In Nevada, grandparents do not have automatic legal rights to see their grandchildren.
Sometimes, a grandparent may want to visit their grandchildren, while others are looking for custody. In Nevada, grandparent visitation, guardianship, and custody are three separate legal arrangements with distinct meanings and implications.
This article will explore how a grandparent may have rights to custody or visitation of their grandchild.
Note: Check out our other resource on grandparents rights while you’re here.
Guardianship of a Child
Guardianship is a legal arrangement in which a person (the guardian) is appointed by a court to care for a child whose parents are unable or unwilling to do so. The court can establish guardianship if the child’s parents are deceased, missing, incarcerated, or incapacitated or if the child is in danger due to abuse or neglect.
Guardianship can also be established by a parent voluntarily giving their legal custody of a grandchild.
How To Establish Guardianship
In Nevada, there are two ways to establish guardianship.
The first is to have a parent sign a temporary guardianship of the child to the grandparents. This arrangement is only temporary, and the grandparents and the parents must sign paperwork every six months to renew the guardianship.
In addition, there is no court involvement with this type of guardianship. This means the parent can end the temporary guardianship whenever they want.
The other way to establish guardianship in Nevada is for the prospective guardian to file a petition with the court and attend a hearing. The petition and hearing notice must be mailed to relatives, including the parents. The court will consider the child’s best interests when deciding on guardianship.
The Court will also consider if a parent is unavailable or unfit to care for the child.
If a parent disagrees with the guardianship, the parent can attend the hearing and object.
The Court will likely schedule a trial to decide if guardianship should be granted over the parent’s objection.
What Rights Does Guardianship Give A Grandparent
A grandparent who successfully establishes guardianship over their grandchild has the legal authority to make decisions about the child’s education, medical care, and other essential matters.
The guardian is also responsible for providing for the child’s basic needs, such as food, shelter, and clothing. The guardian can also decide whether or not the parents can have visitation with the child.
Is the Guardianship Permanent?
The short answer is no. Even Court-ordered guardianships are intended to be temporary. A court-ordered guardianship can be terminated if the child’s parents can care for the child again. The parents would need to petition the court to terminate the guardianship, or the parents and grandparents can agree to end the guardianship. Guardianship will also end if the child emancipates or passes away.
In Nevada, a grandparent may establish Court ordered visitation rights.
However, the ability to obtain court-ordered visitation with a grandchild is minimal. In Nevada, grandparents may be granted visitation rights if it is in the best interests of the child and if one of the following circumstances applies:
- The parents of the child are divorced, separated, or were never married, and a parent has denied the grandparent visitation for at least six months;
- One or both parents of the child are deceased, and the grandparent is the parent of the deceased parent;
- The child has been placed in the custody of someone other than the parents, and the grandparent has had a significant relationship with the child for at least six months before the placement.
To obtain visitation rights, the grandparent must file a petition with the court and attend a hearing. The court will consider the child’s best interests when deciding on visitation. Factors such as the relationship between the grandparent and the child, the reasons for the denial of visitation by the parent, and the effect of the visitation on the child’s relationship with the parent will get taken into account.
Custody of a Grandchild
Custody is a more permanent solution than visitation or guardianship.
Custody refers to the legal right to decide about a child’s upbringing, such as education, medical care, and religious upbringing. Custody can be established by a court order or by agreement between the parents and grandparents. In Nevada, there are two types of custody: legal custody and physical custody.
Legal custody refers to the right to make important decisions about the child’s upbringing, while physical custody refers to where the child will live. Grandparents can arrange to share legal and physical custody with the child’s parents. They can also agree to a visitation schedule for parents, and the parents can agree to give a grandparent sole legal custody of the child.
To establish custody in Nevada, a parent must file a petition with the court and attend a hearing. The court will consider the child’s best interests when deciding on custody. Factors such as the child’s relationship with each parent, the child’s wishes (if the child is old enough to express them), and the ability of each parent to provide for the child’s needs will be considered.
Unlike guardianship, custody is not a temporary arrangement and can be modified by the court if circumstances change.
Terminating Parental Rights and Adoption
The most permanent option for establishing grandparent rights is to terminate the parents’ rights and adoption their grandchildren. This two-step process requires the parent’s rights to end through a termination process. Next, the grandparents will adopt their grandchildren.
Termination of Parental Rights
Terminating parental rights is a legal process in which a parent’s rights to their child are legally ended. This can be done voluntarily or involuntarily. In Nevada, a court can terminate a parent’s rights if they are deemed unfit or have abandoned their child. Unfit can mean several things, such as abuse, neglect, or drug addiction.
If a parent is willing to terminate their parental rights voluntarily, they must sign a written document known as a relinquishment or consent to termination of parental rights. The document must be signed in front of a notary public or witnessed by two people and filed with the court. If the other parent is still living and has not terminated their parental rights, they must also sign a document stating they consent to the termination.
If a parent’s rights are being terminated involuntarily, the court will hold a hearing to determine whether the parent is unfit or has abandoned their child. The parent must be given notice of the hearing and the opportunity to attend and present evidence in their defense.
Adopting A Grandchild
Once parental rights have been terminated, the child is legally free to be adopted. The legal process of adopting a child involves filing a petition with the court, attending a hearing, and obtaining an adoption decree. If grandparents adopt a child, a home study is unnecessary and will be waived by the Court.
Terminating parental rights and adopting a grandchild in Nevada can be a complex legal process. Working with an experienced Las Vegas grandparent’s rights attorney who can guide you through the process and ensure your rights are protected is essential.
In Nevada, grandparents may obtain visitation or custody rights of their grandchildren under certain circumstances. It is essential to consult with an experienced family law attorney to determine the best course of action for your situation. The child’s best interests will always be the primary consideration in any decision regarding grandparent rights.
Grandparents have a special bond with their grandchildren that’s like no other. But sadly, sometimes circumstances can get in the way of that relationship.
why you need expert guidance from a Las Vegas attorney who understands your unique situation and will fight for your rights as a grandparent to get back in touch with your grandkids.
With years and years of experience specializing in family law and custody matters, we here at The Rosenblum Allen Law Firm are ready to help. We’ll put our extensive knowledge and experience to work for you so that you can have the legal protection you need to see your beloved grandchildren again.
Call us now at (702) 433-2889, and let us help restore your special bond today.