A family court must address issues concerning child support, child custody, visitation, and other child-related matters whenever parents file a court case. Dealing with child custody and support considerations can be confusing and emotionally overwhelming for parents. Parents seeking a divorce or those establishing parentage and custody for the first time often have many questions about child support in Nevada. This article addresses some of the common questions our clients ask.
Frequently Asked Questions about Child Support
1. Who is responsible for paying child support in Nevada?
In Nevada, the parent who does not have primary physical custody of the child is responsible for paying child support. The court determines the amount of child support based on the Nevada Child Support Guidelines. The court considers both parents' incomes and the amount of time each parent spends with the child when calculating the amount of child support.
2. Who is eligible to receive child support in Nevada?
In Nevada, any custodial parent, guardian, or caretaker of a minor child can receive child support. This includes biological parents, adoptive parents, stepparents, foster parents, and any other person with legal custody of the child. To receive support, the custodial parent must first file a petition with the family court in the county where the child resides.
3. How is the amount of child support determined?
NAC 425.140 sets forth the guidelines for calculating the amount of child support paid in Nevada. The guidelines are based on the parents' incomes, the number of children, and the time the children spend with each parent. The court may also order a non-custodial parent to pay for medical and dental expenses, childcare, and educational expenses.
4. Can parents receive child support if they were never married?
Child support is based solely on one's status as a parent, not marital status. In Nevada, the law assumes that the husband is the father if a couple is married when a baby is born. If a couple isn't married when a child is born, paternity must be established to pursue child support.
5. How do I file for child support in Nevada?
The process begins with filing a petition for child support in the county family court where the child resides. Once the petition is filed, the court will issue a summons to the non-custodial parent, requiring them to appear in court and answer the petition.
6. How is child support enforced in Nevada?
The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services Division of Welfare and Supportive Services (DWSS) handles child support enforcement in Nevada. The DWSS enforces child support orders, collects payments, and provides services to families who are owed child support. When a parent is ordered to pay child support, the DWSS will send a notice to the parent's employer, informing them of the child support order and the amount that must be withheld from their wages.
7. Can child support be modified in Nevada?
The Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) provide for the modification of child support orders. Either parent can petition the family court to modify a child support order if there have been substantial changes in a parent's income or the child's medical or educational needs. Modifications are only made when there has been a substantial and usually permanent change in circumstances. The court must also find that the modification is in the child's best interests.
How Can a Family Law Attorney Help?
Once a family court enters a child support order, it can be difficult and costly to change. Before agreeing to a child support or custody plan, talk to an experienced family law attorney. Judges make their decisions based on evidence. If you're seeking additional child care or educational support, you need to carefully document your expenses in ways that are admissible in court. A family law attorney can help ensure your case is prepared in a way that's compelling to the court. They can also explain how current laws might apply to your particular case. Working with a skilled family law attorney allows you to make the best decisions possible for you and your children.
If you are the parent receiving support, an attorney can help ensure you receive the maximum your child deserves. And if you are paying support, a lawyer can ensure you don't pay more than you are legally required or willing to. An experienced Las Vegas family law attorney can also help you modify an existing child custody order or enforce your visitation rights.
The Leavitt Family Law Group is Here to Help
When you need a family law attorney in Henderson, Nevada, call the Leavitt Family Law Group at 702-447-0084 or contact us online. We serve clients in Henderson, Las Vegas, and surrounding communities.
The Leavitt Family Law Group team is ready to help you with aspects of your divorce, from child custody to spousal support and asset division. We will work hard to protect your rights and secure the best outcome for you and your family.