When it comes to divorce, child support is often one of the biggest concerns for parents. Child support is defined as regular, periodic payments made by one parent to the other parent to support their minor child. Child support is meant to help cover the costs of raising a child, including food, housing, clothing, and educational expenses.
Who pays child support?
If you are a non-custodial parent in Nevada, you are typically responsible for paying child support. The amount of child support you owe is based on the type of custody, your income, and the number of children you have. If the parents share joint physical custody, the court determines each parent’s share, and the one with the lower support obligation will receive payments from the parent with the higher.
How is the amount of child support calculated?
In Nevada, child support can have several offsets. Child support is based on gross monthly income and the number of children you have. Different factors can offset and adjust the amount to be paid. Some of those factors are:
- Special education
- Costs of transportation
- Ability to pay
- Necessary expenses for the child
- The child’s medical expenses
- The child’s unique needs
- The income of both parents
The Nevada Legislature has set forth specifics percentage for how much income should be spent on child support. Those percentages change depending on how many children need to be supported and the parent’s monthly gross income. Also, if a parent is unemployed or underemployed, the court may impute income to that parent. This means the court will calculate child support based on what the parent could earn, even if they are not currently making that amount. Lower-income earners may have different rules than higher earners.
What if the non-custodial parent doesn’t pay child support?
Nevada has penalties if the non-custodial parent willfully doesn’t pay child support. Penalties may include:
Can child support be modified?
Yes, child support can be modified, but generally, only when there is a change in circumstances. Most of the time, that means when the income has changed by 20% or more when a significant time has passed since the court order was put in place. The process to modify child support is to file a Motion to Modify Child Support with the court that ordered the original child support amount. The parent requesting the modification must show that there has been a change in circumstances since the last order was made. If the court finds there has been a change in circumstances, it may modify the child support amount.
When does child support end?
Typically, child support ends when the child has turned 18, or if still in school, when the child graduates high school.
What are common misconceptions about child support?
There are many misconceptions about child support. Some people think it is only for mothers, but fathers can also receive child support. Others believe that child support always goes to the custodial parent, but this is not always the case. Child support is based on the income of both parents and the needs of the child, not on the gender of the parent. It is essential to understand the child support process and how it works in the State of Nevada. If you have any questions regarding your specific case, it is best to contact an attorney who specializes in family law, like Warnock Family Law. They can help you understand the process and what to expect.