This is the next article in my series on the handling of Las Vegas, Nevada paternity cases. My last article discussed the process of establishing paternity in our state. It is important to understand that the Court will resolve the issues of parentage, child custody, and child support all in the same case. Retaining an attorney who is experienced in handling such matters is crucial as you will need to present a concise case to the Judge. This article will expand on my prior discussion by talking about the establishment of child custody after parentage is determined. If you or a family member are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.
As stated in my last article, the Court will set a temporary child custody order once parentage is determined. This order is meant to give the parties a structure to follow while the case proceeds. It will lay out the rights of each parent (typically the parents will share legal custody) and will also order the payment of child support. The Judge will order the parties to attend mediation and will set a trial date. If the case does not resolve at mediation then trial will be necessary. In determining custody, the Court’s sole concern will be for the best interest of the child. The Court is not concerned with the wishes of the parents.
The first step in building a case is to conduct discovery. As mentioned previously, this is the process through which information is gained from the other side. It can be used to establish whether a parent should receive time with the child. Suppose, for example, that a mother is concerned about the father receiving joint custody due to his excessive use of alcohol. She can use discovery to gain copies of his bank records and credit card statements. If these documents show excessive spending at bars and liquor stores then they will be presented at trial as evidence of the dad’s alcoholism. The nature of the discovery conducted in a case will always depend on the specifics of the situation and the claims which a party is trying to prove. An experienced attorney will assist you in identifying the important issues in a case and gathering the evidence which is necessary to your arguments.
Trial will be the final phase of the case. The case will be a bench trial, which means that there is no jury. The judge will be the decider of fact. The Plaintiff will present their evidence and witnesses. The defendant will then present their case. The Plaintiff will then have the opportunity to present “rebuttal” evidence. Rebuttal is not a time for new arguments. This portion of the case may only be used to directly address claims that were made during the defense presentation. Each side will then make a closing argument and the judge will issue their ruling. This will mark the end of the case and each side will be required to follow the judge’s orders.
The foregoing process is highly complicated. The rules of civil procedure, as well as our local court rules, must be followed. Failing to adhere to these requirements can result in evidence not being presented to the Court. This, in turn, can hurt one’s case. This is why it is important to retain an attorney who is experienced in handling such matters. I am a Las Vegas paternity lawyer who understands that this is an important time in your life. I devoted my practice to the handling of family law and I am proud of the service which we provide to our clients. If you are in need of assistance then contact us online or by telephone today.