How do courts determine "child support" in Nevada?

Once a child custody agreement has been reached, it is necessary to determine the amount a parent must pay for the support of the child. Determining how much is owed in child support depends upon a variety of factors including the nature of the custody agreement and the parents' monthly income.

Nevada child support determinations can be complicated and can have a significant effect on both you and your child's quality of life. Therefore it is important to have an experienced Las Vegas family lawyer to guide you through the process. Your parental rights are important, so do not attempt to protect them on your own.

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How is "child support" determined in Nevada?

The first question a parent has after a child custody arrangement has been reached is how much child support does the non-custodial parent owe. In Nevada, the amount a parent owes in child support depends upon a few factors.

Primary Custody

If one parent has primary physical custody of a child (i.e. one parent has the child more than 60% of the time), the non-custodial parent will usually be required to pay child support to the custodial parent for the “cost of care, support, education and maintenance” of that child.

The specific amount owed is based upon the following percentages of the pre-tax monthly income of the non-custodial parent.

Percentage Of Gross Monthly Income Owed In Child Support:

  • For one child, 18%;

  • For two children, 25%;

  • For three children, 29%;

  • For four children, 31%; and

  • For each additional child, an additional 2%

Joint Custody

Joint custody is where each parent has custody of the child at least 40% of the time. When parents have joint custody of a child, the Nevada court determines the child support obligation of each parent based upon their gross monthly income and then offsets the two amounts. The higher-income parent will then be required to pay to the lower income parent the difference between the two parents' child support obligations.

Each parent's child support obligation in a joint custody arrangement is determined in the same way as a primary custody arrangement:

  • For one child, 18% of the parent's gross monthly income;

  • For two children, 25%;

  • For three children, 29%;

  • For four children, 31%; and

  • For each additional child, an additional 2%

What is the maximum amount I can owe in child support in Nevada?

The amount of child support that a parent owes in Nevada is subject to a "presumptive maximum amount" whether a parent has primary custody of a child or joint custody. The presumptive maximum amount a parent can owe is based upon the parent's income level and is adjusted each year to reflect increases in the cost of living.

A parent is not required to pay more than the presumptive maximum amount in child support in Nevada. The presumptive maximum amounts a parent can owe per month in child support for the period of July 1st, 2013 through June 30th, 2014 are as follows:

Max Amounts: July 1st, 2013 - June 30th 2014

Gross Monthly Income Presumptive Max. Amount
$0–$4,235 $660
$4,235 – $6,351 $726
$6,351 – $8,467 $794
$8,467 – $10,585 $858
$10,585 – $12,701 $925
$12,701 – $14,816 $990
$14,816 & above $1,058

Can a Nevada child support order be modified?

A Nevada child support order can be reviewed or modified when the court determines that it is appropriate due to a change in circumstances. An increase or decrease of 20% or more in a parent's gross monthly income constitutes a change in circumstance that would require review by the court.

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What if I do not pay child support in Nevada?

A failure to pay court-ordered child support in Nevada carries serious ramifications. An order of child support is binding on the parents. If a parent fails to pay the required amount, the parent to whom child support is owed may enforce the order in court and recover unpaid support.

The failure of a parent to pay court-ordered child support can also be a crime in Nevada. If the parent owes less than $10,000 in delinquent child support, non-payment is considered a misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail and/or $1,000 in fines. If a parent owes more than $10,000 in child support, failure to pay is a felony punishable by 1 to 5 years in Nevada State Prison and perhaps up to $10,000 in fines.

Why should I hire an attorney?

The amount you pay in child support and the amount your child receives in support have a significant impact on your child's quality of life. It is important to speak with an attorney to ensure that your children are receiving the support they are owed. Call 702-DEFENSE's experienced Las Vegas family law attorneys at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673).

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