How is child support determined?
Child support is governed by NRS 125B.070 and NRS 125B.080. NRS 125B.070 establishes the amount of child support that an obligor parent must pay, unless the court establishes that facts exist that warrant a deviation. Under NRS 125B.070, an obligor parent must pay a percentage of their gross monthly income, that percentage depends on the number of children: 18% for one child; 25% for two children; 29% for three children; 31% for four children; and an additional 2% for each additional child.
NRS 125B.080 sets out the only factors that the court can rely on to determine whether a deviation from the formula set forth in NRS 125B.070 is appropriate. One of the most common reasons for a deviation is the cost of health insurance for the minor child; the courts routinely grant a deviation in the amount of one-half of the cost of the monthly premiums for the child's health insurance. Other reasons for a deviation from the statutory formula include whether the obligor parent is found to be willfully unemployed or underemployed, if the child has certain special educational needs, and the relative income of the parties.
If child support becomes contested, it is important that an inquiry into the obligor parent's income and finances be conducted to ensure that the child support obligation is properly set. A competent Las Vegas child support attorney will have the knowledge and expertise to conduct such an inquiry. At Acherman Law, we have litigated many cases involving child support. We can help ensure that the child support obligation in your case is set fairly and in accordance with state law.
How does the court determine
who has to pay child support?
In Nevada, all parents are responsible for providing the child with necessary maintenance, health care, education, and support. NRS 125B.020. In practice, however, only one parent pays child support. Generally, the parent that is awarded primary physical custody (the "custodial parent") receives child support from the other parent (the "non-custodial" parent). The non-custodial parent's child support obligation is set pursuant to NRS 125B.070 and NRS 125B.080 as discussed above.
When parents are awarded joint physical custody, the child support obligation is set according to a landmark Nevada Supreme Court case called Wright v. Osburn, 114 Nev. 1367 (1998). Pursuant to Wright v. Osburn, both parents in a joint physical custody case must pay child support pursuant to NRS 125B.070 and NRS 125B.080. The court therefore must calculate each of the parent's obligation (the percentage of their gross monthly incomes as required by NRS 125B.070), subtract the difference between the obligation amount of each parent, and the parent with the greater income will then pay that difference to the other parent. If both parents' income is the same, then neither will pay. In essence, the calculation looks very much like the following example:
Example: The parents share joint physical custody of one child. The mother's gross monthly income is $3,000, and the father's gross monthly income is $5,000.
- Pursuant to NRS 125B.070, child support is set at 18% of gross monthly income.
- 18% of the mother's gross monthly income = $540 (mother's obligation)
- 18% of the father's gross monthly income = $900 (father's obligation)
- The difference between the father's obligation and the mother's obligation = $360
- Because the father's income is greater, then he will pay the difference. The father's obligation is therefore set at $360 per month.
Make sure that child support in your case is set appropriately by having a Las Vegas child support attorney review your case. If you believe that child support in your case has been set at an unfair amount, give us a call. At Acherman Law we offer free consolations with Las Vegas child support attorney who can review your case and, if appropriate, file the necessary documents with the court so that child support in your case can be established at an amount that is fair and in accordance with the law.
View our video series for more information on how Child Support is set in Nevada: Family Law Video Series