In Nevada, child support is initially determined by the custody awarded to and the visitation schedule exercised each parent. Child support continues until the child(ren) graduate from high school or attain the age of 19, whichever occurs first. In the event that the child(ren) has special needs, the Court may increase the term of the support obligation until the child(ren) reaches the age of 21, or indefinitely, depending on the level of care necessary for the child(ren) following emancipation.
If one parent has primary physical custody of the minor child(ren), the non-custodial parent will have an obligation to pay support to the primary custodian, regardless of the relative incomes of the parents. In such a case, the income of the primary custodian is irrelevant to the calculation of child support. Child support will be determined by the gross monthly income of the non-custodial parent only.
When the parents have joint physical custody of the minor child(ren), which entails a relatively equal amount of time with the child(ren), child support is calculated based on a comparison of the parents’ relative gross monthly incomes. The greater earning parent will typically have a child support obligation to the lesser earning parent.
In February 2020, the Nevada Legislature enacted new guidelines utilized in calculating child support as set forth in NAC 425 (Support of Dependent Children). The Code revised the formulas upon which child support is calculated (in comparison to the calculations in previously utilized NRS 125B.070 and NRS 125B.080), as well as eliminating the presumptive maximum child support amounts. With the eradication of the presumptive maximum amounts of support, Nevada has become less favorable to the party responsible for child support to the other party, and more favorable to the party receiving child support.
Presently, NAC 425.140 and the formulas therein are applied in calculating a party’s child support obligation. The new formulas calculate child support based upon varying percentages of a party’s gross monthly income, rather than the straight percentages previous utilized.
A party’s gross monthly income may be adjusted by the Court, after taking evidence, if a party is deemed to be willfully underemployed or unemployed, without good cause. In such an instance, the Court may impute an amount of gross monthly income a party should be or is capable of earning.
After an appropriate amount of child support has been calculated, NAC 425.150 provides several bases upon which the Court may deviate such an amount upwards or downwards pursuant to a variety of factors, to include but not limited to: special educational needs of the child(ren); legal responsibilities of the parents for the support of others, the cost of transportation to and from child exchanges and the relative income of each party’s respective household.
Lastly, once a Court determines an appropriate amount of support for the child(ren), such support may be modified thereafter. NRS 125B.145 allows for modifications of child support every 3 years as a matter of course, or anytime a parent’s gross monthly income has increased or decreased by 20% or more.
While child support calculations may seem straight-forward, they are a variety of complicated factors that the Court must consider. We have the knowledge, experience, and expertise to assist you with this issue.