This is the next post in my series on the topic of “grandparent rights” in the state of Nevada. My last article provided an overview of topics which this series will be addressing. It also stressed the need to speak with an attorney if you believe that the child’s parent is being unreasonable in denying visitation. It is important to contact counsel, rather than engaging in argument, as going through the process can help to ensure that you do not hurt your standing in the legal system. In this article I will be providing a general discussion as to how our state views the rights of grandparents. If you or a family member are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a grandparent rights lawyer.
Nevada may grant child visitation to grandparents if they meet the requirements of NRS 125C.050
Nevada is different from some other states in that it does not explicitly recognize the concept of “grandparent rights.” Our state does, however, grant certain parties the ability to seek visitation if certain conditions are met. Pursuant to NRS 125C.050, grandparents (along with great grandparents, siblings, and others) may request visitation rights if they satisfy two requirements. First, the parent of the child must be deceased, divorced from the parent who has custody of the child, or they must have lost their parental rights. Second, the grandparents must show that a) they have had a meaningful relationship with the child and b) that the remaining parent is unreasonably denying visitation. If the grandparents meet both of these tests then they may request visitation from the Court. The Judge will grant such visitation if it would be in the child’s best interests.
The foregoing requirements are best explained by way of example. Suppose the fraternal grandparents of a five-year-old girl have regularly spent time with their granddaughter. Now suppose their son (the father of the girl) is, sadly, killed in an auto accident. The mother now has sole custody of the child and refuses the grandparents any visitation with the youth. The grandparents may petition the Court for visitation on the grounds that the father is deceased, and they believe they are being unreasonably denied contact with the youth. The Court will find such contact in the child’s best interests if the grandparents can show that they have strong ties with the child, that they have capacity to serve as a role model for the youth, that there has been a strong prior relationship, that they are morally and physically fit, as well as other factors. If the grandparents were to win their case, they would have a right to visitation with the youth. They would not, however, have custodial rights. It is important to remember that how the Court will rule in any given situation will always depend on the specific facts of the case. It is strongly suggested, therefore, that you discuss your matter with a lawyer.
Las Vegas Family Court judges must begin with the presumption that grandparent visitation is not in the child’s best interests
Grandparents must understand NRS 125C.050 requires the Court to begin each case with the presumption that visitation would not be in the best interest of the child. The burden is on the grandparents to show evidence which will overcome this presumption. This is due to the fact that our state believes strongly in the idea of “parental preference” and the Court must presume that if a parent is denying visitation then they have good reason for doing so. This presumption serves to protect the child against potential bad influences (such as a grandparent with substance abuse problems, for example). Again, the grandparents may overcome this presumption through a proper showing of evidence.
If you are being denied visitation with your granddaughter or grandson then contact my office today to speak with a Las Vegas grandparent rights lawyer. My practice is devoted to the handling of domestic relations law and I understand that this is a serious time in your life. My office will give your case the attention it deserves. I look forward to speaking with you.