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At Pecos Law Group, we are always looking for a challenging appeal to the Nevada Appellate courts to correct mistakes and injustices created by unfair or legally incorrect Family Court Decisions.  Following are the appeals we currently have in progress:

 

College Tuition and Related Expenses

 

Pecos Law Group prevailed at the Nevada Court of Appeals on a request to reverse a district court decision setting arbitrary limits on a parent’s obligation to pay for his child’s college expenses. The parties had a marital settlement agreement that detailed that the parent would pay the college expenses. The agreement was not merged into the parties’ decree of divorce, and thus must be interpreted as a standard contract. The Court of Appeals determined that the college expenses provision was not ambiguous and to the extent the plain meaning of the term is unclear, the district court must look to the parties’ intent at the formation of the agreement. Unhappy with the result, the father, who happens to be a lawyer, has filed a request for review by the Nevada Supreme Court. The decision on whether the Nevada Supreme Court will review is pending.

 

Private Religious Schools

 

This case involves a parent who requested that his child attend a private school with a religious orientation.  The father was willing to pay for all of the costs associated with the school and provide any transportation as needed.  Although the child wanted to attend the private school, the mother objected on the pretext of its religious orientation.  The family court judge found that the private school would serve the best interests of the child, but denied the father’s requested because of the mother’s religious objection.  Pecos Law Group recently filed an appeal on behalf of the father.

 

Child Support

 

The parents agreed to a split physical custody arrangement of their children where mom has primary physical custody of one child and the parents share joint physical custody of the other. Based on this split custody arrangement, the district court awarded mom child support. The award does not appear to be in compliance with Nevada child support statutes and district court did not provide how the award was calculated.  Pecos Law Group appealed the child support award and asked the Nevada Supreme Court to determine a formula for split-custody situations. At present, there is no law on how child support should be calculated in a split-custody arrangement.

 

Same-Sex Couple Paternity Dispute

 

Two men involved in a long-term same-sex relationship decided to adopt a child. Because the men were not domestic partners or married, they decided they would adopt the child through two separate adoptions. After the first man adopted, he decided that he did not want the second man to adopt the child. Despite the lack of a second adoption, the second man raised the child as his. This continued for a considerable amount of time until the first man cut off the child’s contact with the second man. At trial, the district court determined that the second man was indeed a second father to the child. Pecos Law Group represents the second father in defending his paternity and custody rights from the first father’s appeal of the district court’s decision. The Nevada Supreme Court has determined that the entire court, rather than the customary three-judge panel, will hear the case.

 

Contempt

 

The district court sentenced a woman to jail for contempt due to an alleged failure to follow court orders related to a mandatory testing program. Pecos Law Group succeeded in obtaining a stay of the sentence from the district court and have petitioned the Nevada Supreme Court for a writ mandating a reversal of the sentence. The sentence should not have been issued because it was not supported by a proper affidavit; the order upon which contempt was determined was ambiguous; the conduct was not willful; the court failed to provide constitutional safeguards where criminal contempt was at issue; and sanctioning a parent with jail time in the context of the case is against public policy. The Nevada Supreme Court has determined that this case will be set for oral argument.

 

Child Surnames

 

The mother gave birth to a child while estranged from the child’s father. While both parents agreed upon the child’s first name and middle name, the mother unilaterally gave the child her last name.  At the father’s request, the district court changed the child’s last name and ordered that it be hyphenated so that the child would carry both parents’ namesakes. Mother appealed. Pecos Law Group represents the father and is defending the district court’s decision to hyphenate the child’s last name.  The Nevada Supreme Court determined that the entire court, rather than a three justice panel, would hear oral argument.

 

Non-Modifiable Alimony

 

In their divorce, the husband and wife entered into a marital settlement agreement which provided that the husband’s alimony obligation would be non-modifiable.  After losing his job and suffering a drastic decrease in his income, the husband sought to modify his alimony obligation to an amount with which he could reasonably comply.  While sympathetic to appellant husband’s plight, the district court determined that it did not have the authority to alter the terms of the parties’ settlement agreement and denied the husband’s request for a modification of his alimony obligation.  The Pecos Law Group has filed an appeal on behalf of the husband arguing that the alimony provisions of the parties’ agreement are unconscionable and impossible to comply with.

 

International Child Relocation

 

An ex-wife sought permission from the district court to move with the parties’ young child to Germany where her new husband is stationed in the U.S. military.  After trial, the district court determined that the mother had proven facts sufficient for the court to grant the mother permission to relocate with the child.   In a recent appeal, the Pecos Law Group successfully defended the district court’s decision to permit relocation.

 

Termination of Parental Rights

 

In the midst of the parties’ dissolution proceeding in 2007, the father consented to the termination of his parental rights to the parties’ children. Almost nine years later, the father filed a motion to modify the decree and reinstate his parental rights.  After a brief hearing and without taking any evidence, the district court granted the father’s motion and set aside the nine-year-old termination of parental rights, and invalidated the adoption of the children by another man.  The Pecos Law Group represents the mother in her appeal of the district court’s order.

 

Child Custody and Attorneys Fees

 

The district court, after multiple hearings, and two trials, entered its decree of divorce in which it confirmed its award of primary physical custody of the children to the mother and awarded her over $60,000.00 in attorney’s fees.  On appeal, the husband took issue with virtually every order the district court made in the case, especially the award of attorneys fees to the mother.  The Pecos Law Group defended the district court’s orders in favor of the mother, and the Nevada Supreme Court recently affirmed them in all respects.

 

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