What is child support?

Child support is established pursuant to the parties’ physical custodial order and/or agreement.  If one party has primary physical custody of the minor child(ren), they are identified as the Obligee, the parent that receives child support.  The party paying child support is identified as the Obligor.  If the parties share joint physical custody, their child support obligation is “off-set” after determining what each parent’s obligation would be to the other.  Even if parties share joint physical custody, there is still an obligation of support depending on the financial circumstances of the parties. 

New Nevada Child Support Law Changes 2020

Effective February 1, 2020 Nevada’s child support calculations have drastically changed.  The old formula for calculating a parent’s ongoing obligation was based on a straight percentage of the Obligor’s gross monthly income, and the number of minor children at issue.  Before February 1, 2020, depending on the gross monthly income of the Obligor, Nevada applied a statutory cap on the amount of child support owed, per child.  The new child support laws have removed the statutory cap and are calculated on a “tiered” system.

Income

1 Child

2 Children

3 Children

4 Children

5 + Children

For the first $6,000.00 of income

16%

22%

26%

28%

2% for each additional child

For additional income between $6,000.00 and $10,000.00

8%

11%

13%

14%

1% for each additional child

For any income over the first $10,000.00 of income

4%

6%

6%

7%

.5% for each additional child

 

Additionally, the new child support statute has eliminated the statutory minimum amount of child support.  Previously, the monthly minimum amount of support was $100.00 per month, per child.  The Court can consider additional factors such as “the specific needs of the child and the economic circumstances of the parties.”  If on Obligor’s financial circumstances limit their ability to pay the child support as calculated under the “tiered” system, the “child support obligation must be established by using a low-income schedule which is based on the current federal poverty guidelines. . .”.

nevada family law attorney

Child Care Costs and Medical Expenses

Under the new child support statute, childcare costs must be split between the parties so long as they are reasonable.  The new statute has not defined what a “reasonable” cost would be.  This will be a developing legal argument to be made on what is a “reasonable” cost of childcare for which both parties should be equally responsible.  The new statute also requires that parents split the cost of the child’s medical needs, including all medical, dental and vision premiums as well as all unreimbursed medical expenses. 

I am already paying child support, does this impact my ongoing obligation?

The new statute will be applied to any child support enforcement action (or by stipulation of the parties) as of February 1, 2020.  If you have an existing child support order and a qualifying event to modify the child support amount, the new statute will be applied to the modification.  In order to modify an existing child support obligation, there must be a “change in circumstances,” or by review of the Court every three (3) years.  A “change in circumstances,” includes a 20% change in gross monthly income, either increase or decrease. 

Do I need a Nevada Family Law attorney?

Under the new statute, the specified amount of child support is heavily impacted and determined by ways of admissible evidence submitted to the court.  If a party does not have legal counsel, there may be substantial disadvantages on if, or how, evidence is argued and presented to the Court by the paying parent.  It is essential that you understand your rights and obligations under the new statute.

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