When two parents need a custody order and are not married, certain procedural rules apply, which is why it is important to hire an attorney experienced in child custody law to handle your case. The following is a simplified, bare-bones outline of what to expect during a Nevada child custody case:
Hiring an attorney: You will likely consult with at least one attorney before commencing your case. When you decide to hire a lawyer, he or she will have you sign a “Retainer Agreement” or a “Fee Agreement,” which is a contract you will sign with the attorney stating you will pay a certain amount for services and will outline what you can expect as far as billing goes.
The Initial Pleadings: After you decide to hire an attorney, he or she will prepare a complaint for paternity and/or custody. This is a document that outlines your ideal outcome in the case in basic terms. After the complaint is filed with the court, you will receive a case number and be assigned to a family court Judge. After that, your attorney will have a summons issued, which is a document that informs the other party that you filed for custody and they’ll need to answer your complaint.
If you are the one who has been served with a custody or paternity complaint, your attorney will prepare an answer to the complaint, which states which parts of the complaint you agree with and which ones you do not, and a counterclaim for custody, which will outline what custody and child support orders you would like the Judge to order.
You have the option of filing to remove that particular Judge from your case for a certain amount of time after filing, which is called a Peremptory Challenge. If you file this document, your case will be randomly assigned to another department. The other party would then have the option to remove the new Judge and get the case randomly assigned to a third department.