Also known as Child Maintenance, Child Support means the ongoing, periodic payment made by a parent for the benefit of a child following the end of a marriage or other relationship. Nevada law requires that the parents of a child provide the child necessary maintenance, health care, education and support.
Who pays child support when a marriage or relationship ends depends in large part upon the custodial arrangement between the parents of the child. However, child support laws in Nevada apply regardless of gender, meaning that a mother has the same obligation of supporting her child as the father.
The information provided in this section of our website is offered to answer some of the most frequently asked questions our clients have about child support in Nevada. If you or someone you know needs a Family Law Attorney to address your child support needs, please contact us at (702) 433-2889.
How Is Child Support Calculated in Las Vegas, Nevada?
First, the parents’ gross monthly income must be determined. In Nevada, the Court requires each party prepare and file an Affidavit of Financial Condition. The affidavit is a financial statement which tells the Court the income, monthly obligations, debts, and assets of the Parties.
Next, the Court will consider whether the parents have joint custody of their minor children or whether one parent has primary physical custody.
In a situation where the parents have joint physical custody, the Court will consider each parent’s gross monthly income. Most people think joint custody means a 50/50 split. However, Nevada law provides that if one parent has the child at least 40% of the time, joint custody may apply. In a joint custody situation, the Court will compare the relative income of the parents. The parent having the higher gross monthly income, in most case, will be obligated to pay her proportionate share of child support.
If the situation involves one parent with primary custody, the non-custodial parent is usually required to pay child support to the custodial parent. In a situation with one parent having primary custody, the Court will typically order regular payments either monthly or bi-monthly.
Nevada also has an upper end limit, also known as a “cap,” on child support. The caps change every year based upon cost of living increases and other statistics as applied to Nevada child support statutes.
Other factors may determine the total amount of child support awarded in a given case. These factors include: health insurance premiums, child care expenses, transportation costs, etc. Child support may be modified every three years or if there is a substantial change in the parties circumstances warranting a modification.
What If I Can No Longer Afford My Child Support Payments?
If you have a child support order from a Nevada Court and you can no longer afford the support, aside from contacting a family law attorney, you will need to file a motion with the Court requesting a modification in your support payments. However, keep two things in mind:
(1) you should not stop paying support altogether as you could be subject to additional penalties for non-payment – pay what you can; and
(2) the Court will only change your support order if there is a substantial change in circumstances. Substantial changes in circumstances usually means the loss of a job or a change in job, substantial medical expenses or the birth of another child. It is important to have the any child support order modified through the Court because a non-binding oral agreement with the other parent may not be enforced by the Court and could subject the parent required to pay support to additional penalties for non-payment of back support.
How do I enforce my child support order in Las Vegas?
If you already have a Court order for child support, and the parent obligated to pay support is not paying, you have a variety of options. You can retain a family law attorney who can pursue the non-paying parent for support owed (also known as back child support). You can also pursue options through State and Federal agencies to ensure that support continues to be paid.
The Court may also award the enforcing party attorneys’ fees and costs as well as interest on back support. In addition, the Court may order the non-paying party have their driver’s license, as well as other licenses, suspended until their support is brought current. The Court can also order garnishment of wages, criminal penalties, liens against other property and interception of tax refunds.
If the obligated parent has failed to pay support, please call our office today at 702-433-2889 to speak with a qualified Child Support Attorney in Las Vegas today!