Father and son in gardenThis is the first post in a series of articles discussing the importance of establishing paternity for Las Vegas, Nevada fathers. Legally establishing paternity is the first step in protecting a father’s parental rights to his child. This includes the ability to take legal action related to visitation and custody. Even when unmarried parents are on good terms, a father should take the necessary steps to legally establish paternity. The goal of this series is to provide information about how establishing paternity will protect a father’s parental rights. Another goal is to explain the legal process of establishing paternity and ongoing custody arrangements after paternity has been established. If you are a Las Vegas dad who needs assistance with a paternity issues, contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.

This series will address the following key subjects:

  • Why fathers should establish paternity as soon as possible
  • The initial steps to establish paternity and custody
  • Attending the court’s mandatory mediation
  • Dealing with back child support and compensatory visitation
  • The importance of discovery in the paternity process
  • What to expect at trial
  • Dealing with the child’s mother after the case has concluded

A father seeking to establish paternity should understand these points for a variety of reasons. First, before a father legally establishes his paternity, he is not considered the child’s parent in the eyes of the law and therefore has no parental rights. Quickly establishing one’s legal role as the child’s father will allow him to seek and enforce visitation and custody rights. Second, if both parents do not voluntarily acknowledge paternity, it is important to know how to otherwise establish your status as the legally recognized father. Third, if the court becomes involved in a paternity matter or the parties are unable to agree on custody issues, the court may refer their case to mediation. Fourth, parental rights and responsibilities include visitation and access to the child and an obligation to support a child financially. Once paternity has been established, a court may order back child support or compensatory visitation. Fifth, after establishing parentage, it may be necessary to engage in discovery to gather information about the mother’s finances, living arrangements, etc. to establish more permanent support and custody orders. Sixth, if a custody matter proceeds to trial, it is important to have a basic understanding of the process. Finally, sharing custody of a child means that parents will be working together to raise a child for a number of years. It is important to work effectively with the child’s mother and comply with all applicable court orders following the conclusion of the case.

It is essential for fathers to protect their parental rights. My office represents Las Vegas fathers in paternity and custody matters. If you are an unmarried father and wish to establish paternity for your child, contact my office today to speak to a lawyer.