In order to obtain a custody order in Nevada, the child(ren) must have resided in the State of Nevada for a period of at least six (6) months prior to filing a contested petition to establish custody.
If the father is not on the birth certificate, the father’s paternity must first be established. If paternity is agreed to, the father can simply acknowledge paternity. If paternity is in dispute, a DNA test will be required to confirm paternity.

After paternity is established, the issue is then custody of the children. When two parents are not married and are seeking a custody order, Nevada law says the parties share joint legal and joint physical custody until the Court orders otherwise. This means both parents have rights to not only physical custody of their children, but decision making power on behalf of their children, also known as legal custody.

Neither parent has the right to dictate the custodial schedule nor does either parent get to withhold custody of the children.

The legal standard in making a custody determination in contested custody matter is what is in the child(ren)’s best interest. NRS 125C.0035 list the factors the courts consider in making a custody determination based upon the child(ren)’s best interest.

Note NRS 125C.0035 also states that there is a preference for joint custody in Nevada. Joint physical custody is defined as at least 40% of the time, or 146 nights a year. If a parent has more than 60% of the custodial days, they have primary physical custody.

If you have questions on custody, please call 775-622-9245 today to schedule your consultation.