- 18% for one child
- 25% for two children
- 29% for three children
- add 2% for each additional child
If the product of the GMI and percentage exceeds the statutory “presumptive maximum” (which increases every year), then the parent might not have to pay more than that presumptive maximum amount every month.
However, there are several other considerations that Family Court takes into account when calculating child support, including child custody arrangements in Nevada and the child’s special needs.
In this article, our Las Vegas family law attorneys explain how Nevada’s child support calculator works:
- Step 1 – GMI
- Step 2 – Number of children
- Step 3 – Obligation of support
- Step 4 – Presumptive maximum
- Step 5 – Other factors
Calculate what your “gross monthly income” (GMI) is. GMI is the total amount of income received each month from any source but without deduction for:
- personal income taxes,
- contributions for retirement benefits,
- contributions to a pension, or
- any other personal expenses
If you are self-employed, you may deduct all legitimate business expenses.
Note that GMI should include not just base salary but also any bonuses and tips.1
Your only children you may be obligated to financially support are:
- under 18 years old (minor);
- currently 18 years old and still enrolled high school;
- under a legal disability (such as having a severe mental impairment); or
- not declared emancipated in Nevada
It makes no difference if the child is by blood or is adopted in Nevada. In general, people are not required to pay child support for step-children or if their parental rights were terminated.2
“Obligation of support” is the amount of money a parent may have to pay in child support.
Courts calculate this amount by taking a percentage of the parent’s GMI. This percentage is determined by the number of children the parent has to support.
The more children a parent needs to support, the higher the percentage. Use the table below to determine your percentage:
Number of children
Percentage of GMI that may go to child support
For each additional child, add 2%.
To calculate your “obligation of support”, follow this formula: Multiply your GMI by the applicable percentage number, and then divide by 100. You can check your result by using an online percentage calculator.
For example, the “obligation of support” for a parent-of-one with a GMI of $10,000 is $1,800 ($10,000 x 18 ÷ 100). In contrast, the “obligation of support” for a parent-of-four with a GMI of $2,000 is $620 ($2,000 x 31 ÷ 100)
This number is not necessarily what the court will order you to pay. As discussed in the following sections, other factors may cause this number to fluctuate: For instance if you share joint custody of the children, the support payments will probably be less.3
In most cases, child support obligations are capped at a certain dollar amount (“presumptive maximum in Nevada“) depending on the parent’s GMI and the number of children requiring support.
First, determine what your presumptive maximum obligation per child is in the table below:
Presumptive maximum of child support per child
(current for July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020)
$0 to less than $4,235
$4,235 to less than $6,351
$6,351 to less than $8,467
$8,467 to less than $10,585
$10,585 to less than $12,701
$12,701 to less than $14,816
$14,816 and higher
Second, multiply that presumptive maximum by the number of children you are obligated to support.
Finally, compare your obligation of support (from step 3 above) to your presumptive maximum for all the children you will be supporting. The amount you may be responsible to pay in child support is likely the lesser of those two numbers.4
Example: Marie’s GMI is $5,000, and she has two minor children. Since she has two children, her obligation of support is 25% of her GMI, which is $1,250. Since her GMI of $5,000 falls in the “$4,235 to less than $6,351” range, her presumptive maximum for one child is $800. And since she has two children, that presumptive maximum is doubled to $1,600.
Because Marie’s obligation of support ($1,250) is less than her presumptive maximum ($1,600), she would likely have to pay only her obligation of support ($1,250).
There are still several other factors that go into calculating child support. For instance, Marie in the above example may need to pay more or less depending on her custody arrangement and other circumstances unique to her case. In rare cases, she may even have to pay more than her presumptive maximum.
Note that the minimum amount parents may pay in child support is $100 per month. But courts may waive even this obligation if it finds the parent is unable to pay. (Willful unemployment or underemployment are not good enough reasons.)5
The previous sections discuss the formula for calculating child custody payments. But Nevada’s child support calculator is subject to the court factoring in other considerations, including:
- the cost of health insurance;
- the cost of child care;
- any special educational needs of the child;
- the age of the child;
- the legal responsibility of the parents for the support of others;
- the value of services contributed by either parent;
- any public assistance paid to support the child;
- any expenses reasonably related to the mother’s pregnancy and confinement;
- the cost of transportation of the child to and from visitation if the custodial parent moved with the child from the jurisdiction of the court which ordered the support and the noncustodial parent remained;
- the amount of time the child spends with each parent;
- any other necessary expenses for the benefit of the child; and
- the relative income of both parents
Of all of these, one of the most important factors is number 10: The amount of time the child spends with each parent:
If one parent has primary physical custody (which means that parent is with the child more than 60% of the time), then the non-custodial parent is the only one who pays child support.
But if both parents have joint physical custody (which means each spends at least 40% of their time with the child), the court calculates what each parent would pay under the formula. Then the court orders the parent with the higher financial obligation to pay the difference:
Example: Fred and John have joint custody of their one child. Fred earns $10,000 a month, and John earns $1,000 a month. Since they have one child, their obligation of support is 18% of their GMI.
18% of Fred’s $10,000 GMI is $1,800 a month. However, his presumptive maximum is only $946 because his salary falls in the “$8,467 to less than $10,585” range. Therefore, the court would likely rely on the lower of those two numbers: $946
Meanwhile, 18% of John’s $1,000 GMI is $180 a month. That is well below the presumptive maximum of $728 for his “$0 to less than $4,235” GMI range, so the court would likely rely on the $180 amount.
Since Fred has a higher obligation of support than John, the court would likely order Fred to pay the difference between the two amounts. This comes to $766 a month ($946 minus $180).
If John in the above example had primary physical custody, then Fred would pay the full $946 a month.
Note that parents can agree on child support payments that deviate from what the court would order under the standard formula. But the judge may ask the parents to justify their decision before signing off on it.6
Also note that parents can ask the court to modify the child support order whenever the paying parent’s GMI changes by more than 20%.7
Call a Nevada family law attorney…
If you are quarreling with your ex about child support payments, let us help. We will fight our hardest in an effort to get you the most favorable resolution possible in your case.
For a FREE consultation with our domestic relations attorneys at Las Vegas Defense Group, phone us right now.
- NRS 125B.070.
- NRS 125B.200.
- NRS 125B.070
- NRS 125B.070; Presumptive Maximum Amounts of Child Support, Administrative Office of the Courts, Nevada Supreme Court.
- NRS 125B.080.
- NRS 125B.080.
- NRS 125B.145; Ellis v. Carucci, 123 Nev. 145, 150-151, 161 P.3d 239, 244-243 (2007)(“[A] modification of primary physical custody is warranted only when (1) there has been a substantial change in circumstances affecting the welfare of the child, and (2) the child’s best interest is served by the modification. Under this revised test, the party seeking a modification of custody bears the burden of satisfying both prongs.”); Rivero v. Rivero, 125 Nev. 410, 216 P.3d 213 (2009)(“A court must review a support order, if requested by a party or legal guardian, every three years…The court may also review a support order upon a showing of changed circumstances…Because the term “may” is discretionary, the district court has discretion to review a support…order based on changed circumstances but is not required to do so…However, a change of 20 percent or more in the obligor parent’s gross monthly income requires the court to review the support order…Although these provisions indicate when the review of a support order is mandatory or discretionary, they do not require the court to modify the order upon the basis of these mandatory or discretionary reviews.”).