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Grandparents Legal Rights

I often have grandparents with questions relating to their rights to see their grandchildren in Nevada. Historically, the Courts were quite liberal in granting visitation rights to grandparents, as it was believed to be in the best interest of a child to have continued relationships with grandparents if they have formed a bond with them.

Recently I had a Grandmother come see me about these issues. Her Grandson and his mother resided with her for more than a year. The mother passed away and the Grandson was then returned to the custody of his Father. The Father refused to allow the Grandmother to visit the Grandson even though they had lived together and formed a relationship.

Under the Nevada Revised Statute 125C.050 this grandmother would be able to establish that she had a meaningful relationship with the grandchild. Under this statute, the Court would review the prior relationship between the child and the Grandmother seeking visitation. The Court looked at whether the child resided with the Grandmother seeking visitation and whether the child was included in holidays and family gatherings with the Grandmother who was requesting the visitation schedule.

Unfortunately, pursuant to recent decisions of the Court the grandparent must establish first that they not only had a meaningful relationship but also that it is in the best interest of the child. The issue is that the Courts now believe that what a parent decides is in the best interest of the child.

So now you have to be able to demonstrate that the parent does not have the best interest of the child in mind. The Courts are very hesitant to overstep the wishes and desires of the parent.

In my case the Grandmother had formed a bond with her Grandson. Her Grandson had lived with her for over a year and her Grandson participated in all holidays and family gatherings. The Court reviewed these factors and used them to makes it determination including the Father’s wishes and determination for what he believes is in the best interest of his son. And while we were able to overcome the extremely difficult task of overcoming the best interest issue, the Court ruled that the Grandmother have visitation but limited it to only 2 hours a month.

So while grandparents do have rights to see their grandchildren in Nevada when they have a relationship with them, it is very difficult for them to exercise these rights. Typically in these types of cases I suggest that my clients try to set personal emotions aside and work to negotiate with the parents or to set up mediation/counseling sessions where everyone can air their grievances away from the child and work towards making decisions as a family. This information is provided for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice and does not constitute an attorney client relationship.


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