Registering an Out-of-State Custody Order
Parents sometimes find themselves involved in a custody dispute that involves more than one state. Another state might issue a child custody order, but the child and/or a parent is in Nevada. In that case, a parent can “register” or "domesticate" the other state’s custody order in Nevada. This page explains what to do if you have a child custody order from another state, but you want to register that order in Nevada so that the Nevada courts recognize that other state’s order.
This information does not apply to out-of-state child support orders. To get help enforcing another state's child support order, please contact the District Attorney Family Support Division for help registering your order and collecting payment.
When parents get a child custody order in another state, they sometimes want the other state's order filed in Nevada just in case problems arise in Nevada later. This is called "registration." This lets the Nevada courts know about the other order.
Registering an order in Nevada usually does not transfer an entire case to Nevada. A Nevada judge generally will not have the power to change the custody order, since the original state that made the order usually keeps that power. Registration just means that a Nevada judge will be able to enforce the custody order if problems come up later (for instance, if the child is in Nevada and a parent will not turn over the child to the other parent).
Understanding and litigating multi-state custody matters can be difficult to do on your own. If you are unsure what to do or what state to go to for help, it is always best to consult with an attorney. You can find information on locating legal help under Lawyers and Legal Help.
Registering a Child Custody Order in Nevada
There are several steps required to register another state's custody order in Nevada.
- Fill Out the Paperwork
- File the Paperwork
- Serve the Other Parent
- Wait and See What the Other Parent Does (and get the final order!)
- Serve the Other Parent with the Final Order
- Now What?
To have another state’s custody order registered in Nevada, you must fill out the following three forms:
Family Court Cover Sheet
This form asks for basic information about you, the other parent, and the children. You are designated as the same party that you were in the original case. For instance, if you were originally the Defendant in the other state's case, list yourself as the Defendant in this case also.
If you have any other cases at family court that include the other parent and/or your children (for example, child support cases, TPOs, etc.), be sure to fill out the second page with as much information about those cases as you can. The Clerk of Court uses this information to open your case and to make sure all of your cases are assigned to the same judge.
Petition for Registration of Out of State Child Custody Determination
This form tells the judge about the other state’s custody order. You must include the name of the court that issued the child custody order and the date the order was issued. You must also attach a certified copy of the other state’s order to this form.
Notice of Petition for Registration of Out of State Child Custody Determination
This form tells the other parent that you are asking the Nevada court to register the other state’s custody order. It also notifies the other parent that he or she only has 20 days to request a hearing if the parent wants to contest the registration. You must attach a copy of the Petition (above) to this form.
After you fill out the papers above, you will need to file them with the family court to open up a case. The fee to file these papers is $270. The fee is payable by cash, money order, or most major credit/debit cards. If you cannot afford the fee, please see Filing Fees and Waivers to find out how to ask the court to waive the fee.
You can file your papers one of three ways:
In Person: Bring your filing fee and the forms to the Family Courts and Services Center. You will be able to file your papers in person at the Clerk’s Office. The Clerk’s Office is open Monday – Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m, but you must arrive by 3:40 p.m. to see a Clerk before closing. Be sure to arrive before then.
By Mail: If you cannot come to the court during business hours, you can mail your forms and the filing fee to:
Family Courts and Services Center
Attn: Clerk of Court
601 North Pecos Road
Las Vegas, NV 89101
- Online: Many documents can be filed online through the court's e-filing system, eFileNV. There is a fee of $3.50 to upload your documents, in addition to the regular filing fee. You must register for an account, you must provide a valid email address, and you must be able to scan and upload your documents.
If you efile your documents, you will be agreeing to be served with future legal documents electronically. Be sure to use an email address that you will check regularly so that you do not miss important legal documents filed in your case. If your email addresses changes, you must update that information in your efile account. If you would rather receive future legal documents through the U.S. Mail, file your documents in person or by mail.
After you file the papers above, it will be your responsibility to serve the other parent. Mail a copy of the Notice of Petition (with the Petition and the other state’s court order attached) to the other parent by certified mail, return receipt requested. After mailing the documents, fill out the Certificate of Mailing to let the court know when and where you mailed the documents. File the Certificate of Mailing with the court.
The other parent has 20 calendar days after being served to request a hearing to contest registration of the other state’s order.
If the other parent does not file anything:
- Fill out the Order Regarding Registration (below). Check the first box in each section that says “THE COURT FINDS . . .”
- Bring the order to the family courthouse (or mail it to 601 N. Pecos, Las Vegas, NV 89101). Go to the 3rd floor. There are drop boxes for every judge there. Drop the order in the box for your judge (this is the “Dept” listed on the first page of your documents).
If the other parent files a Request for Hearing:
- You will receive a notice in the mail with the hearing date listed. Go to the hearing. Bring the Order Regarding Registration with you.
- Fill out the order based on what the judge orders at the hearing. Ask the judge to sign the order in court, or fill out the order later and drop it off in the judge’s drop box on the 3rd floor at the family courthouse.
After the judge signs the Order Regarding Registration, you must make sure the other party receives a copy. First, complete a Notice of Entry of Order and attach a copy of the signed order. The date this form gets filed is the date that starts the timelines for anyone to appeal.
File the Notice of Entry of Order (with a copy of the order attached) with the court. Be sure to fill out the Certificate of Mailing at the bottom, because you will have to mail a copy of this form to the other party after you file it.
After you file the form, make a copy of the Notice of Entry of Order (with a copy of the order attached) and mail it to the other parent. You can mail this by regular mail.
You now have a Nevada case with the other state’s court order on file. If the other state’s child custody order is not being followed, you can now ask the Nevada court to help enforce the order. Please visit Enforcing the Order to find out how to do this.