Child custody cases sometimes overlook or cause difficulty with visitation with grandparents and great-grandparents. A child’s bond with a grandparent can be important and is one that the State of Nevada recognizes as worth preserving. The legislature has set out in NRS 125C.050 the rights to visitation for grandparents and other third parties.
A great grandparent or grandparent has standing to petition for visitation rights with a minor child where visitation has been denied or unreasonably restricted by the parent:
(a) Is deceased;
(b) Is divorced or separated from the parent who has custody of the child;
(c) Has never been legally married to the other parent of the child, but cohabitated with the other parent and is deceased or is separated from the other parent; or
(d) Has relinquished his or her parental rights or his or her parental rights have been terminated.”
Meeting the above allows for the filing of a petition in the district court where the child resides but does not guarantee visitation. The denial by a parent of visitation with a grandparent or great-grandparent creates a rebuttable presumption that the visitation is not in the best interest of the child. This can be overturned, however, by clear and convincing evidence to the contrary. NRS 125C.050(4). This standard will apply except for in cases where a parent’s rights have been terminated. In the case of termination, a grandparent must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that it is in the best interest of the minor child. A grandparent must file the petition for visitation before the rights are terminated or relinquished.
The Court will consider the following factors when determining if the best interest of the child warrants visitation and the rebuttable presumption should be overturned:
(a) The love, affection and other emotional ties existing between the party seeking visitation and the child.
(b) The capacity and disposition of the party seeking visitation to:
(1) Give the child love, affection and guidance and serve as a role model to the child;
(2) Cooperate in providing the child with food, clothing and other material needs during visitation; and
(3) Cooperate in providing the child with health care or alternative care recognized and permitted under the laws of this state in lieu of health care.
(c) The prior relationship between the child and the party seeking visitation, including, without limitation, whether the child resided with the party seeking visitation and whether the child was included in holidays and family gatherings with the party seeking visitation.
(d) The moral fitness of the party seeking visitation.
(e) The mental and physical health of the party seeking visitation.
(f) The reasonable preference of the child, if the child has a preference, and if the child is determined to be of sufficient maturity to express a preference.
(g) The willingness and ability of the party seeking visitation to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the child and the parent or parents of the child as well as with other relatives of the child.
(h) The medical and other needs of the child related to health as affected by the visitation.
(i) The support provided by the party seeking visitation, including, without limitation, whether the party has contributed to the financial support of the child.
(j) Any other factor arising solely from the facts and circumstances of the particular dispute that specifically pertains to the need for granting a right to visitation pursuant to subsection 1 or 2 against the wishes of a parent of the child.
If you are a grandparent or great-grandparent and desire to have Court ordered visitation rights with grandchildren, you should contact an attorney to discuss your rights. This article is not meant to be all-inclusive or a substitute for legal advice from a licensed attorney in your own jurisdiction. If you are involved in a legal matter and have questions, you should contact a competent attorney in your own jurisdiction.
K. Beth Luna, Esq. is licensed in Tennessee, Florida, and Nevada. The information provided is based upon Nevada law only. If you are looking for information for another jurisdiction, please contact an attorney in that area. The Luna Law Firm handles annulment matters on a regular basis in the Reno, Carson, Nevada area. We also represent individuals in Yerington, Minden, Fernley and Fallon, Nevada.
Please be advised that the above post or any other post on this website is not meant to be legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship with Luna Law Firm, PC. If you are interested in retaining counsel, we are happy to set a consultation. Consultations may be set by calling 775-686-2490.
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