In the United States, nearly 30% of all children live in a single-parent family. Nevada has specific laws to ensure that parents who are divorced or separated contribute to the needs of their children.
Before finalizing any divorce where children are involved, a court is required to consider the best interests of the children. When one parent is awarded custody, that parent has a right to be reimbursed by the non-custodial parent for a reasonable portion of child-related costs. This is called child support, and in Nevada, there are very specific rules governing child support calculations.
As a general rule, the non-custodial parent is obligated to pay a portion of his or her gross income as child support, up to a certain statutory limit that can only be exceeded in special circumstances. Once the award is calculated, the non-custodial parent is obligated to provide child support until the child turns eighteen or graduates from high school, whichever is later.
Because the best interests of the child are always paramount, a child support order is not dischargeable in bankruptcy and cannot be evaded by purposefully becoming unemployed or underemployed.
Nevada’s statutory scheme also allows for regular adjustments in child support payments to account for changed circumstances, including changes in income, changes in the cost of raising your children, and even mere fluctuations in the consumer price index due to inflation. Either parent has the right to seek a review of their child support order once every three years, or any time if the income of the non-custodial parent changes by more than 20%.
Whether due to changes in income, in the cost of living, or otherwise, many child support awards are outdated and can be modified to better meet your children’s needs.
If you are either paying or receiving child support and believe there may be cause to modify the amount, consult an experienced attorney.