This is the next post in my series on the rights of unmarried Nevada fathers. My last article discussed the rights of unwed fathers in Las Vegas and the process of establishing paternity. In this article I will discuss how unmarried dads can obtain a custody order. It is important to know that unless paternity has been established, the unmarried father will not have any rights to custody or visitation. I cannot stress enough how important it is to retain an experienced attorney to assist you through the process of obtaining a custody order. I am an experienced Las Vegas fathers’ rights lawyer and I practice exclusively in the area of domestic relations law. If you need assistance, contact my office today.
The first step in obtaining a custody order is to fill out, complete, and file all necessary paperwork with the Court. This will include a cover sheet, summons, complaint, and motion. The cover sheet asks basic information about you, the other parent, and the child(ren). The summons is required and tells the defendant what you have filed for. The complaint tells the Judge and the opposing party what it is you are requesting in a final custody order. This is where you will articulate your best possible outcome for the case. You may also file a motion requesting temporary custody. This is where you describe the reasons you are requesting custody.
After completion of the paperwork, you will need to file the documents with the Clark County Family Court and serve them upon the opposing party. You must serve the other parent within 120 days of filing. The service must be done by a disinterested party, which means they have no connection to the case. The disinterested party must also complete an Affidavit of Service which you will also submit to the court so they know the defendant was properly served.
It is important to know that the initial hearing on your motion will not be a trial, and it is unlikely the court will allow witnesses. Instead, each side will present their case and at the end of the hearing the Judge will issue a decision, or Order. This Order will depend on the facts specific to your case and will include a temporary arrangement for custody, visitation, support, etc. The Court will also set the date for a trial, at which a more permanent decision will be reached.
At the hearing, the Judge will decide on the issues you and the opposing party have presented. These decisions will not be enforceable until they are written into an official Court Order and signed by the Judge. Once the Order is signed by the Judge, it is legally enforceable, however it is up to the parties to follow the Order. If there is any issue with either party not following the order, the other side may bring the case back to court for a Judge to determine the consequences. While trial is pending, each side may engage in discovery (the process by which information is obtained from the other side) to prepare their case. The trial will mark the conclusion of the matter with the Judge issuing a final order.
The handling of such matters can be complicated and involve numerous issues. It is strongly suggested that you retain counsel to assist you. I am a Las Vegas fathers’ rights lawyer who prides herself on providing quality service. If you have any questions or require assistance, call my office today to speak with an attorney.