Establishing paternity is a key factor in determining the rights of parents and children. Under Nevada law, both parents have both legal rights and obligations for their children. Parental rights can include child custody, visitation, legal and financial responsibilities for their child. One parent may need to establish paternity to gain quality time with the child. While the other parent may need to establish paternity to obtain financial support for the child.  

In a case where paternity is in question or is contested, the court will likely order a DNA test to establish whet his the father of the child.

Ways Paternity Can Be Established:

  • Parties agree to Paternity.
  • Parties were married.
  • Both parties are listed on the birth certificate.
  • Paternity Voluntary Acknowledgment–When both parents sign an Acknowledgment of Paternity, it will legally establish parental rights and obligations. This form must be signed by both parties and filed.
  • A court proceeding to establish paternity.

 Child Custody and Visitation Rights

In the state of Nevada, child custody cases are guided by the best interests of the child standard. The court considers what child custody arrangements best supports the child’s needs. When making this decision the court considers the following categories for parenting:

  • Each parent’s home stability;
  • The child’s health and safety;
  • The child’s developmental and emotional needs;
  • Communication between parents;
  • Ability to maintain a relationship with siblings;
  • If the other party will foster the relationship with the other parent;
  • The Financial ability to care for the child;
  • Any Domestic Violence.

The state of Nevada separates custody into two categories – legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody is the legal right of a parent to participate in the major life decisions of their child.

Physical child custody refers to the physical living arrangement between parent and child. If a child physically resides with a parent more than 60 percent of the time, that parent has primary physical custody.  Joint Physical Custody means that both parents split the physical and legal responsibilities for the child.  Joint Custody can mean an equal timeshare (50/50) with a child, but parents can also share Joint Custody even if the timeshare is slightly unequal or 60/40 in one parent’s favor. Joint custody is preferred under Nevada state law, meaning both parents have equal legal and physical custody of the child – this is preferred to help keep both parents involved in the child’s life.

If you are dealing with a case involving paternity or custody and are interested in seeking legal counsel contact our office. Jacovino Law wants your custody and paternity process to be as smooth as possible so that you can enjoy parenthood. Contact us at (702) 776-7179 or schedule a consultation online at