NRS 125B.070 establishes the formula for calculating child support obligations in Nevada. https://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-125B.html#NRS125BSec070. Although seemingly straight forward, there are multiple factors that need to be considered when calculating the amount of a child support order. Custody arrangements and relative income of the parents are big factors in the determination of child support.
Child support for one child is currently set at 18% of a parents’ gross monthly income, 25% for two children, 29% for three, 31% for four, and another 2% for each additional child. Id. However, these percentages are not to exceed the maximum amounts set by the statute unless a deviation from the formula is warranted. Id. For example, a child with special needs might require child support in excess of a maximum amount set forth in the statute. https://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-125B.html#NRS125BSec080. The minimum monthly amount of child support to be awarded is $100. Id.
Calculation of child support becomes even less straight forward when the parents share joint custody. The court considers both parents’ income. If each parent is obligated to pay 25% of their monthly income, the parent with the higher income will end up being the one who pays child support. However, they will not be ordered to pay the full 25%. Instead, they will be paying the difference between their 25% portion and the other parent’s 25% portion. It is important to remember that the maximum cap does not apply until after the difference is calculated in these joint custody situations.
In Nevada, there are penalties added on when a payment is delinquent by a month or more. https://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-125B.html#NRS125BSec095. When a parent fails to pay child support, the other parent can use an enforcement agency such as the District Attorney’s Family Support Division in their county to help collect the support. https://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-125B.html#NRS125BSec150. The DA’s office can also help to locate the delinquent parent and even establish paternity if necessary. Id. An enforcement agency is usually the most effective way to collect unpaid child support.
Child support orders in Nevada can be reviewed every three years to determine if a modification or an adjustment is needed. https://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-125B.html#NRS125BSec145 However, they can be reviewed sooner if there is a significant change in circumstance of a parent. If a parent is receiving public assistance, that must be considered before modifying a child support order. https://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-125B.html#NRS125BSec065. One reason child support laws exist is to reduce the amount of public assistance needed. Nevertheless, the main reason for child support is ultimately because parents have a legal obligation to provide for and support their children. https://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-125B.html#NRS125BSec020.