Hi! I have a friend who needs some guidance on the following issue: He recently broke up with the mother of his 2-year-old daughter. No agreement on child support/custody/visitation rights has been reached so far. The other day he went to pick up his daughter so she could spend a day with him, and because of the condition the child was in he suspects the mother is neglecting their daughter and the other two children she has from a previous relationship. The neglect is a new thing and he is concerned about his daughter. He would like to gain custody of the girl. What should he do to make that happen? Or better, what does he have to do first to make that happen? Since the girl is with her mother, should he deal with child support and visitation rights first? Or can he try to gain custody? Please be so kind and advise what is the best possible path for him to take. Any and all advice is greatly appreciated! Thank you in advance for your help.
1 Answer from Attorneys
It sounds as if the parties were never married. If that is the case, under Nevada law, mom automatically has primary physical custody. That means she can call all the shots about who sees the child and when. The only way for that to change is through a court order giving dad custody rights. He should file a Complaint for Custody and immediately file a Motion for Primary Physical Custody with that Complaint in order to get some orders made. Unless dad is somehow unfit, it should be a simple matter to get him some ordered visitation. If mom really is neglecting or abusing the children, it may allow him to take primary custody. He should also involve CPS (Child Protective Services) so they can do an investigation of the home and interview the mother and even test for substance abuse.