Are You Anticipating a Legal Battle Over Child Support?

In the State of Nevada, if you become involved in a dispute over child support – during or after your divorce, or if you did not marry your child’s other parent – you should have the advice and legal services of a Las Vegas child support attorney from the very beginning of that dispute.

What do Nevada courts consider when they order child support payments? How are child support amounts calculated? If you’re fighting for child support, how much can you expect to receive? Keep reading for the answers that, now or in the future, you and your child or children may need.

What is a Parent’s Obligation in Nevada?

In this state, the courts and the law presume that children have the right to financial support from each parent. It does not matter if the child was adopted, born to a married couple, or if the child’s parents did not marry. Under Nevada law, parents are obligated to support their children who:

  1.  are under the age of 18
  2.  are 18 years old and still in high school
  3. disabled either physically or mentally
  4.  have not been declared emancipated

Child Support Calculations: How to Begin Determining Child Support Amounts

The amount of child support payments that may be ordered by a court in Nevada is based on the child support payment calculation formula established by this state in 2020.

To calculate the monthly amount of child support that a parent may be ordered to pay in Nevada, you begin with:

  1. Each parent’s gross monthly income: the amount a parent earns each month before taxes, including overtime and self-employment income. If a parent owns a business and has no regular paycheck, a judge estimates monthly income from yearly revenues and expenses.
  2. The number of children a couple has when they divorce: the number of children determines the income percentages in the state’s child support calculation formula (as explained below).
  3.  The physical custody arrangement: Do the parents share joint custody of their child or children, or does one parent have primary custody (meaning that the child or children reside with that parent at least 61% of the time)?

Child Support Calculations: When a Parent Has Primary Custody

When one parent has primary custody, the court usually orders the non-custodial parent to pay a child support amount based on that parent’s gross monthly income and the number of children. To calculate the monthly child support that may be paid in a primary custody arrangement:

  1.  Multiply the non-custodial parent’s gross monthly income (up to $6,000) by a percentage which is determined by the number of children. The percentage is 16% for one child, 22% for two children, 26% for three, and 28% for four.
  2.  Add a percentage for earned monthly income exceeding $6,000 but below $10,000: 8% for one child, 11% for two children, 13% for three, and 14% for four.
  3.  Add a percentage for earned monthly income exceeding $10,000: 4% for one child, 6% for two or three children, and 7% for four.

Are Judges Bound by the Calculation Formula?

The final sum of this calculation will be the monthly child support payment amount that the non-custodial parent will probably be expected to pay. Since 2020, there has been no cap on maximum monthly child support payment amounts in Nevada.

However, judges in this state have the discretion to adjust the child support amount determined by the formula in order to account for a child’s special needs, childcare and healthcare costs, and any special economic circumstances that either parent (or both parents) may be facing.

There’s also a separate calculation formula for low-income parents (with a gross monthly income of less than $1,700). But even with these considerations, the child support amount determined by the state’s formula (or even by its separate, low-income formula) may not apply in every case.

A Nevada judge may adjust the monthly child support payment figure if you and your Las Vegas child support lawyer can show that the amount arrived at by the formula does not meet your children’s needs (or in fact surpasses their needs).

Child Support Calculations: When Parents Share Joint Custody

When the parents share joint custody, here’s how the monthly child support payment amounts are determined. Each parent’s child support share is calculated, the smaller share is then subtracted from the larger share, and the parent whose income is higher pays the amount that remains.

Let’s say that one parent’s monthly child support share is calculated at $700, and the other parent’s share is calculated at $400. The parent whose income is higher subtracts the $400 amount and will make a child support payment for the amount that remains, $300 each month.

However, Nevada judges have the same discretion to adjust this amount as they have in cases where one parent has primary custody of the child or children, and for the same reasons.

What Else Should You Know About Child Support Calculations in Nevada?

If parents reach their own child support agreement without a dispute, they’re generally free to settle on a payment amount other than the amount determined by the formula. However, before approving such an agreement, a judge may ask the parents to show that the agreement is in the child’s best interests.

If a parent’s gross monthly income increases or decreases by 20% or more, a parent may request from the court a modification of the court’s original child support order. In all of these circumstances, parents in Nevada should be advised and represented – from the start – by a Las Vegas child support attorney.

Meet Attorney Rebecca A. Fuller

There’s no need to search extensively for a Las Vegas child support lawyer. When Rebecca A. Fuller represents you in a divorce or a child support proceeding, she will explain each step in the process, protect your interests, and fight aggressively on behalf of you and your child or children.

For over seventeen years, the team at Fuller Law Practice has successfully represented hundreds of clients in divorce and child support proceedings throughout the greater Las Vegas area. We are known for superlative client services, candid legal advice, and effective representation.

Award-winning attorney Rebecca A. Fuller is a mother of two, so she knows that nothing is more important than our children. If you are divorcing or if you anticipate a child support dispute, call Fuller Law Practice now at 702-935-4144, schedule a consultation, and let us fight for you.