Articles Posted in Family Law

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Pursuant to Nev. Rev. Stat. 130.207, a Nevada child support order controlled over a Norway order. Mother and Father were granted a divorce from a Nevada court. Their children habitually resided in Norway. At issue in this case was a child support order entered in Norway. The district court concluded that the Nevada support order controlled because Norway lacked jurisdiction to modify the Nevada order. Father appealed this conclusion as well as other court rulings. The court of appeals concluded that Nevada’s child support order controlled over Norway’s order and that it lacked jurisdiction to consider Father’s challenges to certain contempt findings. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the Nevada child support order controlled; and (2) this court had jurisdiction over the challenges to contempt findings and sanctions in the order appealed from, but the court need not consider them because Appellant failed to assert cogent arguments or provide relevant authority in support of his claims. View "Vaile v. Porsboll" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The district court did not err in granting Robert Boynes paternity over a child adopted by Ken Nguyen under the equitable adoption doctrine. During their relationship, Rob and Ken decided to adopt a child. The parties ended their relationship mere months after they received the newborn child. Ken later formally adopted the child. Thereafter, Rob filed a petition for paternity and custody. The district court concluded that Rob was entitled to a presumption of paternity under Nev. Rev. Stat. 126.051(1)(d) and that Rob and Ken were to have joint legal and physical custody of the child. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the district court did not err in granting Rob paternity under the equitable adoption doctrine; (2) the district court’s order did not violate equal protection principals; and (3) the district court did not abuse its discretion in granting Rob joint legal and physical custody. View "Nguyen v. Boynes" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The district court did not violate any rules and complied with due process requirements when it terminated Mother’s parental rights without her presence and ability to assist in her defense. Mother had been arrested before the hearing and declared incompetent in her criminal proceedings. A guardian ad litem was appointed, however, and the district court continued the trial in the parental rights case numerous times due to Mother’s inability to regain competence. The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s decision, holding that the district court (1) properly proceeded with the parental rights despite despite Mother’s incompetence to stand trial in her criminal case; and (2) had personal jurisdiction over Mother despite allegations of insufficient service because Mother waived the issue. View "In re Parental Rights as to M.M.L." on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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After they were married, Mother and Father had a child. Before their child was born, the parties failed to reach an agreement regarding the child’s surname. The parties were estranged when their child was born, and Mother gave the child her surname. Thereafter, Father filed a complaint for divorce and filed a petition to change the child’s surname to his last name. The district court determined that the child’s name should be hyphenated to include both parents’ surnames. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion in determining that it was in the best interest of the child to change the child’s surname. View "Petit v. Adrianzen" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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In the underlying district court action, Dawnette Davidson filed a motion with the family division of the district court to enforce a term of a decree of divorce from her ex-husband, Christopher Davidson. The term at issue required Christopher to pay Dawnette one-half of the equity in the marital home in exchange for Dawnette quitclaiming the residence to Christopher. Dawnette commenced this action more than six years after she delivered the quitclaim deed. The district court denied Dawnette’s motion, concluding that Dawnette’s action was untimely because an action to enforce a decree of divorce must be commenced within six years pursuant to Nev. Rev. Stat. 11.190(1)(a). The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the accrual time for the limitations period in an action on a divorce decree commences when there is evidence of indebtedness, which in this case occurred when Dawnette delivered the quitclaim deed to Christopher; and (2) therefore, Dawnette’s claim was time-barred. View "Davidson v. Davidson" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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Judgment creditor Far West Industries filed suit against Michael Mona, who, together with Rhonda Mona, was a co-trustee of a family trust. A California court found that Michael committed fraud and awarded Far West a $17.8 million judgment against Michael. Far West domesticated the California judgment in Nevada against Michael and the family trust. The Nevada district court requested to examine Rhonda and ordered the Monas to produce some of Rhonda’s personal financial documents. When the Monas did not produce the documents the district court sanctioned them pursuant to Nev. R. Civ. P. 37 and concluded that the funds on Rhonda’s three bank accounts were subject to execution by Far West pursuant to Nev. Rev. Stat. 21.320 to partially satisfy the judgment. The Supreme Court vacated the post-judgment sanctions order, holding that the district court erred in (1) ordering Rhonda to produce documents and appear for an examination regarding her personal finances without Far West proceeding against Rhonda in her individual capacity or without the court clerk issuing a subpoena and Far West serving the subpoena on Rhonda; and (2) ordering Rhonda’s personal bank accounts to be executed upon pursuant to rule 37 and section 21.320 and to be applied to partially satisfy the judgment. View "Mona v. Eighth Judicial Dist. Court" on Justia Law

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The district court entered a divorce decree granting Diane Mizrachi and Eli Mizrachi joint legal and physical custody of their minor child. The decree provided that Eli would have the child for the “Jewish holidays” every year. Diane subsequently filed a motion to clarify the decree as to the holiday parenting time schedule. After a hearing, the district court concluded that there was not a clear understanding between the parties at the time of an agreement regarding holiday parenting time and then granted Diane’s request to clarify the meaning of the term the "Jewish holidays” as used in the divorce decree. Eli appealed, arguing that, by interpreting the term “Jewish holidays” in the manner that it did, the district court in essence modified the divorce decree without considering whether the modification was in the child’s best interest. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the district court clarified, rather than modified, the parties’ divorce decree; and (2) while it was proper for the court to clarify the decree, the court did not apply the proper procedure in doing so. Remanded. View "Mizrachi v. Mizrachi" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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Mother and Father divorced while living in Nevada with their minor child. Mother eventually obtained sole custody and moved to England. Father, in the meantime, moved to Turkey. Father subsequently filed a motion to modify child custody and support. Mother filed a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction. The district court denied Father’s motion to modify child custody and granted Mother’s motion to dismiss, concluding that it lost jurisdiction to modify its decree when the parents and the child moved away from Nevada. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) while the district court lost exclusive, continuing jurisdiction over custody, the court should have considered Father’s argument that, under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, the court retained jurisdiction to ensure that another, more appropriate, forum existed to resolve the dispute; and (2) because the district court failed to exercise this jurisdiction, the cause is remanded for further proceedings. View "Kar v. Kar" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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Mother and Father shared joint legal and physical custody of their two minor children as stated in a stipulated order. One provision of the order provided for “teenage discretion” in determining time spent with either parent when a child reaches the age of fourteen, and another provision conferred authority to resolve disputes to a “parenting coordinator” and authorized the district court to issue an order that defines the coordinator’s role. Father later filed a motion to modify the original stipulated child custody order, arguing that the two provisions at issue should be rendered void because they were against public policy. The district court denied modification. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that neither contractual provision was against the best interest of the children, which is the paramount public policy concern in child custody matters, and the parenting coordinator provision did not improperly delegate decision-making authority. View "Harrison v. Harrison" on Justia Law

Posted in: Contracts, Family Law

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Father and Mother divorced in 2011. In 2013, the district court ordered Father to pay additional child support for failing to previously pay child support. In 2014, Mother filed a motion to modify custody and enforce the 2013 order. After a hearing, at which Father represented himself, the district court awarded Mother primary physical custody of the child. The district court then held Father in contempt of court for failing to pay child support. The court sentenced Father to a total of eighty days in jail and stayed the contempt sentence on the condition that Father “follow the Orders of the Court.” The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding (1) a contempt order that does not contain a purge clause is criminal in nature, and because the district court’s contempt order did not contain a purge clause, the district court violated Appellant’s constitutional rights by imposing a criminal sentence without providing Appellant with counsel; and (2) the district court abused its discretion by basing its decision to modify custody on Appellant’s failure to comply with a court order and by failing to consider and set forth its findings as to the Nev. Rev. Stat. 125.480(4) factors for determining the child’s best interest. View "Lewis v. Lewis" on Justia Law