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Having a child without the benefit of marriage can present challenges. A father may need to establish paternity to gain custody rights and spend quality time with his biological child. A mother, on the other hand, may need to establish paternity to obtain financial support in the form of child support payments. A relationship that is not formalized often requires a paternity test to hold both parents accountable.
As in any other aspect of our family law practice, we protect the rights of our clients and look out for the best interests of their children. Residents throughout the state of Nevada have come to rely on our Las Vegas paternity lawyer for aggressive advocacy and the compassionate handling of an emotionally charged legal matter.
How Does the Paternity Process Work?
A legal marriage provides certain protections when a couple splits up. If a relationship or living arrangement that resulted in the birth of a child has gone bad, there may be a dispute over paternity.
Without the formal recognition of marriage, certain steps must be taken to prove paternity. While we mostly see fathers seeking to prove paternity for child custody or visitation, we also represent mothers seeking child support for their newborn. If there is any dispute over a child’s paternity, a court may order a DNA test to determine the child’s biological father.
Do not leave an important matter such as the paternity of your child to chance. A test can determine the biological father and allow you to assert your rights as a parent and those of your child.
How to Establish Paternity in Las Vegas
Until parentage is established, there is no legal right for support, visitation, or custody. Either the mother or father of a child can try to establish custody. Generally, the following steps will need to be taken in order to legally establish paternity in the state of Nevada:
- One party must file a Complaint with the Court to establish parentage. This document will then be served to the other party, in which he or she will have 20 days to respond.
- The requesting party will also file a formal request for DNA paternity testing. At this time, a temporary custody and child support order may be requested as well.
- At the court hearing, the judge will order a DNA test and set the date and time for a return hearing.
- If the DNA test returns negative, the case will end. If the DNA test returns positive, the judge will then order a temporary support and custody order.
The judge will use discretion when ordering a temporary custody arrangement, always thinking of the child's best interest first. If the child is a newborn or a baby, the custody order will likely go into effect immediately. If the child is older and has hasn't established a relationship with the father, the judge will generally order a parenting plan for the child to develop a relationship with his or her father over time to ensure a smooth transition.
Establishing paternity can be a complex process. It is recommended to secure experienced legal counsel to advocate for you.
Protecting the Rights of Parents & Children
If you are facing an emotional paternity dispute, Law Practice, Ltd. can be at your side throughout the entire process. We can help you prove paternity through a DNA test and help you seek support or custody or visitation. While we do not want to put a child in the middle of a fight, looking out for their best interests sometimes involves advocating for one of their parents in court.
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Ann E. Kolber, Esq.
"My name is Ann E. Kolber and I am the founding member of Law Practice, Ltd. I have more than 30 years of legal and business experience and have developed extensive litigation skills over the course of my career. I pride myself in my ability to successfully negotiate the resolution of disputes whenever possible. I practice family law , focusing on high conflict custody matters, complex divorce litigation, uncontested proceedings and settlements, and pre- and post-marital agreements . I find great ..."Read Full Bio
"Crystal has lived in Las Vegas since 1973. She is a Las Vegas High (original downtown campus) graduate and earned a Bachelor’s degree with a major in Accounting from the University of Nevada Reno. Crystal returned to Las Vegas after college and worked for 25 years in the gaming industry with the last 16 years at Boyd Gaming as their Corporate Controller. In 2012, Crystal made a career switch and completed the UNLV Paralegal Certificate program. She has since worked for several family law firms ..."Read Full Bio
"Kari was born and raised in Lompoc, California. In 2005 Kari graduated from Pace University with a degree in Criminal Justice. Kari has worked as a paralegal in family law firms in Southern Nevada since 2007 and has acquired tremendous experience in Family Law matters including divorce, custody, relocation, guardianships, adoptions, and trial preparation work. Kari is compassionate and provides strength and comfort to clients experiencing tough times in their lives."Read Full Bio
"Jake Buchman grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada, and is currently a 2L student at UNLV Boyd School of Law. He is a Staff Editor for the UNLV Gaming Law Journal and is also involved with the Sports and Entertainment Society at the Boyd School of Law at UNLV. Jake obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California, in 2021, with a major in political economy and a minor in real estate development. Jake worked as a full-time Law Clerk for our firm during Summer 2022 and continues ..."Read Full Bio
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