father talking to sonThis is the next article in my series on how Nevada child custody law applies to matters where the parties do not have an existing Court Order. My last article discussed why Las Vegas fathers should establish paternity as soon as possible. In this article I will be discussing how our state views such matters in regard to visitation or custody of your child as a father. It is important to understand what is required to have legal rights to your child in Nevada. Establishing a court order will ensure you are not prevented from time with your child and can enforce the order if it is violated. Retaining a lawyer will help you to act promptly to be sure you maintain time with your child while the family law process is pending to obtain a court order. If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, then contact my office today to speak with a fathers’ rights attorney.

Nevada law presumes joint custody as long as paternity has been established

A father in Nevada does not have any rights to their child without a ruling of paternity if he is not on the child’s birth certificate. The first step in obtaining court-ordered custody is to have paternity established. Once paternity is established, Nevada presumes joint legal custody is in the best interest of the minor child. The presumption affords both parents equal standing as to the child. Joint legal custody is the right for both parents to contribute to the major decisions regarding their children. Joint physical custody is the amount of time both parents have with the minor child. Sometimes, joint physical custody is not exactly equal time, and could be that one parent has the child 40-60% of the time. Without a court order, the parents have equal, but unstructured rights to the child. If a mother is refusing to allow the child to see the father, the father has no recourse and must petition the Court for a court order to enforce his rights.

For example, if the father is not included on the birth certificate and asks to see his child, the mother has no legal requirement to allow visitation with the father. Once a Court has issued an order of paternity proving the father is the biological parent, the father technically has equal rights to the child. However, if the father has continued to ask to see the child and calls law enforcement, there is nothing law enforcement can do without a court order regarding custody. It is important to speak with an attorney to understand the legal process of establishing paternity or obtaining a custody order. This process is complex and has significant consequences on the relationship a father has with his child.

The chance of conflict is increased without a Court custody order

Without a custody order, the parents are required to reach an agreement on the structure of visitation and custody with the child. This type of arrangement requires constant communication and agreeable parties. However, that is not often the case. Most parents find it difficult to agree on what is best for the child and often look out for their own interests over that of the other parent. Not having a custody order significantly increases the likelihood of conflict between the parents. The order serves as the baseline requirement for how often each parent can see the children. Both parents know that if they violate the order, they can be held in contempt of court. Having the ability to enforce the document and have a framework to structure the child’s schedule greatly reduces the risk of conflict. Even if you have proceeded under no custody order for years, conflict is always a possibility. If something were to arise, there is nothing to prevent your rights to your child from being restricted.

Working with an attorney is crucial to ensure you understand your rights as a father and the steps to take to protect the relationship you have with your child. Delay in obtaining a court order could result in conflict or damage to your relationship. I am a Las Vegas father’s rights lawyer and I practice solely in the area of family law. I am ready to assist you if you have a custody dispute. Contact us online today or by phone to schedule an initial consultation.