Nevada Laws That Determine Custody and Visitation Rights for Fathers
In Nevada, fathers and mothers have the same rights in regard to the children born out of their association. This includes rights of custody and visitation when a domestic partnership or marriage has broken up.
For these rights, it is not necessary for the father to be the biological father, nor is it necessary for the father and mother to have to be married to each other.
Custody and visitation rights are available to every man who is legally a father. Men become fathers if:
When they have a child during:
- After marriage in Nevada,
- When the couple lives together, or
- Has a domestic partnership.
- Legal adoption of a child, or
- After an agreement with another parent.
Las Vegas family law attorneys discuss the visitation and custody rights of a father so that you can have a better understanding of them.
1. Under Nevada law, who can become a father?
Laws for determining a child’s father in Nevada are quite complex. Biology does not determine legal paternity. Laws in Nevada consider a man the father of a child when:
- Children born while he remains married to the mother or within 285 days of the ending of the marriage;
- If the child has been conceived after the person has lived with the mother for at least six months previous to its being born;
- If they thought they were married, even if though the marriage was not valid;
- His paternity is established by a blood test;
- Legal adoption of the child; or
- Parents signing a paternity declaration voluntarily to the paternity, in any contract or cohabitation agreement;
- There may be times when one or more men compete for paternity rights.
2. When does a father get custody rights in Nevada?
Nevada law NRS 125C gives the custody rights to a father in two situations:
- When both parents are in agreement to it, or
- When courts determine, under Nevada (NRS 125C.0035) that it is in the best interest of the child. Courts can award both parents shared and sole custody, physical or/and legal custody to either of the parents.
Physical custody requires living and caring for the child.
Legal custody requires the parent to make all important decisions.
Physical custody is not a must for legal custody.
Qualification and interest shown by both parents can result in courts granting joint legal custody to both the parents.
If it is in the best interests of the child, courts can also grant shared physical custody. The child needs to spend at least 40 percent of the time with each parent for the sharing of physical custody.
3. Can fathers get primary or sole custody of a child?
Judges do not look to favor mothers over fathers for granting physical custody but will consider the best interests of the child.
For all practical purposes, children’s interests are best served when their primary residence is with the mother. This is more true when the child is very young or has younger siblings.
Primary physical custody is with a parent with whom the child lives for more than 60 percent of the time.
Sole custody of a child is granted by courts if it is in the best interests of the child.
“Nevada Child Custody Laws” is an article that will give you additional information on how courts determine custody matters.
4. Nevada father’s visitation rights
Visitation rights can be granted to a parent that does has not been granted custody. Most courts allow visitation rights unless this is not in the best interests of the child.
Visitation rights are denied by courts when:
- Father has a domestic violence history;
- Neglect or abuse of a child by the father,
- Trying to abduct the child, or;
- The child conceived due to the father raping the mother; (discussed further)
- Courts can alternatively also allow visitation that needs to be supervised.
The grant of visitation rights by a court is detailed further in our article “Visitation Rights in Nevada.”
5. Temporary visitation and custody rights during divorce
Until custody rights are determined by a court, both parents can have joint physical and legal custody. When a divorce case begins, lawyers can ask the court for temporary custody orders.
This order may not have an effect on the final outcome but can help a father to gain rights for Child custody and visitation.
Fathers often give the mother and child space so that they are seen as more understanding. But this can make judges feel that the father is not so involved with the life of the child.
Adherence to any temporary schedule allows a father to demonstrate to the judge, his reliability and interest in the child. This increases his chances when the final custody rights are determined.
It is, therefore, important that a formal order for custody is made at the beginning of any separation.
This ensures that the father has the right to maintain his relationship with the child, irrespective of how the case goes.
6. If you are not the legal father, can you still get rights to custody and visitation?
If you have lived with the child, and are not the father, you can still get visitation rights, and even custody of the mother is deemed to be incapable.
There are many factors that determine this outcome that include the situation the mother is in.
Get yourself an experienced family law attorney in Las Vegas to help you to make out a case.
7. Does a father have rights if the child is born as a result of sexual assault?
If rape has been the reason why a child has been conceived, fathers have no rights to custody or visitation unless:
- Consent is given by the mother, and
- The courts agree that it serves the best interests of the child.
- The parental rights of the natural parent are terminated if the parent has been
- convicted for a sexual assault that resulted in the conceiving of the child.
Huggins Law Office
8683 West Sahara Avenue #180 Las Vegas, NV 89117