Calculating Child Support in Nevada

Posted: 17 September, 2019

In a child custody matter or a divorce where there are children, the court requires each parent to provide adequate financial means to care for the children until they reach the age of 18. Furthermore, a judge may order one or both parents to pay some percentage of support. Your divorce lawyers may decide to not request child support, but the judge may require a significant reason as to why child support should not be awarded.

In Nevada, matters involving child support are governed by Child Support Laws NRS 125B. These laws established set formulas for judges to calculate child support. Child support is one area where the law is black and white and rarely subjective.

The divorce lawyers in our office have developed a child support calculator. This calculator quickly and easily accounts for the percentages, formulas, and caps that you may encounter during your custody hearings.  

Types of Child Support Arrangements

To calculate child support, you need to know three things: the physical custody arrangement, the number of children, and gross monthly income of each parent.

  • Physical Custody — There are two types of physical custody: primary and joint.  Joint custody describes a situation where the children reside with each parent roughly 50% of the time. Any other arrangement, whether written in an order or not, where one parent has more then 60% of the time is considered primary custody.  In joint custody situations, each parent’s income will be offset to calculate child support. This means that the spouse making a higher income will pay support to the spouse with the lower income. However, when calculating support for primary custody, the “non-primary” parent will pay child support to the other “custodial” parent.
  • Number of Children – The number of children present at the time of the divorce will determine the percentage of income used in the formula.  See the chart below for percentage amounts or contact one of our skilled divorce attorneys to help you through the process.
  • Gross Monthly Income — Gross income refers to the amount of money a person earns before taxes. Gross income includes your salary, overtime, and self-employment income. For parents who are unemployed or “under employed,” the court may assign a gross income to calculate child support. If one parent owns a business and doesn’t receive a regular paycheck, judges calculate gross income as yearly revenues minus reasonable business expenses. Contact one of our divorce lawyers to determine whether or not you are receiving (or paying) the proper amount of support based on your income level.

Making Child Support Calculations for Primary Custody

In primary custody situations, the “non-primary” parent is required to pay the “custodial” parent a specified percentage of income based on the formula. To use this formula, take the gross monthly income of the non-primary parent and multiply this amount by the appropriate percentage. These percentages rely on the number of children present in the family at the time of the divorce. The chart below can be very helpful should you wish to quickly calculate these percentages. The final amount will be the amount of monthly child support.

However, spousal income is capped at a monthly maximum level. This means the monthly child support amount cannot be greater than amounts pre-specified by the court. This “cap” is based on monthly gross income (see chart.) If the monthly support calculation is greater than this maximum, then the judge will order the maximum amount to serve as the support payment.

Making Child Support Calculations for Joint Custody

In joint custody arrangements, each parent’s gross monthly income is multiplied by the percentage. The amounts are subtracted from each other. The parent with the higher income pays the remaining amount. For example, one parent’s custody amount equals $600 per month using the calculation. The other parent’s amount equals $250. The parent with the greater income would subtract $250 from their monthly obligation of $600 and submit a payment for $350 each month. This is referred to as the Wright vs. Osburn offset.

However, there are exceptions to the standard calculations. For example, special needs children may require greater financial support. These calculations may be modified by the judge for reimbursement of medical bills, health insurance premiums, and other necessary expenses. For more detailed information review our Child Support A to Z article or contact one of our divorce lawyers.

Child Support Percentages

Although the state legislature may change the following numbers from year to year, here are the percentages of gross monthly income required for child support up through June 2019:

One child18%
Two children25%
Three children29%
Four children31%

And an additional 2% for each child thereafter.

Monthly Maximum by Income Range Chart

There is a monthly maximum per month per child.  The monthly maximum is based on your monthly gross income.  For example, if a parent makes $5,000 the maximum monthly payment per child is $781.  In a joint custody situation, the maximum is calculated as the end, and considered a monthly cap.

Monthly Income “Minimum”Monthly “Maximum”Maximum Monthly Child Support
$14,816No Limit$1,138


Click here to view our Child Support Calculator.

Paying too much child support or not getting enough? Contact a Las Vegas Divorce Attorney at RIGHT Lawyers.  Call (702) 914-0400 today to schedule a consultation.