How child support is determined and how much the client will have to pay or may receive are some of the most common questions that we get from clients when we first meet with them. While the determination of a child support obligation can be complicated, the basic principles are relatively simple.*
How is child support calculated?
The obligation of child support is codified in Nevada Revised Statute 125B and further governed by Nevada caselaw in Wright v. Osburn. NRS 125B.070 sets forth the method of calculation of child support, and essentially states that child support is calculated by taking one’s gross monthly income and multiplying it by a set percentage. 18% for one child, 25% for two children, 29% for three children, 31% for four children, and an additional 2% for each additional child. However, the amount of child support is capped under NRS 125B.070(2), based upon the parent’s gross monthly income range. While the statute sets forth the presumptive maximums, these numbers change and are published each year.
The child support obligation calculated under NRS 125B.070 can be further deviated up or down based upon several factors contained in NRS 125B.080. For example, a party may receive a downward deviation if they have other children that they support, pay for health insurance for the child at issue, or cost of travel for the parent to visit the child if the custodial parent moves with the child outside of the jurisdiction, to name a few.
If a party has no job or income, they have a minimum obligation of $100.00 per month per child.
What if the parents have joint physical custody?
In situations where the parents enjoy joint physical custody, the method of calculation is explained by Nevada caselaw. In Wright v. Osburn, the Nevada Supreme Court stated that where the parties have joint physical custody, you calculate the appropriate percentage of gross income for each parent; subtract the difference between the two and require the parent with the higher income to pay the parent with the lower income that difference. This of course, can still be adjusted where the Court finds that special circumstances exist. Under this formula, a parent with joint physical custody may still be obligated to pay the other parent child support.
*This blog post is intended to give a basic overview of child support calculations and not intended to constitute legal advice or form an attorney client relationship with our firm. Due to the complicated nature of child custody and support, it is advised that you consult a legal professional. Contact Crawford & Doyle at (702)706-3323 to set up your consultation.