Las Vegas Family Law Appeals Attorneys
702 766 6671
McFarling Law Group has represented clients in many of the most important family law appeal decisions in the State of Nevada.
Appeals can be raised under certain circumstances, and the time frame and procedural requirements are very strict. Most family law attorneys will not do appeals because of these strict requirements as well as the advanced understanding of legal nuances that they require.
McFarling Law Group has the expertise to make sure that all requirements are met and that arguments are raised on appeal to lead to the most favorable result. The assembled team has years of experience preparing compelling briefs and participating in oral arguments to receive the best possible outcome on appeal for either Appellants or Respondents.
Emily McFarling is licensed to appear in and has represented clients in appeals in front of the Nevada Supreme Court, Nevada Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and United States Supreme Court. Our team of appellate attorneys has years of experience drafting briefs in to the Nevada Supreme Court and Nevada Court of Appeals.
Davis v. Ewalefo, 352 P.3d 1139 (2015).
In this case, the trial judge denied the father, our client, the right to exercise his visitation in a foreign country where he was employed. We appealed to the Nevada Supreme Court. The appeal focused on a parent’s constitutional rights to parent and exercise his visitation where he sees fit so long as the child was not in danger. In an en banc published decision, the Nevada Supreme Court reversed the trial court’s decision and remanded the case back to the district court for our client to be allowed visitation in Africa where he lived.
Nance v. Ferraro, 134 Nev. Adv. Op. 21 (2018).
In this case, the trial judge in a custody modification trial had excluded all evidence of events that had occurred prior to the last custody order and awarded custody to the father. We appealed and the Nevada Court of Appeals in a published decision reversed the decision and evidence and remanded back to the district court. Our client’s custody was reinstated and it was clarified that she may present evidence of prior domestic violence at a new trial.
Druckman v. Ruscitti, 327 P.3d 511 (2014).
In this case, the trial judge granted our client permission to relocate to California with her child after she had left Nevada with the child without the father’s permission. The decision was affirmed and our client was able to retain custody in California based on the child’s best interests.
Bluestein v. Bluestein, 345 P.3d 1044 (2015).
In this case, the trial judge granted our client primary physical custody when the parties had a prior order that called custody joint, but a timeshare where the father had less than 40% of the time. The Nevada Supreme Court held in a published opinion that a court must consider the child’s best interest and not rely solely on de facto custody when modifying custody. The case was remanded and our client retained primary physical custody.
Ogawa v. Ogawa, 125 Nev. 660 (2009).
In this case our client relocated from Nevada to Japan with the minor children without the mother’s permission. The mother filed a divorce and custody action in Nevada after the children had been in Japan for eight months. The district court took jurisdiction and ordered the client to return with the children—citing the Hague Convention to which Japan was not a signatory. The client refused to return the children and did not appear for trial, although he was represented by counsel at the trial. The trial judge awarded custody and all the community property to the mother at trial as a sanction for the father not appearing.
I appealed to the Nevada Supreme Court. In a published opinion, the Nevada Supreme Court en banc held it was improper to default a litigant when he had an attorney appear on his behalf, and even in the event of a default, the Judge should have divided community property pursuant to the law, which would be equally. The Nevada Supreme Court also held in situations where a party may have misled the other party as to their intentions when leaving a State, the time period for jurisdiction begins when the party becomes aware the other party has actually relocated and does not intend to return.
We represented the client also on remand where the court relinquished child custody jurisdiction and made orders based upon all of the evidence and re-divided the community property equally. My client is still in Japan with his children.
Nguyen v. Boynes, 133 Nev.Adv.Op. 32 (2017)
In this case, two gay men who were previously in a relationship were engaged in a paternity and child custody case in district court. One of the men adopted a child on his own but the other party was involved in the adoption process and cared for the child in his home half the week. The District Court established rights for the second father through paternity statues. On appeal the Nevada Supreme Court awarded rights to the second father under the limited theory of equitable adoption.
Eggleston v. Stuart, 495 P.3d 482 (2021)
Our client appealed a variety of different claims resulting from the dismissal of his 42 USC § 1983 civil rights violation claim and other tort claims. The parties have two children and in 2013 the mother of the children started to express suicidal ideations, so the family elicited the help from the Clark County Department of Family Services to join a program to improve the overall wellbeing of the family. One day out of the blue a DFS agent showed up to our client’s home with two police officers and the children’s maternal aunt and demanded that our client sign over temporary guardianship right to the maternal aunt or else the police officers will take his children away. Under duress our client signed over the rights to the maternal Aunt who subsequently fled to Illinois and attempted to get permanent guardianship of the children there. After our client signed over his rights under duress, the DFS made a finding of child maltreatment to which our client appeals, and a fair hearing was set later that year.
A year later our client filed a complaint for a 42 USC § 1983 civil rights violation claims against DFS, the agent, and the maternal aunt. The District Court dismissed our client’s claims stating that the claims were deficient and punitive damages were unavailable for this claim. Our client then amended his complaint to add among other things the tort claim of infliction of emotional distress. This time the District Court dismissed the claim on the basis that our client failed to exhaust all administrative remedies in his DFS case before filing civil action.
The Supreme Court of Nevada held that first the District Court erred by claiming that our client was required to exhaust his administrative remedies before filing a § 1983. The Supreme Court relied on the reasoning that our client’s claim was a substantive due process violation not a procedural due process violation because the fundamental right to bring up children is linked to the right to Liberty. Substantive due process violations are actionable when the wrongful act occurs, so the exhaustion exception applied to procedural due process claims does not apply here.
The Supreme Court of Nevada also found that the District Court erred by linking the DFS findings to our client’s complaint. The complaint for a § 1983 civil rights violation did not have an administrative remedy and thus the District Court erred in dismissed the § 1983 claim for failure to exhaust the administrative remedies.
Finally, the Supreme Court of Nevada found that it was improper to dismiss our client’s claims for intentional infliction of emotional distress because the claim did not arise from an administrative process, thus could not be remedy by an administrative remedy.
In conclusion, the Supreme Court of Nevada found in favor of our client and reversed and remanded the dismissal of his § 1983 civil rights violation, the dismissal of his associated tort claims such as intentional infliction of emotional distress, and the dismissal of punitive damages.
Rosie M. and Henry O. vs. Ignacio A., Jr. 138 Nevada Advance Opinion 49
Our client opposed an appeal on a variety of claims including paternity. The parties were together off and between 2008 and 2019. In 2011, the Appellant because pregnant with the minor child, the parties are disputing paternity. When the minor child was born the Appellants executed a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity.
Our client filed a complaint for custody, asserting he was the father of the minor child. The district court added a third-party defendant but found that our client’s paternity challenge was barred because the minor child was over three (3) years old. Our client appealed and the Supreme Court of Nevada concluded that the district court improperly denied our client’s request for court-ordered paternity testing. On remand, the district court ordered DNA testing regarding the minor child, and found our client was the biological father of the minor child. After an evidentiary hearing, the district court found that our client is the biological and legal father of the minor child.
The district court concluded that biological testing overcame the third party’s Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity and that a paternity dispute is not time-barred until the minor child reaches 21 years of age. The district court entered an order concluding that our client is the minor child’s father, that the minor child’s name will be changed, and his birth certificate shall be amended to reflect our clients last name, and that the mother and our client shall have joint physical custody of the minor child. The adverse party appealed, and our client opposed the appeal. The Court agreed with our client’s position and affirmed the district court’s ruling.
Unpublished Appeal Decisions:
Adamska- District Court Case No. D-13-490007-D, Nevada Supreme Court Case No. 67328, & U.S. Supreme Court Case No. 16-797:
In this case, our client unilaterally removed her two children to Poland without the father’s knowledge. The father filed for divorce and custody in Nevada. After two years of litigation, the Nevada District Court ultimately dismissed the custody case, deferring jurisdiction to Poland and issued a status divorce. On appeal, the Nevada Supreme Court affirmed the District Court. The father then appealed to the United States Supreme Court where they declined to review the case. Our client remains living in Poland with her children with custody decisions able to be made by the Polish court.
Merchan- 9th Circuit Case No. 14-16045:
In this case, I represented a Father, a Colombian national, whose child was detained by the mother in the U.S. contrary to a valid Colombian Custody order. Even though the child expressed a desire to remain in the United States with her mother, my client prevailed in U.S. District Court as the child’s wishes alone were insufficient to overcome the father’s valid foreign custody order. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the Federal District Court’s decision after oral argument and briefing. Even though we had won in trial court and on appeal, the mother was defying the court order and hiding the child. My office assisted law enforcement in retrieving the child from school, obtaining overnight secure housing for her and delivering her to her father at the airport. My client currently has his daughter back home with him in Colombia.
Franceschi- Nevada Supreme Court Case No. 63655:
In this case, the district court denied my client’s request to establish paternity over his infant son after the mother placed another man’s name on the birth certificate through an affidavit of paternity that declares that man is the only possible father of the child. We appealed. The Nevada Supreme Court reversed the dismissal of our client’s paternity action and remanded back to the district court with instructions as to how a fraudulent affidavit of paternity should be viewed. We represented the father on remand as well. My client is now the child’s confirmed father and currently has joint physical custody of his son.
Kashuba- Nevada Supreme Court Case No. 69829:
In this case, I represented a mother on appeal of a district court order granting the father primary custody despite there being prior evidence of domestic violence by him. The court had excluded certain evidence at trial based on it having occurred prior to the most recent custodial order. I appealed. The Appellate Court reversed the decision and remanded with the district court to conduct a new trial and allow in the previously excluded evidence. In addition to the appeal, we represented the mother in the second trial where she presented the previously excluded evidence and obtained primary physical custody. Our client now has custody of her son in Canada.
Hughes- Nevada Supreme Court Case No. 66436:
In this case, the trial judge had allowed our client to have custody of her children in another state after she had left Nevada without the father’s permission. On appeal, the father argued that the trial judge should have considered a domestic violence incident where our client has done a submittal, which is not admissible into evidence and that she should have not obtained custody after removing the children from Nevada without his consent. The Nevada Supreme Court upheld the district court’s decision. My client still lives out of state with her children in her custody.
Kingsbury- Nevada Supreme Court Case No. 68094:
In this case, the district court enforced the terms of a decade-old decree of legal separation into a divorce decree as a final dissolution of the parties’ rights. The wife appealed. The appellate court upheld the district court’s decision as the legal separation was an agreement by the party to end the community and settle all marital issues, including alimony. Our client’s final divorce decree remained intact.
Smith, Nevada Supreme Court Case No. 66983:
In this case, the district court ordered a Mother to have no contact with her daughter because the daughter expressed a desire to not see her Mother. We appealed. The Nevada Supreme Court found it improper to issue such an order as it was tantamount to terminating Mother’s parental rights without due process or cause.
Guardianship of TTH and TAH- Nevada Supreme Court Case No. 73932:
In this case, I represented a mother who had signed over guardianship to her sister nine years earlier and had been unable to get the guardianship terminated. I successfully represented her through trial in her last attempt at terminating the guardianship and her children were returned to her care. The sister appealed the decision and I represented the mother in the appeal which resulted in my client retaining full rights to her children.
Madrid v. Hernandez- Court of Appeals Case No. 75461:
In this case, I represented a father on appeal after he had been awarded primary physical custody at trial. The Court of Appeals affirmed the custody award and my client retains custody of his child.
Sell v. Diehl- Nevada Supreme Court Case No. 74916:
In this case, I represented a mother in defending a custody case filed by her sister. The custody case was dismissed and the sister appealed. I represented the mother in the appeal which resulted in the dismissal being affirmed and my client retaining custody of her children.
Carter v. Ducksworth – Nevada Court of Appeals Case No. 81966
In this case, we represented the father on appeal after the district court found that it was in the child’s best interest to modify the custody agreement and award him primary physical custody of the child. The appeals court held that a parent who hinders the physical and electronic parenting time can create a substantial change in circumstances, therefore warranting a child custody modification. Thus, the Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s decision to modify the custody agreement for the best interest of the child giving primary custody to our client. Our client continues to have primary physical custody of his child.
Landan v. Landan – Nevada Court of Appeals Case No. 77858
In this case, the district court denied opposing party’s request to set aside the judgment for attorney’s fees because the ability to renew was not filed in a timely manner. We appealed stating that the renewal was proper because the parties made a modification to the payment agreement therefore creating a new last transaction date. Under NRS 11.190(1)(a) the statute of limitation to renew the judgement for fees based on the divorce decree relies on the date of the last transaction, which the district court held occurred with the modification. The Court of Appeals affirmed that the modification was the “last transaction” date, stating that the new statute of limitations began after 2016 so the affidavit to renew the judgment of fees was proper. Our client continued to receive payment for the attorney’s fees.
Bynan v. Bynan – Nevada Court of Appeals Case No. 81775
In this case, the district court awarded attorney’s fees to be paid to opposing party without holding a hearing to which we appealed. The appeals court found that there was not a clear reasoning for the determination of attorney’s fees to be paid to opposing party. The case was reversed and remanded back to the district court to make a reasonable determination.
Rogers v. Rogers – Nevada Court of Appeals Case Nos. 76173 and 76758
In this case, our client challenged the district court’s calculation of each party’s gross monthly income and the court’s award of attorney fees to the opposing party. The appeals court found that the district court incorrectly calculated the gross monthly income for both parties. This miscalculation which concluded that alimony should be included in gross monthly income, requires more input from the district court on a new child support order. As a result, attorneys fees were also remanded back down to the district court.
Ilieva-Klimas v. Estupinian – Nevada Court of Appeals Case No. 75279
In this case, our client appealed the district court order denying her ability to modify child custody. Our client requested a modification to the custody agreement granting her joint physical custody and make-up visitation. The District Court, without holding a hearing, denied our motion and granted primary custody to the other parent. On appeal, the appeals court found that our client’s due process rights were violated when the district court awarded permanent physical custody to the other parent without providing notice, holding a hearing, or making specific findings as to the best interest of the child. This case was remanded back to the district court to hold the required hearing to establish a permanent custody agreement in the best interest of the child.
Telles v. Cornelius – Nevada Court of Appeals Case No. 74695 (2019)
In this case, the Estate of our client successfully appealed the district court’s evaluation of the marital business and arbitrary distribution of marital assets. Here, our client’s Estate claims, and the appeals court agreed, that the district court improperly valued their marital business. The district court did not provide any evidence to the reasoning behind its evaluation, and instead relied on guesswork to make the valuation. Based on this evaluation of the lower court’s reasoning, the appeals court also found that they could not discern any compelling reasons for the distribution of marital assets. Thus, this matter was reversed and remanded down to the lower courts to complete a complete valuation of the marital business and an equitable distribution of assets.
Telles v. Cornelius – Nevada Court of Appeals Case No. 80355 (2021)
Following the Nevada Court of Appeals decision in 2019, the case was remanded to the District Court to complete a valuation of the marital business and make an equitable distribution of assets. However, this case re-appeared on appeals because the valuation of the marital business was still based on unsubstantial evidence. Our client appealed again because the District Court issued findings after remand based on the existing record at the time of trial. On appeal, it was reaffirmed that the evidence used at trial was unsubstantial because the District Court cannot use unsupported testimony to assign arbitrary value to a community business. Again, the Nevada Court of Appeals remanded this matter to the district court with instructions that it shall conduct further proceedings to ascertain the value of the business and issue new findings consistent with this order.
Adrianzen v. Petit – Nevada Court of Appeals Case No. 78966
In this case, our client successfully appealed the district court’s decision to deny his motion to modify primary physical custody to joint physical custody without conducting an evidentiary hearing. Here, the parties were married in 2013 and filed for divorce that same year with both asking for primary and physical custody respectively. In 2014 the Judge ordered the opposing party primary custody without containing the best interest findings as required by NRS 125.480. In 2018 the opposing party moved to modify the timeshare schedule, reducing our client’s time with his child. Our client opposed this motion and filed a countermotion to modify mom’s primary custody to joint physical custody with evidence of his child’s declining health and the safety concerns with mom’s new fiancé. The District Court held a non-evidentiary hearing on the motions and concluded that there was not adequate cause to re-litigate custody and therefore denied an evidentiary hearing. The Appeals Court concluded that our client did present sufficient factual allegations that would warrant an evidentiary hearing regarding modification of physical custody. Thus, the Court of Appeals ordered that the District Court order be reversed and remanded for an evidentiary hearing on modification of physical custody.
Salazar v. Landa – Nevada Court of Appeals Case No. 83111
In this case, our client appealed a variety of issues including the child support calculation and property division. In 1999, our client purchased a home, and the parties were subsequently married in 2001. Over the course of their 18-year marriage the couple had three children. In 2019 our client filed for divorce requesting primary physical custody and child support. At trial, the District Court ordered primary physical custody for our client with the opposing party’s child support obligation totaling $144.00 due to the low-income earner adjustment. Additionally, our client was ordered to pay alimony monthly for ten years in alimony with the opposing party having the 1999 property awarded as her sole and separate property. Our client appealed arguing that alimony should be included in gross monthly income, and the Appeals court agreed remanding this part of the appeal to include alimony in gross monthly income. Additionally, we appealed that the District Court’s discretion in awarding the 1999 to opposing as her sole and separate property without considering our client’s separate property interest. The Appeals Court agreed and concluded that the District Court should have calculated both parties’ separate interest and the community interest in the 1999 property and awarded the parties their equitable share.
Sobcyzk v. Osborne- Nevada Court of Appeals Case No. 83565
In this case, our client appealed a child custody modification order. The parties had one minor child born in early 2015. In 2017, the parties entered a stipulated custody agreement in New York. Our client was awarded sole custody of the minor child and was permitted to relocate from New York to Nevada with the child. The adverse party was awarded parenting time on a gradually increasing schedule. In Nevada, the parties had litigation regarding the adverse party’s visitation time. In 2021, the Court held a trial regarding the adverse party’s visitation with the minor child. The district court ordered the adverse party to have a gradual increase in visitation time, when appropriate and that the parties would utilize a reunification specialist to determine the adverse party’s parenting time. We appealed the Court’s order granting the adverse party in increase in visitation time based on what a reunification specialist states. The Appeals Court agreed and concluded the District Court did not limit its delegation to a reunification specialist, it improperly delegated its decision-making authority.
Garcia v. Shapiro-Nevada Court of Appeals Case No. 83992
In this case, our client appealed the district court’s failure to decide their request for child support arrears. The parties were never married and had one minor child together. Prior to the initiation of a complaint of custody, our client had de facto primary custody and was entitled to child support arrears from the adverse party. However, the district court failed to rule on our client’s child support arrears issue. We appealed. The Appeals Court agreed and concluded the District Court improperly refused to decide our client’s request for the child support arrears.
Egosi v. Egosi – Nevada Court of Appeals Case No. 83454
In this case, the adverse party filed an appeal challenging the district court’s custody order and contempt rulings. Our client opposed this appeal. The appellant argued the district court deprived him of a meaningful opportunity to present his case at the custody modification hearing. The Supreme Court ruled the appellant has not shown the district court abused its discretion. Appellant next argued that the district court should not have found a change in circumstances affecting the parties’ child welfare. The Supreme Court concluded that the appellant has not shown that the district court abused its discretion. Then, the Appellant argued that the district court misconstrued Georgia law in concluding that the prenuptial agreement was valid in party. The Supreme Court concluded that the appellant has not shown that the district court abused its discretion. Then, the Appellant contended that the district court violated his right to due process by entering a written order regarding the prenuptial agreement that deviations from the court’s oral orders in the evidentiary hearing. The Supreme Court concluded that the appellant has not shown that the district court erred. Next, the Appellant argued the district court improperly shifted the burden to him to demonstrate a property was a separate property. The Supreme Court concluded that the appellant has not shown that the district court erred. Finally, the Appellant contended that the district judge should have recused himself because the appellant’s expert’s family personally. The Supreme Court concluded that the appellant has not shown that the district court erred.