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Nevada child support, custody, visitation, and wage garnishment rules

Use this Nevada child support law to learn about your child support rights and responsibilites.

How is Nevada child support determined?

In Nevada, temporary and permanent child support may be ordered to be paid by either parent. (Temporary support is for the divorce proceeding time period only.)

There are official Nevada Child Support guidelines, designed to be in the best interests of the child, that the courts use to help determine the correct amount of child support. These will be followed, unless both parents agree to an amount that's at least equal to that calculated by the guidelines, or the courts decide the guidelines are unjust due to the following considerations:

  • the cost of health insurance
  • the cost of child care
  • any special educational needs of the child
  • the age of the child
  • any responsibility of either parent to support other individuals
  • the value of the services the parents contribute
  • any public aid paid to the child
  • any pregnancy expenses
  • any travel expenses related to the child visiting the parents
  • the amount of time the child spends with each parent
  • the relative income of each parent
  • any other necessary expenses

The following percentages of the gross monthly income of the parent paying child support are what the guidelines are generally based on.

  • 1 child 18%
  • 2 children 25%
  • 3 children 29%
  • 4 children 31%
  • for each additional child, an additional 2% of the parent's gross monthly is added, but the total will not exceed more than $500 per child per month

At what age does child support payments end?

Generally, the obligation ends when the child reaches 18 years of age unless the child is still in high school - in which case the support ends upon the child's graduation from high school, or the child's 19th birthday, whichever occurs first. A child will also automatically be ineligible for child support if that child is removed from disability status by a court order.

Nevada's custody guidelines:

Generally, the parents agree upon decisions about parenting and custody. If there is no agreement, then the courts will make these decisions. In Nevada, joint or sole custody may be awarded, without regard to the sex of the parents, based on the best interests of the child and the following factors:

  • the preference of the child, if the child is of an appropriate age
  • the wishes of the parents
  • whether either parent has committed domestic violence
  • any other relevant factors

The courts presume joint custody is the preferred option if both parents agree to joint custody, either by signing an agreement or stating so in open court. There is also a presumption that it¹s in the best interests of the child to not have custody awarded to a parent with any history of domestic violence.

Nevada's medical insurance guidelines:

Generally, the decision as to which parent is going to provide medical insurance coverage for the child and how medical bills may be paid is set out in the marital settlement agreement.

How permanent are the provisions for Nevada child support and custody ?

The court may, at any time, modify or vacate its order even if the divorce was obtained by default without an appearance in the action by one of the parties.

Any order for joint custody may be modified or terminated by the court upon the petition of one or both parents or on the court's own motion if it is shown that the best interest of the child requires the modification or termination. The court shall state, in its decision, the reasons for the court order of modification or termination if either parent opposes it.

While all orders concerning the children may be modifiable in the future, it is not advisable to not enter into an agreement based on the idea that it can be modified later.

Wage garnishment for child support payments:

Most states, including Nevada, have a provision for withholding child support directly from the earnings of the parent who has been ordered to provide support. It is withheld much like income tax is withheld from earnings payments.

This way of paying and receiving child support is generally easier for both parties and considered a very dependable solution. The way it typically works is, once the support is withheld, it is then sent to the state agency authorized to receive and disburse payments. Once it has been verified that the support was paid, it is then sent to the parent designated to receive the support.

How does joint custody work?

Joint custody is now widely recognized by parents, courts and state legislatures. The Nevada legislature recognizes the importance of encouraging family preservation after separation and divorce and the vital necessity for maintaining both paternal and maternal influences.  The court's preference is joint custody if the parents have agreed to joint custody in open court.

However, if the child is a product of sexual assault, the assault creates a presumption that joint custody with the sexual assault perpetrator is not in the best interest of the child. The same holds true if the parent has been convicted of first degree murder.

While joint custody is a 50-50 sharing of responsibilities and major decisions affecting the children, it rarely works out to be a 50-50 sharing of time with the children. Usually one parent is named as the primary joint custodian and the other parent is granted visitation. The primary joint custodian typically retains the decision making power to determine the child’s primary residence and school and to designate things such as the child’s primary physician.

How Nevada determines child visitation:

Generally, parents are free to visit with their children at all times that are mutually agreed to by both parents. However, when parents cannot agree, the standard visitation schedule accepted most everywhere in the
nation is:

  • every other weekend
  • four to six (4-6) weeks during the summer
  • alternating holidays
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