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Physical Custody and Support

Physical custody refers to where the child/children will live. In addition, it determines the amount of child support and who will receive child support, as well as the Federal Tax Exemption for the child/children. Thanks to the tireless efforts of father’s rights organizations, physical custody is no longer determined based upon gender. The Clark County Courts are required to focus on the “best interest of the children” standard instead of the “Tender Years Doctrine” which presumed that children would be better off with their mother at a young age rather than with their father.

Child Support in Nevada is governed by NRS 125B.  Basically, the Court must first determine the Parties’ gross monthly income (pre-tax) and then set child support accordingly based on either a joint physical custody scenario or a primary physical custody scenario.

Support Calculations

In order to properly calculate child support, each litigant is required to fill out and file a Financial Disclosure Form (“FDF”).  The Court will use the information on this form to set child support according to Nevada Law.

In a primary physical custody situation, the non-custodial parent is typically obligated to pay child support to the other parent.  Child support is paid by the non-custodial parent to provide for the “cost of care, support, education and maintenance” of the minor child/children.  The Court will typically order that child support be paid consistently, either monthly or bi-monthly.

In a joint physical custody situation the Court looks at the gross monthly income of each parent.  Joint physical custody does not have to mean 50-50 or “equal” custody (click here to learn more about custody in Nevada).  In the Rivero decision from 2009, a Parent must have the children at least 40% of the time to be a candidate for Joint Physical Custody.  Using another case (Wright v. Osburn), the Court offsets the Parties incomes and then uses the appropriate child support calculation.

One child 18% of the obligor parent’s gross monthly income
Two children 25% of the obligor parent’s gross monthly income
Three children 29% of the obligor parent’s gross monthly income
Four children 31% of the obligor parent’s gross monthly income

Nevada has caps for child support based upon the payor’s income.  The caps are modified on a yearly basis.  The current child support caps run from July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014, and are applied per child.  The current caps are based upon gross monthly income and are as follows:

Gross Income Range Child Support Cap
$0.00 to $4,235.00 $660.00 per month
$4,235.00 to $6,351.00 $726.00 per month
$6,351.00 to $8,467.00 $794.00 per month
$8,467.00 to $10,585.00 $858.00 per month
$10,585.00 to $12,701.00 $925.00 per month
$12,701.00 to $14,816.00 $990.00 per month
$14,816.00 to No Limit $1,058.00 per month

The Court may also consider the deviation factors under NRS 125B.080(9) when accurately setting child support, such as transportation costs, costs of monthly health insurance premiums, child care expenses, etc.

Sample Calculations:

Primary Physical Custody-

  1. A has primary physical custody of 2 children.
  2. B earns $75,000.00 per year or $6,250.00 per month.
  3. B’s child support obligation is calculated by multiplying .25 times $6,250.00.
  4. B’s child support obligation would be $1,562.50 per month before the cap is applied.
  5. B’s child support obligation, without taking into account any off-sets, would be $1,452.00 per month.

Joint Physical Custody-

  1. A and B have joint physical custody of 3 children.
  2. A earns $25,000.00 per year or $2,083.33 per month.
  3. B earns $32,000.00 per year or $2,666.66 per month.
  4. A’s child support obligation is calculated by multiplying .29 times $2,083.33.
  5. A’s child support obligation would be $604.17 per month.
  6. B’s child support obligation is calculated by multiplying .29 times $2,666.66.
  7. B’s child support obligation would be $773.33 per month.
  8. Since B’s child support obligation is higher, we subtract A from B.  As such, B’s child support obligation to A would be $169.16 per month.

Our experienced attorneys can further walk you through this process once becoming a client of the firm.  Do not navigate this complicated process alone – we can help.  Call our office today at (702) 474-7007.