Child support and child custody are two very important issues during separation and divorce proceedings. There are different ways to arrive at a support and custody agreement without having to go to court. Some couples choose to work through their family lawyers in Las Vegas and utilize mediation to come to an amicable arrangement. One reached, the agreement is presented to the judge for approval.
Regardless of whether you are able to use mediation or have to go to court to establish child support and custody agreements, there are several things you need to know about how the court determines the amount of support each child receives, as follows:
- Both parents are financially responsible. In Nevada, child support costs are to be covered by both parents. In cases where one parent works and the other is a stay-at-home provider, the court does make exceptions, as well as for cases where one parent earns more money. The court does look at the ability to pay, and the earning capacities of both parents, when determining what percentage each parent is responsible to pay.
- Nevada courts use gross income to calculate child support payments. The formula used to determine child support payments are based on gross income, not net income. This prevents parents from offshoring their earnings into pre-tax accounts, such as 401K, to make it look like they earn less.
- The age of the children and the care they require. Health insurance and daycare expenses paid by one parent are deducted from the required support payment, as these items are also considered support. In addition, as the child gets older, support payments could increase as their needs change, like if they need glasses, braces, support for school events, and so on. Further, if a child has special needs, the court may require higher support payments.
- The other financial obligations of the parents. The court does review any current child support and/or alimony payments already being paid to another person. The court deducts these support payments from the gross monthly income. However, the court does not deduct discretionary and excessive expenses from the gross income.
The court will expect each parent to provide bank statements, pay stubs, and other financial documentation to establish gross earnings and make adjustments to arrive at the adjusted income. Next, the court determines what percentage each parent is required to contribute and uses this to establish the amount of support to be paid. The court does make adjustments to the base amount if necessary.
Keep in mind, the judge does reserve the right to modify the agreement in cases where the parent is financially able to pay more towards the support of their children. Additionally, each parent has a financial obligation to report changes in gross earnings to the court, as this could impact the amount of support the children receive. Feel free to contact McFarling Law Group today to schedule a complimentary consultation appointment to discuss child support and custody concerns by phoning 702-565-4335 today.