Child Custody and Support
Surratt Law Practice, PC is a Reno, Nevada child custody and support law firm. Whether you were ever married or not, our firm can assist you with any legal matters that you have surrounding your children and the family court. Surratt Law Practice can assist clients with child custody and visitation, child support, guardianship, termination of parental rights, grandparent visitation rights, and more.
Legal Custody and Physical Custody are the two types of custody which are considered in Nevada.
Legal custody is the concept of making parenting decisions such as school enrollment, extracurricular activities, religious upbringing and medical needs of the children on a non-emergency basis. In most cases, parents share joint legal custody and are encouraged to confer with one another regarding parenting decisions even after divorce.
Physical custody is where the children spend their time. Physical custody can be joint or primary custody with one parent. In a joint physical custody situation, the parents share roughly equal parenting time with their children. If one parent has primary custody, that parent has the children with him or her more than 60% of the time. Nevada public policy is that both parents remain an active part of the children’s lives, whether the parties are/were married or not.
In Nevada, the Court’s focus in making custody determination is the best interest of the child. Some of the factors the Court will consider in determining the best interest of the child are:
- The wishes of the child if the child is of sufficient age and capacity to form an intelligent preference as to his or her custody.
- Any nomination by a parent or a guardian for the child.
- Which parent is more likely to allow the child to have frequent associations and a continuing relationship with the noncustodial parent.
- The level of conflict between the parents.
- The ability of the parents to cooperate to meet the needs of the child.
- The mental and physical health of the parents.
- The physical, developmental and emotional needs of the child.
- The nature of the relationship of the child with each parent.
- The ability of the child to maintain a relationship with any sibling.
- Any history of parental abuse or neglect of the child or a sibling of the child.
- Whether either parent or any other person seeking custody has engaged in an act of domestic violence against the child, a parent of the child or any other person residing with the child.
- Whether either parent or any other person seeking custody has committed any act of abduction against the child or any other child.
Child support payments are designed to provide for the needs of your child or children.
Whether you are seeking to collect child support, or are attempting to defend yourself from having to excessively pay such support, Surratt Law will work with you and provide you with the advice you need to ensure that your children are receiving the appropriate amount of financial support.
When it comes to child support payments, it is important that a fair and appropriate amount is calculated for both parties. In Nevada there is a formula for calculating how much child support you are obligated to pay. The primary factors that are considered in the formula for calculating child support include child custody designations, the gross monthly income (GMI) of each parent and ability to pay. In cases where one parent is awarded primary physical custody of the children, the other parent may be ordered to pay a percentage of one’s GMI based on how many children that one shares with his or her spouse.
Nevada revamped their child support regulations on February 1, 2020. If you find websites and information on the internet that mention a “presumptive maximum child support” then you are most likely looking at old information. The 2020 Child Support Guidelines for the State of Nevada can be found in Chapter 425 of the Nevada Administrative Code.
How to Calculate Nevada Child Support:
Step 1: Determine who is an “obligor” OR if you have two “obligors” (joint physical custody)
Step 2: Determine the Gross Monthly Income for Each Obligor which includes:
(a) Salary and wages, including, without limitation, money earned from overtime pay if such overtime pay is substantial, consistent and can be accurately determined.
(b) Interest and investment income, not including the principal.
(c) Social security disability benefits and old-age insurance benefits under federal law.
(d) Any periodic payment from a pension, retirement plan or annuity which is considered remuneration for employment.
(e) Net proceeds resulting from workers’ compensation or other personal injury awards intended to replace income.
(f) Unemployment insurance
(g) Income continuation benefits.
(h) Voluntary contributions to a deferred compensation plan, employee contributions to an employee benefit or profit-sharing plan, and voluntary employee contributions to any pension or retirement account, regardless of whether the account provides for tax deferral or avoidance.
(i) Military allowances and veterans’ benefits.
(j) Compensation for lost wages.
(k) Undistributed income of a business entity in which a party has an ownership interest sufficient to individually exercise control over or access the earnings of the business, unless the income is included as an asset for the purposes of imputing income pursuant to NAC 425.125. As used in this paragraph:
(1) “Reasonable allowance for economic depreciation” means the amount of depreciation on assets computed using the straight-line method and useful lives as determined under federal income tax laws and regulations.
(2) “Undistributed income” means federal taxable income of a business entity plus depreciation claimed on the federal income tax return of the business less a reasonable allowance for economic depreciation.
(l) Child care subsidy payments if a party is a child care provider.
(n) Except as otherwise provided in subsection 2, all other income of a party, regardless of whether such income is taxable.
GROSS MONTHLY INCOME DOES NOT INCLUDE:
(a) Child support received.
(b) Foster care or kinship care payments.
(c) Benefits received under the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
(d) Cash benefits paid by a county.
(e) Supplemental security income benefits and state supplemental payments.
(f) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (l) of subsection 1, payments made for social services or any other public assistance benefits.
(g) Compensation for losses, including, without limitation, both general and special damages,
Step 3: Calculate Base Child Support Value Using the Surratt Law Practice Calculator:
Step 4: Calculate the Childcare into the Obligation
Step 5: Calculate the Medical Insurance into the Obligation
Step 6: Determine if the child support should be adjusted for the specific needs of the child and the economic circumstances of the parties using the following factors:
a. Any special educational needs of the child;
b. The legal responsibility of the parties for the support of others;
c. The value of services contributed by either party;
d. Any public assistance paid to support the child;
e. The cost of transportation of the child to and from visitation;
f. The relative income of both households, so long as the adjustment does not exceed the total obligation of the other party;
g. Any other necessary expenses for the benefit of the child; and
h. The obligor’s ability to pay.
While the child support laws in Nevada are meant to simplify the process, that doesn’t mean that they are free of confusion. Complications may still arise. That is why it is so important to have a well-qualified northern Nevada child support attorney to guide you through the laws and statutes concerning child support.