Grandparent and Non-Parent Visitation
Certain people who are not the parent of a child may request that the Court grant them visitation. McFarling Law Group routinely represents clients in non-parent visitation litigation. Whether you are a non-parent seeking visitation or a parent defending against a request for a court order for visitation, McFarling Law Group can help.
The Legal Standard
The legal standard to file a non-parent to ask for a court order for visitation with a child is very specific and difficult to meet. Parental rights in visitation cases have been upheld as constitutionally protected rights by the United States Supreme Court. The legal standard is spelled out in NRS 125C.050.
NRS 125C.050 Petition for right of visitation for certain relatives and other persons.
1. Except as otherwise provided in this section, if a parent of an unmarried minor child:
(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,
Ê the district court in the county in which the child resides may grant to the great-grandparents and grandparents of the child and to other children of either parent of the child a reasonable right to visit the child during the child’s minority.
2. If the child has resided with a person with whom the child has established a meaningful relationship, the district court in the county in which the child resides also may grant to that person a reasonable right to visit the child during the child’s minority, regardless of whether the person is related to the child.
3. A party may seek a reasonable right to visit the child during the child’s minority pursuant to subsection 1 or 2 only if a parent of the child has denied or unreasonably restricted visits with the child.
4. If a parent of the child has denied or unreasonably restricted visits with the child, there is a rebuttable presumption that the granting of a right to visitation to a party seeking visitation is not in the best interests of the child. To rebut this presumption, the party seeking visitation must prove by clear and convincing evidence that it is in the best interests of the child to grant visitation.
5. The court may grant a party seeking visitation pursuant to subsection 1 or 2 a reasonable right to visit the child during the child’s minority only if the court finds that the party seeking visitation has rebutted the presumption established in subsection 4.
6. In determining whether the party seeking visitation has rebutted the presumption established in subsection 4, the court shall consider:
(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.
7. If the parental rights of either or both natural parents of a child are relinquished or terminated, and the child is placed in the custody of a public agency or a private agency licensed to place children in homes, the district court in the county in which the child resides may grant to the great-grandparents and grandparents of the child and to other children of either parent of the child a reasonable right to visit the child during the child’s minority if a petition therefor is filed with the court before the date on which the parental rights are relinquished or terminated. In determining whether to grant this right to a party seeking visitation, the court must find, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the visits would be in the best interests of the child in light of the considerations set forth in paragraphs (a) to (i), inclusive, of subsection 6.
8. Rights to visit a child may be granted:
(a) In a divorce decree;
(b) In an order of separate maintenance; or
(c) Upon a petition filed by an eligible person:
(1) After a divorce or separation or after the death of a parent, or upon the relinquishment or termination of a parental right;
(2) If the parents of the child were not legally married and were cohabitating, after the death of a parent or after the separation of the parents of the child; or
(3) If the petition is based on the provisions of subsection 2, after the eligible person ceases to reside with the child.
9. If a court terminates the parental rights of a parent who is divorced or separated, any rights previously granted pursuant to subsection 1 also must be terminated, unless the court finds, by a preponderance of the evidence, that visits by those persons would be in the best interests of the child.
10. For the purposes of this section, “separation” means:
(a) A legal separation or any other separation of a married couple if the couple has lived separate and apart for 30 days or more and has no present intention of resuming a marital relationship; or
(b) If a couple was not legally married but cohabitating, a separation of the couple if the couple has lived separate and apart for 30 days or more and has no present intention of resuming cohabitation or entering into a marital relationship.
How the Court Process Works
A claim for non-parent visitation must be brought by the filing of a petition. The case then proceeds through discover and trial for a decision to be reached by the judge.
Reaching an Agreement
At any time, Parties can agree to third party and visitation orders. If you need help negotiating an agreement or have reached an agreement and simply need to make sure the paperwork is done properly, McFarling Law Group can help.
Experienced Attorneys at Your Side
At McFarling Law Group, our lawyers are experienced in all family law matters, including third party visitation. If you would like to schedule a consultation with an experienced family lawyer in Las Vegas, NV area, call our office at 702.565.4335.