicable relationship, they can adjust the arrangements for the child by mutual agreement.

Protecting your relationship with your child is important. A lawyer can ensure you act quickly to bring the matter before the Judge to issue a court order. This will help provide peace and transparency in the relationship and prevent future conflicts. I am a Las Vegas father’s rights attorney and I am ready to assist you. Contact my office online or by phone to schedule an initial consultation.