bank statementThis is the next post in my series on Nevada’s joint child custody laws and how they impact Las Vegas parents. My last article discussed the fact that Nevada presumes that parents should have joint custody. A Judge will deviate from this presumption, however, if such an arrangement is not in the best interest of the child. Retaining an experienced attorney can assist with making an argument for primary custody. In this article I will discuss how our state calculates child support for those with a shared arrangement. If you or a family member are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.

The first step for calculating child support in our state in a joint custody case is to determine the “gross income” of each parent. This will include earned wages, regular investment income, recurring disability and pension payments, recurring military allowances, and more. Gross income will typically not include amounts which are not recurring. So, for example, if one receives a meaningful one-time bonus from their employer then that amount may possibly not be considered in child support calculations. Also, when determining gross income the Court will not consider child support received due to prior relationships, public assistance payments, and other certain types of payments.

The Court will apply a formula to each parent’s gross income once those amounts are known. A parent will normally pay sixteen percent of any gross income that is less than $6,000. They will then pay eight percent of any income that is between $6,001 and $10,000. Additional percentages will apply to additional income brackets. The amounts applied to each parent will be offset against one another and the parent with the larger obligation will pay the other the difference. So, for example, if this formula would require the father to pay $1,000 per month and the mother to pay $700 per month, then the father would pay the mother $300 ($1,000 – $700) each month.

While the foregoing concepts may sound straightforward, there are many factors which can impact how child support is calculated. First, the Court will impute income to a parent whom it finds to be “underemployed.” In other words, if a parent is intentionally earning less than what they are capable of, then the Court may apply their child support obligation as if they were earning at their full potential. Also, there are several grounds on which the Court can choose to vary a parent’s obligations. These grounds can include special education needs, the responsibility of a parent to support other children, if public assistance is being utilized to support the child, other expenses involved in support of the child, etc. Whether or not a variance should be applied is often a point of disagreement in such matters. An experienced attorney can help you to argue as to what should and should not be paid.

I am a Las Vegas child support lawyer who regularly handles matters involving joint child custody. I practice exclusively in the area of domestic relations law and I am proud of the level of service which my clients receive. If you are in need of assistance then contact my office online or by telephone today. I look forward to speaking with you.