Examples of Child Support Payments In Nevada

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.

  • Brittany Manning

Nevada Alimony Laws

Alimony in Nevada

Alimony is monies paid to a spouse after a divorce or during a legal separation. Nevada is a no-fault state for divorce. This means that the plaintiff does not need to prove fault in the defendant and alimony will not be affected by any misconduct. Alimony is also separate from any property settlements. Only a state court has jurisdiction over a divorce. There is no specific calculator that can be used to determine the amount a spouse will receive. The court will have to determine a fair amount for alimony, taking into consideration a number of conditions prior to making a judgement.

            There are four different types of alimony. The first is temporary maintenance which is paid out during a legal separation until a divorce has been finalized. Temporary maintenance is not automatically issued during divorce proceedings. Instead the spouse seeking the alimony must file a motion for the support. The second is rehabilitative alimony which is paid to the spouse to go through the necessary training or education for a job or profession. This type of alimony is normally paid out to the spouse that was previously the stay-at-home parent. The third type is temporary alimony which will be paid after the divorce has been finalized for a period of time that the judge will determine. The last type is permanent alimony which is paid out until the receiving spouse dies or remarries. 

Per Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 125.150 any imbalances between the plaintiff and defendant’s income and the standard of living the couple has been accustomed to must also be taken into consideration. A judge will also consider a spouse’s need for financial support due to health, training needed to get back into the work force, the career each spouse had prior to the marriage, the age and education of both parties, the ability to pay alimony, and if one spouse helped advance the other’s career.

One of the other conditions a judge will consider, is the length of the marriage. If the marriage lasted less than three years alimony will not be an option. If the marriage lasted between three years and twenty then alimony can be granted for up to half of the time the marriage lasted. If the marriage lasted more than twenty years, then permanent alimony is highly likely. An order for alimony can be modified if there is a 20 percent or higher income change for the paying spouse.

Understanding The Fifth Amendment

Understanding the Fifth Amendment


            We have all heard the expression, “I plead the Fifth”, but what does that really mean? Let’s break it down. The first step in understanding what that means is knowing that it is referring to the fifth amendment to the Constitution of the United States and part of the Bill of Rights. You may be surprised to know that “pleading the fifth” also only refers to only one portion of this amendment. The fifth amendment has a place in both civil and criminal trials. Let’s take it apart and find out what it’s saying.

            The first line states, “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger.” This lengthy statement means you can be indicted, or accused of a crime, by the grand jury before any criminal charges have actually been made. This usually occurs when the grand jury determines that there is probable cause that the crime in question has been committed and by the suspect in question.

            Next the fifth amendment says, “nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.” To make this explanation shorter, you are protected against a Double Jeopardy, or having multiple trials for the same crime. A second trial would not be permitted for the same criminal offense whether it be after an acquittal or a conviction.

            Then it goes on to say, “nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, not be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”. Here is the infamous statement that leads to “pleading the fifth”. This portion of the fifth amendment protects against self-incrimination. When being asked questions as a witness in court, a person can use this right if they know that the answer they are thinking about giving may cause them to appear guilty of the crime in question. This statement is also reiterated in the Miranda rights usually read to a criminal when being arrested, although in some places the times to read someone their Miranda rights has changed.

            And lastly the fifth amendment states, “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without compensation”. This part of the fifth amendment I can explain best by referring to eminent domain. Eminent domain is used when the government takes property for public use but in return the property owner is compensated fairly. Just like eminent domain, the federal government can take private property as long as they compensate the property owner justly.

            There you have a quick run-down of the fifth amendment of the Constitution of the United States. There is obviously more in depth information but at least now you’ll know what your friend means when they tell you they “plead the fifth.


 – Allison McKenzie










Mr. Ryan Strasser, Fifth Amendment LII / Legal Information Institute (2017),

            https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/fifth_amendment (last vistited Sep 7, 2018).



Marijuana’s Effect on Drivers and Nevada DUI Laws

Marijuana’s Effect on Drivers and How That Could Lead to a DUI

            Although, Marijuana is legal in the state of Nevada, a person can still receive a DUI if they are driving while under the influence of it. An article in Clinical Chemistry, “Cannabis Effects on Driving Skills”, recently did a study in which evidence suggested that smoking marijuana increased swerving between lanes and impaired cognitive function. This can cause accidents and in turn risk the lives of other drivers. Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 484C.110 states that it is unlawful for a person to operate a vehicle if they have a delta 9 THC blood level of two nanograms per milliliter or 11-OH-THC blood level of five nanograms per milliliter.

According to  “Detection Times of Drugs of Abuse in Blood, Urine, and Oral Fluid” THC can stay in a person’s blood for one to two days. The time can go up to 25 days for frequent smokers. Therefore, a driver could receive a DUI even if they are not high while driving. A police officer must first have reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed or have witnessed a driver committing a traffic violation, such as swerving between lanes. The officer will then pull the driver over and observe them closely. If the driver smells of marijuana or if their pupils are dilated, the officer can arrest the driver and have their blood tested because Nevada law NRS 484C.160 states that a driver has implied consent the moment they get behind the wheel of a vehicle.

            See Byars v. State as an example. Here Byars was pulled over for speeding. The Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper smelled marijuana and upon questioning Byars he admitted to having smoked five hours prior. The trooper performed sobriety tests and forced Byars to submit to a blood test. Byars blood test results showed 4.5 nanograms of THC per milliliter found in his blood. Byars argued that the blood test went against his fourth amendment right. The state argued that Byars consented to the blood draw the moment he chose to drive on Nevada roads per NRS 484C.160. It was also ruled to be an extenuating circumstance because waiting for a warrant would have given time for the THC to dissipate from his blood. Byars was convicted of a DUI, which was a misdemeanor and can carry penalties of two days to six months in jail or community service, a fine between $400 and $1000, a three month suspension on their driver’s license, and mandatory DUI school for a first offense.


  • Yuri Morales    







Child Neglect in Nevada

How does one define child abuse in the state of Nevada? The Merriam-Webster definition of neglect is to give little attention and or respect to and or disregard.  Neglect is also defined as to leave undone and unattended to.  Now how is the definition used in correlation to child abuse in the state of Nevada? It is clearly defined under the Nevada Revised Statue 200.508 with the Nevada Revised Statue 193.130 referenced as well.

The NRS 200.508 defines child abuse as a person who cause unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering to a child under the age of 18 and or puts a child in a situation where physical pain and or mental suffering is done to under age child.  There are subsections to the NRS that define the law more in depth and how said penalties are applied for someone in violation of the statute.

It is considered felony child abuse if a minor under the age of 14 is sexually abused and or exploited in a sexual nature. The penalty of said abuse is life with parole and parole can be reached after 15 years being served. Now if it considered a class B felony the penalty for said abuse is 2 years and no more than 20 years.

Now if the mental and or physical harm is not substantial to the child and is a class b felony the terms of penalty now differ if the person has no criminal history of child abuse and is said first offense the person in question will receive a sentence of one year and no more of six years, if said person has a history and criminal record of child neglect the penalty for a class b felony is a minimum of two years and no more than fifteen years.

If a person who is responsible for the welfare of a child and willing knows and or allows the abuse to occur there are penalties for said person. If the child is under the age of 14 and has been sexually abused and or exploited the punishment is life with the possibility of parole after ten years being served.  If the abuse is not of the sexual nature the penalty for said person is a minimum of two years and no more than twenty years.

If the person that knew of the abuse and or allowed the abuse and is not substantial to the child in question can be consider a gross misdemeanor and not a felony as long as the person has no history of said crime. If the person has a history of child abuse of this degree and has not cause substantial harm to the child then the person is guilty of a Class C Felony under NRS 193.130. The time served for a Class C felony is one year and no more than five years with a fine of up to 10,000.00 dollars imposed unless specified differently.  

Jamie Ward

Nevada Community Property Laws

An Overview of Community Property in Nevada

Community property is defined as property owned jointly by a married couple. Nevada law regarding community property is outlined in NRS 123.220-259. These laws allow for a divorce decree to accurately represent how all property should be divided among a couple filing for divorce. Typically property is divided equally among parties, however this is not always the case. Community property may include but is not limited to items such as credit card debt, loans, land and vehicles.

In the absence of written agreements, all property obtained during a marriage is considered community property, with the exception of separate property. Separate property falls in to four categories under NRS 123.130. These are: property owned before marriage, property given as a gift, property acquired through probate and property awarded in a personal injury action. When separate property is comingled with community property the court must find a compelling reason to make an unequal distribution of property.

Occasionally there will be an unequal distribution of property as seen in the case of Wolff v. Wolff. Here Ms. Wolff was originally entitled to a portion of Mr. Wolff’s retirement funds. Because Ms. Wolff was receiving social security benefits the court ordered Mr. Wolff to pay Ms. Wolff her share of spousal support less his retirement funds. In a dissent by the Judge it is stated that the courts “…divide all separate and community property equitably after considering the totality of facts, and this, of course, includes Roberta’s substantial accrued social security benefits that she will reap in the future.”

Further still there are exemptions when a spouse has “wasted” or “secreted” community assets as in Putterman v. Putterman. Here the court finds compelling reason for unequal distribution of community property because Mr. Putterman had “secreted” several thousand dollars which had to be repaid at Ms. Putterman’s expense. The case states that the funds provided by Ms. Putterman “presents the kind of financial misconduct that can form the basis for a finding of compelling reasons for unequal division.”

Under NRS 123.220 community property is defined as “all property… acquired after marriage by either spouse or both spouses, is community property…” Here we can see that there is ample room for interpretation of the law. Because of this it becomes necessary for those experienced in family law matters to oversee not only divorce decrees but also premarital agreements in order to ensure equitable division of community property for all parties.

Child Support – By The Numbers

Child support in Nevada requires both parents to cover the cost of education, support payments,

healthcare, clothing, etc. Although only one parent typically pays child support, when the

parents have joint custody, the parent with the highest income pays child support. Most of the

time there are three factors that determine how much child support costs, number of children,

monthly income of the two parents, and custody arrangement. For one child, it is 18% of you

gross monthly income that goes towards child support, for two children it is 25%, for three it is

29% for four it is 31%, and for each additional child it is 2%. The minimum amount a parent has

to pay is $100.


These child support percentages can be unfair to one parent or a child, so before a child

support order is in place, a parent can ask for the amount to be adjusted and a court will

consider these factors: cost of health insurance, child care, special education needs, age of

child, both parents’ responsibility to support other children, each parent’s contribution, mother’s

pregnancy expenses, visitation expenses, the amount of time the child spends with each parent,

and lastly, income of both parents. After three years of a child support order being in place,

parents can ask the court to change their amount based on how much they currently make a



Two ways that a child support order can be enforced are: one, the parent that is receiving child

support can contact the Family Support Division and fill out an application through the District

Attorney. The DA then can determine how much child support is owed. Through the DA, a

parent can also establish paternity, obtain a custody order, find a non-custodial parent, and

modify an existing child support order. Second, the parent that is recovering can file a Motion for

an Order to show Cause with the Family Court.


– Laura De La Cruz




Civil vs. Criminal Law in Nevada

Civil or Criminal: Understanding the Differences

            You just were just hit by a drunk driver and the police are on their way.  Everyone is okay, but you’re sitting there wondering how this driver will be punished. Was this a civil crime or was is it a criminal act? To figure that out you must first understand the differences between Civil Law and Criminal Law.

            Let’s start with Civil Law. Civil Law refers to crimes committed against a person or persons. Examples of these crimes could be breaching a contract, using slander or threatening words, negligence, etc. The biggest thing to remember is a Civil case will always have a Plaintiff, or the person initiating the suit, and a Defendant, or the person being sued. These people could also be corporations or companies depending on what the case is about. Civil Law cases usually result in minor consequences such as fines and injunctions. These cases have verdicts of liable and not liable to determine the outcome and punishments of the parties and verdicts are often based on the preponderance of the evidence. A preponderance of the evidence means that any evidence presented will have to prove that it is more likely than not that defendant committed the act stated.

            Next, we have Criminal Law. Criminal Law refers to crimes that are committed against society or that could harm large numbers of people. Examples of Criminal Law would be murders, mass shootings, arson, burglary, etc. In a Criminal case, the defendant is the person who committed the crime and they are usually brought to court by the State or Prosecutor. These crimes have larger consequences because of the severity of the crimes being tried. Consequences include large fines, imprisonment, and in some cases, death. Unlike in a Civil case, these cases have verdicts of guilty or not guilty and has to be backed by the proof that the crime was committed beyond a reasonable doubt. Beyond a reasonable doubt means that the evidence and facts are so clear that there are no doubts that the crime was committed or not.

            Now go back to sitting on the side of the road waiting for the police. After analyzing the differences between Civil Law and Criminal Law, have you figured out the classification of the drunk driver’s case? If you are thinking Criminal, you are correct. The crime committed was negligent but could have harmed and even killed multiple people. This drunk driver was a danger to society and therefore will be a Criminal case. He will be put on trial and a verdict will be determined.


– Allison McKenzie

Firearm Laws in Nevada

In Nevada firearms fall under state and federal law. Firearms as defined under NRS 62A.130 are allowed to be owned by any Nevada citizen over the age of 18. Firearms are not allowed to be in possession of a prohibited person as defined under NRS 202.360 . If a person in ownership of firearms is found to be a prohibited person by a court ruling said person is subject to surrender their firearms under NRS 202.361. It is also illegal to sell firearms or ammunition to a prohibited person under NRS 202.362. There are no registration requirements for firearms in Nevada. No permit is needed for a resident over the age of 18 to open carry in Nevada. You must be 21 years of age or older to buy a handgun from a federally licensed dealer under federal law. You must be 21 years of age or older to obtain a Nevada concealed carry license under NRS 202.3657.

It is legal to carry handguns loaded. It is illegal to carry a rifle or shotgun loaded under NRS 503.165. It is illegal to sell firearms or ammunition to minors under NRS 202.310. Under certain circumstances children over the age of 14 can have firearms in their possession with written permission from their parents/guardians under NRS 202.300.

All purchases from a federally licensed dealer are subject to a NICS background check. Out of state and online sales must be done through a federally licensed dealer and are subject to NICS background check. Before the 2016 Nevada General Election there were no background check requirements for a private sale between Nevada citizens. Although deemed unenforceable by the Nevada Attorney General there are now background checks required for private firearm sales under NRS 202.2533. There are certain exceptions to the private transfer of firearms to immediate family members, government officials, and under certain acts under NRS 202.2541.

It is illegal to carry firearms in public buildings as defined under NRS 202.265. It is legal to carry in any other public building as defined under NRS 202.3673. Private businesses have the right to ask you to leave their public building if they have knowledge of you carrying a weapon. It is illegal to be in possession of a firearm while intoxicated with a blood alcohol content of 0.10 or over as defined under NRS 202.257.

It is illegal to discharge firearms within city limits under NRS 202.280. Discharging into a structure or vehicle, or within a structure or vehicle is illegal under NRS 202.285 and NRS 202.287.

 In order to obtain any fully automatic or select fire firearm, short barreled rifle or shotgun, firearms with silencer/muffler devices, and firearms described as other weapons in Nevada one must conform with federal law and the National Firearms Act.

Pedestrian Laws in Reno, NV

NRS 484B.280 describes the responsibilities drivers have to avoid collisions with pedestrians e.g. honking their horn if they can’t stop in time to avoid a collision.  https://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-484B.html#NRS484BSec280.  If a driver does not follow these rules they may be held at least partly liable for colliding with a pedestrian regardless of whether the pedestrian had the right-of-way.  As a driver it is imperative to exercise caution and care when observing a pedestrian nearby.

                  Similarly, pedestrians must also follow certain rules in order to comply with Nevada law.  NRS 484.283 describes when pedestrians have the right-of-way.  https://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-484B.html#NRS484BSec283.  Pedestrians must obey crosswalk signals and only walk when signaled to do so.  Id.  Intersections without marked crosswalks are still considered crosswalks and drivers must yield to pedestrians.  Id.  These intersections are referred to as “unmarked crosswalks”.  Pedestrians are not permitted to suddenly enter a crosswalk or run across it in front of oncoming traffic.  Id.

Blind pedestrians with a service animal or a white cane always have the right-of-way and drivers are required to come to a complete stop for them to cross a highway, street or road.  https://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-484B.html#NRS484BSec290.  Non-blind pedestrians do not have this same right.  There are some instances when pedestrians do not have the right-of-way as described in NRS 484B.287.  https://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-484B.html#NRS484BSec287.  Pedestrians must yield to drivers when crossing at a point in between adjacent intersections.  Id.  Similarly, when crossing a highway, pedestrians must yield to drivers if not in a marked or unmarked crosswalk.  Id. Pedestrians crossing a highway via a pedestrian tunnel or overhead crossing must yield to drivers.  Id.

Pedestrians are also governed by Nevada law when walking next to highways.  https://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-484B.html#NRS484BSec297.  Pedestrians must use sidewalks when available.  Id.  When sidewalks are not available next to a highway, pedestrians must walk on the left side facing oncoming traffic.  Id.  Intoxicated pedestrians are prohibited from walking within the traveled portion of a highway.  Id.  Pedestrians are not allowed to stand in the highway to solicit a ride or business from drivers.  Id.  However, the legality of hitchhiking in Nevada is unclear.  See http://hitchwiki.org/en/Nevada.

In Anderson v. Baltrusaitus, appellant was struck near an intersection by respondent causing him severe injury.  https://caselaw.findlaw.com/nv-supreme-court/1213445.html.  Here respondent was initially granted summary judgment by the district court because appellant was slightly outside of the unmarked crosswalk when he was struck.  Id.  However, upon appeal this decision was reversed due to multiple factors that proved the driver was also negligent and could have prevented the accident by exercising proper caution.  Id.  This case confirms the importance for drivers to always be careful around pedestrians as the consequences can be life-altering or fatal.

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