Nevada couples know what a painful and emotional experience a divorce is. If children are involved, child support complicates the situation even further.
Child support in Nevada
Child support is a financial contribution by one parent to help support his or her child. In Nevada, child support is required until the child is emancipated. The normal emancipation age is 18, although if a child is still in high school emancipation may not occur until age 19.
The main factor when determining custody is the best interest of the child. Joint physical custody is granted if the court determines this is in the child's best interest. Once custody is determined, child support is calculated.
Child support calculations
Nevada uses the "income shares" method when calculating child support. This means calculations are made based upon a parent's gross monthly income. Gross monthly income is the amount of income a parent earns before taxes and other deductions are withheld.
The minimum amount of child support that may be awarded is $100 per month per child. This amount is reduced only upon a written finding that the parent cannot pay the minimum amount.
There are different calculations for primary physical custody and joint physical custody. The primary physical custody calculation is as follows:
- 18 percent of gross monthly income for one child
- 25 percent of gross monthly income for two children
- 29 percent of gross monthly income for three children
- 31 percent of gross monthly income for four children
A two percent increase is imposed for each additional child. Joint physical custody is calculated in two steps:
- Calculate the percentage paid by each parent using the primary physical custody calculation
- Subtract the higher number from the lower number
The higher income parent pays the amount from step two. If necessary, the presumptive maximum is applied. The presumptive maximum is based on income and is adjusted on the first of July of each year.
Adjustment of child support
Child support may be adjusted if a parent shows by clear and convincing evidence that the child's needs are not met by applying the standard formula. Several factors are considered when determining whether or not to adjust child support including:
- Cost of health insurance and child care
- Age or special educational needs of the child
- Any public assistance received
- Income of both parents
- Amount of time spent with each parent
Any other necessary expenses for the child are also considered. Additionally, any other legal responsibility parents have for support of others may be examined by the court.
Divorcing Nevada couples with children can benefit from an experienced family law attorney. The attorney can provide valuable information and assist with determining any child custody or support issues.