Father holding his sonThis is the next post in my series discussing the rights of Las Vegas, Nevada fathers. My last post discussed the rights married dads have during divorce proceedings and how they can establish a temporary custody arrangement. In this post I will be discussing how unmarried fathers can protect themselves if the relationship with their child’s mother falls apart.

Unmarried fathers should file for a child custody and visitation order with the Las Vegas Family Court

An increasing number of couples are choosing to begin families without getting married. Many of these couples live together, share their lives, and raise children in the same manner any other married couple would. If such a relationship falls apart, however, then there is not a legal divorce process to file for. Such couples often attempt to work out a child care solution without the intervention of Courts. For many single fathers, however, not immediately filling for a formal child custody order is a mistake. This mistake may hurt both your current relationship with the child as well as the relationship you wish to have in the future.

Attempting to raise children with your ex, without a formal custody order, is often a recipe for disaster. Nevada presumes that parents have equal rights to their children and, without a court order, the mother has no obligation to allow the father visitation. Say, for example, you normally have your children every other week but the mother decides to stop granting you this time. Las Vegas law enforcement will not assist you in retrieving your children without an order of the Court. Having established custody ensures a structure that everyone must follow and protects the rights of a father. The first step in obtaining a custody order is to file a Complaint for Custody with the Las Vegas Family Court. A temporary custody arrangement will often be entered early in the case and, if the parties cannot agree on a permanent solution, then a trial will be held. Hiring a lawyer to assist with this process can provide a great benefit to a dad.

Custody and visitation orders provide structure to children’s lives

Many unmarried couples who break up may attempt to share custody or work out a visitation schedule amongst themselves. Often this schedule is subject to change according to one person’s whims. When a couple has a specific custody or visitation schedule it provides a sense of order for both the parents and the children. A visitation schedule ordered by the Court must be followed, and does not allow for one parent to act “flaky” or attempt to irritate the other parent by changing the visitation days. This structure often leads to a more calm existence for everyone, and provides a way to avoid arguments.

If you are a single father and have recently broken up with your partner, it is important to protect your parental rights and the relationship with your children. Contact our Las Vegas family law attorney today and set up an initial consultation.