Parents must provide financial support for their children. In cases of divorce or cases where the parents have never been married, that may mean paying child support. Child support in Nevada is determined by state law.
If you have child support considerations to address, you will likely want to work with a skilled Las Vegas family law attorney to ensure everything is done correctly. Here’s what you need to know about how to calculate child support in Nevada.
How to Calculate Child Support in Nevada
Child support in Nevada is based on a mathematical formula. The court takes all of the factors that are important in child support and performs a calculation.
The important factors are your gross income, the physical custody arrangement, and the number of children involved in the case. With all of the important considerations, the court uses a mathematical formula to determine the correct support amount. Nevada Revised Statutes 125B creates the rules for calculating child support in Nevada.
Here are the steps to calculating child support in Nevada:
Step 1: Determine the Gross Income of the Parent
A child support calculation begins with a determination of the gross income of the paying parent. In Nevada, it’s the gross income that counts and not the net income. You should consider income from all sources like tips, bonuses, and overtime. Deductions for things like taxes, 401k contributions, and even pension contributions are not allowed in a Nevada child support calculation. Nevada Revised Statutes 125B.070 gives the rules for determining gross income.
A determination of gross income can be complicated when a parent is self-employed. In cases of self-employment, it’s still gross income that counts. But the courts make some allowances for business expenses. If your case involves self-employment, it might be necessary to dig into business records and otherwise explore the exact amount that the self-employed parent has available to pay support. Once you determine the parent’s gross income, you can proceed to the next steps in your child support calculation.
Step 2: Apply It to the Number of Children Involved in the Case
Once you have the parent’s gross income, you apply it to the number of children involved in the case. For one child, the parent pays 18 percent of their gross income. The amount of support doesn’t double with each child. Instead, there are incremental increases for each child. The percentage increases get smaller for each additional child.
To calculate support, you determine how many children are subject to the order. You don’t include other children that are not a part of the order in the case. The court can deviate from the formula for other children, but they’re not directly included in the calculations.
Here are the percentages that apply to each child in a Nevada child support calculation.
- One child – 18 percent
- Two children – 25 percent
- Three children – 29 percent
- Four children 31 percent
- Five or more children – 2 percent more for each additional child
For example, if your gross income is $4,000 per month and you have one child, your base support amount is 18 percent of $4,000 or $720 per month. If you have four children, your base support amount is 31 percent of $4,000 or $1,240 per month. But this amount isn’t necessarily your child support payment.
Step 3: Decide If a Presumptive Maximum Applies
Once you calculate your base child support amount, you must determine if a presumptive maximum amount applies. For each income range, there’s an amount that represents the top amount that the paying parent has to pay, per child, under Nevada law. If the presumptive maximum amount is lower than the percentage amount, it’s the presumptive maximum amount that the parent should pay, per child, in the case. Here are the presumptive maximum amounts in Nevada child support cases:
|INCOME RANGE:||MAXIMUM AMOUNT PER CHILD|
|$0 – $4,168||$500|
|$4,168 – 6,251||$550|
|$6,251 – 8,334||$600|
|$8,334 – 10,418||$650|
|$10,418 – 12,501||$700|
|$12,501 – 14,583||$750|
Remember that the statutory maximums are per child. If you have two children and your income is $4,000 per month, your statutory maximum is $1,000 per month, not $500. In the case of the parent with an income of $4,000 per month and one child, the presumptive maximums work to lower the parent’s support payment from a base support amount of $720 per month to the presumptive statutory maximum of $500 per month.
Presumptive maximums are adjusted each year. You can find the most current presumptive maximum child support amounts here.
Special Considerations for Joint Custody Payments
When parents have joint custody, you perform a child support calculation for each parent. Then, you subtract the higher support payment from the lower support payment. The parent with the higher support payment pays the difference to the other parent. For example, if one parent’s support calculation is $800 per month and the other parent’s payment is $500, the first parent pays the difference, or $300, to the second parent.
Does the Court Have to Follow the Mathematical Formula for a Nevada Child Support Calculation?
There may be some circumstances where the child support formula alone doesn’t produce a child support amount that’s fair under all of the circumstances. An example might be where a child has extraordinary medical needs, or a parent has a legal obligation to provide financial support for other children.
The amount produced by the child support formula is presumed to be the amount that’s correct to meet the needs of the children, but the court can order a different amount if they think it’s important for the children and fair to the parents. If you want the court to order an amount that’s different than the formula recommends, you must ask the court for a deviation from the formula. You must present the evidence that shows why the deviation is fair based on all of the circumstances.
Let Our Nevada Child Support Attorneys Help You
Do you have a question about Nevada child support? Our legal team can help. We can help you understand the Nevada child support formula, and we can help you arrive at a child support amount that’s fair in your case. Call us today to speak with our family law attorneys.