Families in Nevada may benefit from learning more about how issues regarding paternity and child custody are handled within the state. Establishing paternity can be described as making certain that the biological father is considered to be the legal father as well. Excluding any extenuating circumstances, family courts typically maintain that both parents and the children have the rights to the benefits that come with a parent-child relationship. Ultimately, most family courts are typically concerned with doing whatever is in the best interest of the child.
Ideally, both parents are legally responsible for providing financial support for the child. Establishing paternity is also important so that children can have access to medical history from ancestors and may receive benefits from both parents. When the mother is married or widowed, the law considers her husband to be the child's father. Exceptions to the law occur when the court has issued an order identifying someone else as the father or when the mother and alleged father, excluding the husband, sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity.
If the mother was unmarried at the time of conception, both parents can establish paternity by signing this Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity, or a judge can declare a legal father through a court hearing. Nevada parents can sign the voluntary acknowledgement at the Bureau of Health Planning & Statistics. If an alleged father refuses to acknowledge paternity, the Nevada State Division of Welfare and Supportive Services can take legal action to establish paternity.
Parents who are struggling with paternity or child support issues may benefit from meeting with a family lawyer as soon as possible. Legal counsel may be able to provide helpful insight and more accurate projections for calculating potential child support payments. These lawyers may also be able to help with negotiating temporary child support or joint physical custody agreements.
Source: dwss.nv.gov, "What Every Parent Should Know About Establishing Paternity", August 12, 2014