EXPERIENCED AND KNOWLEDGEABLE PATERNITY ACTION ATTORNEYS
Working with Families in Clark County, Nevada Including Overton, Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson, Moapa Valley, Laughlin, and Mesquite
Paternity means fatherhood. Establishing paternity means making the biological father the legal father of the child. If the parents are married, paternity is established automatically. But if the parents are not married when the child is born, then a paternity action may be necessary to determine the rights and obligations of the parents. Nevada law recognizes that the relationship between the parent and the child is not dependent on marriage.
The legal issues surrounding paternity genetic testing, child support, custody and visitation can be contentious and emotional. Seek out the services of our experienced Las Vegas paternity lawyers to help you through this process.
Call today to schedule an appointment with the attorneys at Mills & Anderson. We represent both men and women in paternity actions. We focus on family law cases and paternity actions throughout Las Vegas and the surrounding areas of Clark County including Henderson and North Las Vegas. During the initial consultation, we can help you determine what steps need to be taken immediately to protect your rights.
Let us put our experience to work for you to protect you, your child, and your finances. Call (702) 386-0030 today.
The Nevada Parentage Act
To determine parentage in Nevada, courts must look to the Nevada Parentage Act, which is modeled after the Uniform Parentage Act (UPA). The Nevada Parentage Act is applied to determine legal parentage. Under NRS 126.031(2)(a), an unmarried mother has primary physical custody unless an order determining paternity has been entered.
“The parent and child relationship extends equally to every child and to every parent, regardless of the marital status of the parents.” NRS 126.031(1). Thus, married and single parents are afforded the same rights and protections regarding their respective children.
When the parties sign a voluntary acknowledgment of the father’s paternity shortly after the child’s birth, the voluntary acknowledgment of paternity is deemed to have the same effect as a judgment or order of a court determining that a parent-child relationship exists. See NRS 126.053(1). Custody rights exist when parentage has been established by statute between unmarried parents because of the voluntary acknowledgment, such that the parent-child relationship exists, even though no court has issued a child custody order.
“If parents begin an initial custody action as equals, then—prior to a judicial order establishing otherwise—the parents are entitled to equal rights to their children. This conclusion derives further support from the constitutional protections parents enjoy regarding the care, custody, and control of their children…as well as a parent’s legal rights in making major decisions regarding his or her child’s upbringing, including where the child will live. Druckman v. Ruscitti, 130 Nev. Adv. Op. 50, 327 P.3d 511, 514 (2014), reh’g denied (Sept. 24, 2014) (citing Rivero v. Rivero, 125 Nev. 410, 421, 216 P.3d 213, 221 (2009) and NRS 126.036(1)).
The Hybrid Approach in Paternity Actions in Clark County, NV
For cases heard in Clark County and Las Vegas, Nevada, a hybrid paternity custody case occurs. The Complaint for Custody are filed without any reference to formalizing paternity under NRS 126. Instead, the case initially receives a standard “D” case number and does not fall under the other requirements in NRS 126.
Unlike most custody cases, a paternity case is not shielded from the public online viewing of the record the way the “P” cases are shielded. Under NRS 126.053, the establishment of paternity is expected within 60 days after the filing of an Affidavit of Paternity.
NRS 126.191 sets out the requirements for the modification of a judgment or order in a paternity case. It provides that the court continuing jurisdiction to modify the judgment or order as to custody, visitation or support in a paternity case. In fact, under NRS 126.193, if, after a court issues an order establishing the paternity of a child, a subsequent cause of action between the parties concerning the support of the child is initiated, the requirements for notice and service of process shall be deemed to have been under certain conditions set out in the statute.
Paternity Cases in Clark County, NV – Visit the website for the Family Support Division of the Clark County District Attorney’s Office. Find frequently asked questions about paternity cases, the voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, genetic testing, putting the father on the child’s birth certificate, determining child support, and the father’s rights to visit the child or seek custody in a paternity action in Las Vegas, Clark County, NV.
Parentage in Nevada under Chapter 126 of the Nevada Statutes – Visit the website of the Nevada State Legislature to find the complete statutory language contained in Chapter 126 for Parentage. Find information on the definition of custodial parent and nonsupporting parent. The statutory scheme sets out certain presumptions of paternity and provisions for the voluntary acknowledgment of paternity. Find out more about blood or genetic testing, an order for temporary support of a child, and modification of judgments or orders in paternity cases.
Establishing Child Support in Paternity Cases in Nevada Visit the website of the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Welfare and Supportive Services to learn more about what every parent should know about establishing paternity, why establishing paternity is important, how legal paternity is established, the benefits of voluntarily acknowledging paternity, paternity genetic testing, establishing child support in a paternity case and putting the father on the child’s birth certificate.
Finding a Paternity Attorney in Las Vegas, Nevada
A paternity case can involve many complicated legal issues involving child custody, child support, and visitation. Paternity cases can be complex, especially when more than one jurisdiction or state is involved. In some of the most complex cases, international laws – including the Hague Convention – might apply.
Even in a typical case, the parties might not be able to come to an agreement. Emotions often run high in these cases. You need an experienced Las Vegas paternity attorney, to help you through each stage of the process.
Call the Las Vegas paternity attorneys at Mills & Anderson today to discuss your case in Las Vegas, Clark County, Nevada. Find out what you need to do today to protect your rights, the child, and your finances. Call (702) 386-0030 today.
Frequently Asked Questions
The information below should not be construed as legal advice and is for educational purposes only. Contact Mills & Anderson at (702) 386-0030 or submit an online form to schedule a confidential consultation.
- Can I collect past due child support even though my children are now adults?
- Is there any legal action I can take to get her to leave us alone?
- Husband wants to adopt my son
Q: I was a single father who raised two boys who are now adult. Mother never paid required child support. I didn’t “go after” her back then because it would have put boys in the middle of a war I didn’t want them to experience, and I was able to support them at the time without the meager $325/month she had to pay. Now I am semi-retired and could use the $41,000 she owes me. Can I collect at this date?
A: Assuming the child support order is valid, there is no statute of limitations on the collection of past due child support. She may have some equitable defenses to enforcement, but the presumption will be that she has to pay. I would recommend taking your order to the family support division of the DA’s office and seeing if they will assist in collection efforts. If not, you can retain private counsel to purse collection for you.
Q:I’m married with 2 children, my husband has a child from a previous relationship. The ex is being very invasive. She’s contacting our family and friends trying to find any dirt she can to cause problems. She’s getting into my marriage and questioning the child about everything that happens in my home. There is an existing custody agreement and behavior order stating she is not to contact friends and family and not to be questioning the child. She is also accusing us of child abuse.
A: Your husband can file a motion to have her held in contempt for violating the court order. You will need to provide some proof up front of the violations, such as statements from individuals that she is contacting in violation of the court’s behavioral order. If she is found to be in contempt of court, the court can penalize her with fines and/or jail time.
Q: I had a baby 7 years ago. Not sure on the dad – could be 3 different men. No dad listed on birth certificate and no dad was ever involved with raising my son. I’m now married and my husband wants to adopt.
I heard you need to send notice or get consent of the real dad. How would I do that when I don’t know who the dad is? Or do I even need to terminate any father’s parental rights first where no paternity was ever established? I just don’t know if I need to spend for an attorney to do both a termination of rights case and then an adoption or if we can just skip the termination part?
A: You will need to file a petition to terminate parental rights against “John Doe” on the grounds of abandonment and publish notice of the suit as required by statute. Once that is complete, the adoption will be relatively simple. The entire process usually takes between two and three months but is not complicated and can be handled by a competent family law firm.