Nevada Laws on Child Support & Spousal Support

By Jim Thomas

Spousal support, or alimony, and child support are treated in strikingly different ways in Nevada. In terms of spousal support, Nevada law requires its courts to award spousal support in a manner that is "just and equitable"; thus, awarding spousal support is a relatively subjective process. On the other hand, child support is usually awarded according to specific guidelines and amounts based on the number of children receiving support and gross income of the noncustodial spouse. However, these amounts are not set in stone -- they can be raised or lowered when special circumstances exist.

Spousal support, or alimony, and child support are treated in strikingly different ways in Nevada. In terms of spousal support, Nevada law requires its courts to award spousal support in a manner that is "just and equitable"; thus, awarding spousal support is a relatively subjective process. On the other hand, child support is usually awarded according to specific guidelines and amounts based on the number of children receiving support and gross income of the noncustodial spouse. However, these amounts are not set in stone -- they can be raised or lowered when special circumstances exist.

Types of Alimony

Spousal support is gender neutral in the 21st century -- either spouse can receive it. There are four types of spousal support that can be awarded in Nevada. You can receive temporary support, or maintenance, during a divorce proceeding. You also can receive permanent alimony, which has no termination date. However, the latter isn't necessarily "permanent" in the true sense of the word; if an ex-spouse dies or you remarry, alimony payments are terminated. Temporary alimony has either a termination date or a terminating event that kicks in to stop payments. Rehabilitative spousal support enables one party to receive money for job training or education to further a career or earning potential. But the court must consider whether the spouse receiving alimony provided financial support to further the other spouse's career during the marriage, perhaps by working to put the other spouse through school. As part of the divorce decree, the court can grant spousal support in the form of a lump sum or installment payments.

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Factors

Over the years, the Nevada Supreme Court has affirmed a number of "non-exclusive" factors a district court should consider when determining the amount of spousal support payments. They include the parties' financial status, value of property owned by each after the divorce, length of the marriage and parties' age, health and ability to earn a living. Another factor that might come into play is ongoing physical or mental abuse, which might require extra expenses or impair the abused spouse's ability to work.

Child Support

Parents are legally obligated to provide for their children's needs. According to the formula adopted in Nevada, if you are paying child support to the spouse who has custody of your kids, you'll pay 18 percent of your monthly gross income if you have one child; 25 percent for two children; 29 percent for three children; 31 percent for four children; and an extra 2 percent for each additional child. If you have joint custody of the kids, the higher-income parent pays child support to the lower-income parent. The goal is to maintain the children's same lifestyle after the divorce.

Special Child Support Needs

As in many states, Nevada law allows the basic child support calculation to be adjusted if a parent can demonstrate the child's needs won't be met by the standard allocation. Many factors compel a court to lower or raise child support, including the cost of health insurance, child care, transportation expenses for visitation, amount of time spent with each parent, and the age and special education needs of the child. In addition, the divorce decree is subject to modification if the parents' circumstances or child's needs change significantly, which can result in an adjustment of spousal support or child support.

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Is it True a Husband Always Has to Pay Alimony When They Get Divorced?

References

Related articles

Family Law on Alimony and Physical Abuse

No-fault divorce went nationwide in 2010 when New York became the last state to recognize grounds such as irreconcilable differences and irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Some states, such as Florida, recognize only no-fault grounds. It's no longer necessary to prove your spouse did something wrong in order to get a divorce, no matter where you live. However, this doesn’t mean that marital misconduct, such as physical abuse, will not affect issues of alimony, even in pure no-fault states.

New Mexico Child Support Regulations

In New Mexico, the amount of child support is determined based on the principle that a child should receive the same level of support he received while his parents were married or still living together. This requires both parents to contribute to the total obligation in proportion to their incomes, based on a formula established by state law. Once ordered, the child support obligation lasts until the child reaches the age of majority.

What Does Child Support Cover?

Child support payments are a ubiquitous feature of divorce decrees for parents of minor children. Non-custodial parents often wonder what they're paying for when they write a check for child support each month. The primary purpose of child support is not to equalize the income of the two former spouses, but rather to provide the children with the same level of economic support they would have had if their parents had remained together.

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