Nevada's grandparent visitation statute actually applies to any third-party with an interest in visiting a child. Certain sections apply only to grandparents, great-grandparents and siblings. Other sections apply to any person with whom the child has resided and who has had a meaningful relationship with the child.
The statute is long and detailed. That's a mixed blessing. Besides being quite a lot to plow through, the law offers many obstacles to winning visitation rights. On the other hand, a lot is spelled out in the law that is left unspecified in other states, and that can work for grandparents.
Nevada is one of the states that offers protection to parents in intact families. Grandparents may seek visitation only when there has been a disruption in the family unit. In order to seek visitation, grandparents must be the parents of a non-custodial parent or of a deceased parent. In other words, if the grandparents' own child is alive and has custody, the grandparents have no standing for a suit. The child's parents need not have been married if they cohabitated. In all of these situations, however, the custodial or surviving parent must have denied or "unreasonably restricted" visitation.
The decision of the parent to restrict visitation is presumed to be in the best interests of the child, but this is a rebuttable presumption. The State of Nevada sets out special criteria for determining the best interests of the child. These include:
- Emotional ties existing between the grandparent and grandchild
- The grandparent's ability to provide love and guidance and serve as a role model
- The grandparent's willingness to supply material needs during visitation
- The grandparent's ability to provide the child with health care
- The prior relationship between the two, including such factors as whether the grandchild resided with the grandparent and whether the child was present at holidays and family gatherings
- The grandparent's moral fitness
- the grandparent's mental and physical health
- The preference of the child, if applicable
- The willingness of the grandparent to facilitate and encourage the child-parent relationship
- The medical needs of the child
- Any financial or other support provided by the grandparent
- Any other pertinent facts
Grandparents may also seek visitation if the parents' rights have been terminated or relinquished, but the grandparents' request for visitation rights must have been filed before the parental rights were relinquished. This applies to children who are voluntarily given up or who are removed by social services. Grandparents can retain visitation rights even after a child is adopted as long as they petitioned the court before the termination of the parents' rights. The court must, of course, determine that visitation is in the best interests of the child.
Go back to grandparents rights by state.