How Does Custody Affect Child Support Payments in Nevada?

New Nevada child support regulations went into effect on February 1, 2020. If parents cannot agree on child support payments, the new rules apply to the court’s determination of the child support amount. The guidelines include specific provisions relating to the role of custody in determining support payments.

Las Vegas family law attorney Joseph Gersten assists clients with all matters involving child custody and support, including cases subject to the new rules. Our previous article provides an overview about the new child support regulations. The discussion that follows provides additional details about the role of custody in a support determination. If you face a child support case and wish to talk with Attorney Gersten, we welcome you to contact us. At The Gersten Law Firm, your initial consultation is always free.

Role of Custody in Child Support Calculation Under the Nevada Child Support Guidelines

The new child support regulations provide new guidelines for the calculation of child support and include new definitions that apply to support determinations. The obligee in a child support matter is a person entitled to receive payments as support for one or more children. The obligor is a person with a legal duty to support one or more children. If both parents have joint physical custody of at least one child, each parent is an obligor.

Calculation of the amount of support is based on the obligor’s gross income. Details about what is included in income are available in our separate article about what counts as gross income under the new regulations. After calculating gross income, a base amount of support is determined based on a schedule of percentages. The base amount may be adjusted up or down by the judge, according to a number of other factors in the guidelines.

Provisions in the regulations specify how custody factors into the final support amount, as follows:

One Parent with Primary Physical Custody

The parent with physical custody of a child is the obligee. The other party is the obligor. The judge determines the amount of the obligor’s child support obligation based on all the provisions in the guidelines.

Parents with Joint Physical Custody of One Child

If the parents have joint physical custody of a child, the judge determines the amount of each parent’s obligation. Then those two amounts are offset against each other. The parent with the higher obligation pays the difference to the other parent.

Parents with Two or More Children

If each parent has joint physical custody of at least one child, but not of all the children, each parent’s support obligation is determined based on the number of children for whom that parent is the obligor. The obligations then are offset. The parent with the higher obligation pays the difference to the other parent.

Stipulation or Agreement to Gross Income or Child Support Amount

The regulations allow parents to stipulate to the amount of gross income used to calculate the support obligation or to agree to the amount of child support. If parents cannot reach agreement, the court makes those determinations.

If the parents reach an agreement, the court reviews the stipulation. To be valid, the regulations require that a stipulation of the parents must be in writing and also meet specific requirements. The agreement must:

  • State the current monthly gross income of each parent;
  • Specify the amount of support as calculated under the guidelines;
  • Provide notice that the court will apply the guidelines if either party requests review of the agreement;
  • Include the obligee’s certification that he or she is not receiving and has not applied for public assistance;
  • Certify that the child’s basic needs are met or exceeded by the stipulated amount of support; and
  • Be approved and adopted as an order of the court.

Even if a stipulation meets the first five requirements, the judge is not required to approve it. The regulations authorize the judge to reject an agreement if the agreed amount does not meet the needs of the child or the agreement resulted from coercion.

Do You Need a Lawyer for a Child Support Case?

The new Nevada child support regulations are extremely complex. They include many detailed provisions that apply to a child support case. If you are considering initiating a new support case or you face child custody and support issues, you should consult with an experienced family law attorney who understands the new regulations. The new guidelines also apply to actions seeking modification of existing child support or custody orders, so consulting with a lawyer in those situations is equally critical.

Additional Information

Our blog includes several articles about the new regulations:

In addition, the State of Nevada provides a free online calculator supported by the State of Nevada Division of Welfare and Supportive Services (DWSS). You can use the calculator to estimate your child support payments. However, please remember that a judge can raise or lower the calculated base amount under a number of different provisions in the regulations.

The new guidelines are codified in Chapter 425 of the Nevada Administrative Code.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Respected Las Vegas Child Support Attorney

If you face child support or child custody issues in Las Vegas, Henderson, or elsewhere in Clark County, Las Vegas family law attorney Joseph Gersten is here to help. Attorney Gersten understands the difficulty and emotional stress that accompanies any legal matter relating to children. He will evaluate your case based on his extensive experience and skill and work aggressively to protect your rights and interests.

Your initial consultation is always free-of-charge at The Gersten Law Firm. Call 702.857.8777 or complete our online form to schedule an appointment.

Categories: Nevada Family Law