On February 1, 2020, the Nevada laws on child support changed. The new laws can be found in Chapter 425 of the Nevada Administrative Code (“NAC”). A change in the law is not a basis for a modification of child support which was confirmed in NAC § 425.170 (3). There must be a change in circumstances.
What does it mean that there has been a change in circumstance? The NAC does not define a change in circumstance. We must look at the Nevada Revised Statutes (“NRS”) to determine the definition. Specifically, NRS § 125B.145 (4) provides that a change in circumstance is a twenty percent change in the income in the payor’s income (e.g. person under a Court ordered child support obligation to the payee/recipient). Another change may be a change in the physical custodial timeshare as Ordered by the Court.
How do you calculate child support in Nevada? First, you need to know the physical custody designation such as joint physical custody or primary physical custody. Second, you need to know the number of children. Third, you need to know the income of both parents, usually based upon the filing of a Financial Disclosure Form (“FDF”) which is accompanied by the Party’s three (3) most recent paycheck stubs.
Let’s take just a quick minute to explain the FDF. It is a Court approved document that is eight pages. It contains information about the Party’s age, work history for the last two years, year to date income as well as monthly income, expenses and assets owned. The FDF is accompanied by a Party’s three (3) most recent paycheck stubs to verify income.
To us, the three paycheck stubs are the most important portion of the document. We usually use those to determine income rather than relying on the FDF statements, but we find those to be wrong most of the time. To use the paycheck stub, find the one that was most recently issued. On that paycheck stub it should give the pay period. Go to the first page of the FDF to find out how long the person has been at the job and then calculate the number of weeks the person has worked to determine gross monthly income.
Here are examples-
- The paycheck stub says the period ends November 3, 2022. The first page of the FDF says the Party started work on February 16, 2022. We go to www.timeanddate.com to calculate the number of weeks the person has worked. It gives us thirty-seven weeks. We then look at the year-to-date income on the paycheck stub and it says $27,000.00. Here is how we determine gross monthly income:
$27,000.00/37 weeks = $729.73 (weekly income)
$729.73 x 52 weeks = $37,945.96 (annual income)
$37,945.96/12 months = $3,162.16 (monthly income)
- The paycheck stub says the period ends on September 9, 2022. The first page says the Party has worked at the job since 2021. That means that we use January 1, 2022 to calculate the number of weeks worked for that calendar year. Again, we go to www.timeanddate.com to get the information and we determine is a thirty-six weeks. The year-to-date income says $17,549.42.
$17,549.42/36 = $487.43 (weekly income)
$487.43 x 52 = $25,346.36 (annual income)
$25,346.36/12 = $2,112.19 (monthly income)
We now have the gross monthly income for each parent. It is about inputting the information into the formula set forth in NAC § 425.140 (1) through (5). We have put together some examples so that you could follow the steps and do it at home.
- The parents have joint physical custody and parent #1 earns $3,162.16 per month and parent #2 earns $2,112.19. The parents have three children. Parent #1 is obligated to pay child support of $822.16 per month in child support and parent #2 is obligated to pay child support of $549.17 per month. To reduce the back and forth payments, the Court applies an offsetting calculation and parent #1 pays to parent #2 the net sum of $272.99 per month.
- Parent #1 earns $6,500.00 per month and parent #2 earns $1,750.00 per month. Parent #2 has primary physical custody of the two children. Therefore, child support is calculated using only parent #1’s income. You take twenty-two percent of the first $6,000.00 in income or $1,320.00 plus eleven percent of the remaining $500.00 or $55.00. Therefore, parent #1 pays to parent #2 the sum of $1,375.00 per month.
We want to be clear as a disclaimer that the information contained herein is general information and there are factors that the Court can apply to modify or adjust the child support on a case-by-case basis. It is important to consult with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your case if you have questions regarding child support.