Can a nonparent have custody of a deployed parent’s child?
One of the biggest concerns a Nevada military parent may have is how to handle the custody of their child if they are deployed when the other parent is not available. In order to protect both the military service member as well as his or her child in such situations, Nevada law provides a procedure that allows a nonparent to potentially be granted custody of the child while the parent is deployed.
Under the law, the military parent must first file a motion allowing the nonparent to assume custody during the period of deployment. The nonparent can be either an adult relative of the child or an unrelated person with whom the child has a close and substantial relationship.
The court will determine whether or not to grant the request after reviewing a number of factors. Judges consider the nonparent’s moral fitness, mental and physical health, the child’s preferences, the child’s medical and health needs and the ability of the nonparent to facilitate a continued relationship with the deploying parent as well as with other family members. When a court grants such a request, it will issue orders that specify the specific decision-making powers the nonparent will have, including the ability to make educational, medical and religious decisions on behalf of the child.
When a parent learns he or she will be deployed, taking care of their child’s custody while they are gone is often of utmost concern, especially in cases in which the child’s other parent is unfit or unavailable. Military parents who are in this situation may wish to speak with a family law attorney. The information in this article is not to be construed as specific legal advice.
Source: Nevada State Legislation, “Grant of caretaking or decision-making authority to nonparent“, December 05, 2014