This is the next post in my series on the rights of Nevada grandparents in regard to child visitation. My last article discussed the rights of a grandparent after the parent dies. It is important to understand that our state will grant visitation to a grandparent only if certain conditions are present and if such visitation would be in the best interest of the child. The Court will begin with a presumption that such visitation should not occur, but this presumption can be overcome. It is suggested that you discuss your situation with an attorney, as soon as possible, in order to fully understand your options. In this article I will discuss the process of asking a Las Vegas Court to grant visitation. If you or a family member are in need of assistance the contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.
Las Vegas grandparents can request visitation by filing a Petition with the Court
The first step in requesting visitation is to file a Petition with the Court. This is a formal document which initiates litigation. The Petition will briefly discuss the grounds for the request and it will be served on the parent who is denying the visitation. The parent will have twenty days to file a response. The grandparents may then file a Motion to establish visitation while the case proceeds. The hearing on the Motion will typically be held within four to six weeks after it is filed. This initial hearing is not a trial. The attorneys for each side will make brief arguments as to why visitation should, or should not, be granted. At the end of the hearing, the Judge will issue his or her ruling. The Court will also likely order that the parties attend mediation and will set a trial date.
Whether the Judge will order visitation at the initial hearing will be highly dependent on the facts presented in the Motion. Again, the Court must begin each case with the presumption that visitation should not occur. If the Motion does not present a compelling case for immediate visitation, then the grandparent may have to wait until trial.
Grandparents may use the discovery process to build a case to present at trial
After the initial hearing, and assuming that the case does not settle at mediation, each side will conduct discovery. This is the process by which information is gained from the other side in litigation. It allows for the taking of sworn testimony, for requiring the other side to provide written answers to written questions, and for the obtaining of records or tangible evidence. Such items may then be provided at trial. It is crucial to remember that, contrary to what is portrayed on television, trials are not won with evidence which is only uncovered at the last moment. Instead, cases are won by presenting evidence which is meticulously collected through discovery. It is, therefore, vital that you retain an attorney who is experienced in handling such matters.
If you or a family member are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a Las Vegas grandparent rights lawyer. I devote my practice to the handling of domestic relations law and I understand that this is an important time in your life. My office prides itself on providing the highest level of service and I look forward to being of assistance. Please contact me online or by telephone today.