grandparent with grandchildThis is the next post in my series on the various rights belonging to grandparents in Las Vegas, Nevada. My last article discussed whether a grandparent can gain custody of their grandchild. Nevada differs from some other states in that it allows grandparents to Petition for custody when it is not in the child’s best interests to be cared for by their parents. It must be remembered, however, that the Court’s first preference will always be to have the child in the custody of his or her parents. Retaining an attorney can be crucial to any request for custody. In this article I will discuss filing for guardianship of a grandchild. If you are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.

Grandparents may Petition the Court for a guardianship when the parents are failing to take adequate care of the child. In order to be granted guardianship, the grandparents must show that such an arrangement would be in the best interests of the child. When considering what is in a child’s best interests, the Court will consider factors such as the child’s wishes (depending on their age), the needs of the youth, the inability of the parents to meet those needs, the suitability of the proposed guardian, etc. It must be understood that Courts do not take such requests lightly. The parents of the youth must genuinely be unable to meet the child’s basic needs (such as the needs for food and shelter); simply disapproving of parenting choices will not be valid grounds for a guardianship.

When considering whether a grandparent should be appointed as guardian, the Court will generally disapprove of individuals who[1]:

  • Have been convicted of a felony
  • Have committed acts of violence against the child or anyone residing with the child
  • Have been convicted of a felony or a crime of moral turpitude
  • Have habitually used alcohol or any other controlled substance in the last six months

While these factors will not automatically disqualify the grandparent, the presence of any of them makes the appointment of a guardianship highly difficult to obtain.

A Petition for Guardianship must be filed in the county where the child resides. NRS 159A.037(1).  The Court will hold an initial hearing to determine if a guardianship should be granted. The granting of a guardianship may take several months and the Court may make temporary rulings in the meantime. After a guardianship is granted the Court will hold further hearings to determine if it should be extended. The breadth of the guardianship, and its duration, will always depend on the specific facts of the case.

If you are a grandparent and you believe that a guardianship is in the best interests of your grandchild then it is important that you retain an experienced attorney to assist you. Such cases are highly fact specific and a compelling case must be made in order for the Court to grant the request. I am a Las Vegas grandparent rights lawyer who practices solely in the area of family law. I understand that this is an important time in your life and my office will give your case the attention it deserves. Contact us online or by telephone today for an initial consultation.

[1] NRS 159A.061