Can a Parent Avoid Child Support with Joint Custody in Nevada?


In the 1990s and prior to that, the mother almost always ended up with the kids in a divorce, not just in Nevada, but across the country. But now that so many women are in the workforce, the family courts have changed their approach to child custody. Today, fathers are given equal consideration when the parents are locked in a child custody battle.

However, in the absence of parental substance abuse, severe mental illness on behalf of a parent, and child abuse and neglect, the courts will often lean toward a joint custody arrangement, or one of the parents will fight for it. If you’re considering a joint custody arrangement, you’re probably wondering if equal or 50/50 custody (or at least close to it) will cancel the requirement for child support, a valid question indeed. This is one question that comes up a lot.

Child Support Basics

In Nevada, both parents are legally obligated to financially support their children, whether they’re married to each other or not. If you’re ordered to pay child support, you’re supposed to pay it until your child turns 18, or 19, if your child is still attending high school.

Child support can be extended if a child is disabled and cannot care for themselves. It can also be modified if there’s been a significant change in circumstances, for example, the paying parent goes on unemployment, starts receiving disability benefits, or becomes incarcerated. That being said, this brings us back to the issue of joint custody and its impact on child support.

“Can you escape child support if you have joint custody?” In a word, “No.” Under Nevada law, when parents have joint custody, someone still pays child support. Generally, the higher-earning parent is the one who pays child support. The goal of this is to protect the child’s standard of living after their parents’ divorce. This, however, isn’t a law that’s limited to Nevada. It’s a common rule in most, if not all states.