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How is child support determined?

Nevada uses a formula which is set forth in Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS125B.070). Child support is first factored by determining the non-custodial parent’s gross income (the income before taxes or other monies are deducted). That number is then multiplied by a percentage.

If there is one child, that percentage is 18%. If there are two children, the percentage is 25%, if three children 29%, if four children 31%. After four children, the court orders the one paying child support to pay an additional 2% of gross monthly income for each additional child up to a certain level. There is a statutory cap on the amount of money a parent is required to pay. The cap changes periodically, so it is good to review the current statute (NRS125B.070).

By way of example, let’s say the non-custodial parent has a gross income of $4000 and the parties have one child. To determine the correct amount of child support, the $4000 would be multiplied by 18%, which means the non-custodial parent would pay $720.00 per month for child support.Using the formula, then, it is relatively easy what a non-custodial parent’s child support obligation would be.

The statute also allows parties to request that the judge deviate from the formula, either upward or downward. For example, if the parties have a special needs child, the court may determine a greater amount of child support is required than what the formula yields. On the other hand, if the non-custodial parent has other biological or adopted children whom he or she is required to support, the court might take that into consideration and deviate downward from the formula.

Experience has shown that courts are reluctant to deviate from the formula. If they do, the law requires the judge to set forth specific facts that the court is considering in deviating from the formula.

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