Nevada Child Support Law is Fundamentally Changing

By Melissa Exline

After significant amounts of work from the Committee to Review Child Support Guidelines, Nevada law is about to change significantly when it comes to calculating child support.  This is just a general overview to brace those of you out there who are interested in this topic and more details will trickle out as we wrap our arms around these changes.  But, first, after the changes make their way through the governmental process, the location where the law will be is going to change.  Look for the law in Chapter 425 of the Nevada Administrative Code.  This was done to allow more flexibility to make subsequent changes to Nevada’s child support law in the future.  The goal is to allow the law to be modified down the road without the complexity and hurdles that impact modifying the Nevada Revised Statutes (i.e. sausage making at its best in Nevada’s biennial legislature).

The highlights of the changes are as follows:

Gross Income is undergoing a broad revamp as to how it is defined.  This will include such things as alimony, interest from investment income, periodic payments from pensions and retirement, and unemployment proceeds, in addition to the normal salary and wages (among a host of other terms).  Some of this was included in income before, but the statutory definition was less than a model of clarity under NRS 125B.070.  Under the new definition expected to become law in the near future (the date is still “up in the air” at this juncture), there is a more expansive list, which further includes “undistributed income of a business entity in which a party has an ownership interest…”  There will be specific defined assets/income streams that are specifically excluded from “gross income” as well, i.e. child support received.

The Court will be required to consider the costs of childcare paid by either or both parties and make an equitable division.

The child support order must include a provision specifying that medical support is required to be provided and include the details related to that support (with the law addressing what is an accessible plan of coverage and what is a reasonable cost).

Once gross income is determined, the child support percentages per child will be changing to what is referred to here as a “tiered” system, for lack of a better word.  There will be a percentage applicable for the first $6,000 per month of the paying party’s gross income, another for the amount above $6,000 but equal to or less than $10,000, and the last tier for monthly gross income greater than $10,000.  The percentage will depend on the number of children at issue, which was like NRS 125B.070, but the NAC language staggers this for the income levels.


    • For the first $6,000 – 16 percent of such income;
    • Greater than $6,000 and equal to or less than $10,000 – 8 percent of such a portion;
    • For any portion that is greater than $10,000 – 4 percent of such a portion.
  1. For two children:
    • For the first $6,000 – 22 percent of such income;
    • Greater than $6,000 and equal to or less than $10,000 – 11 percent of such a portion;
    • For any portion that is greater than $10,000 – 6 percent of such a portion.
  2. For three children:
    • For the first $6,000 – 26 percent of such income;
    • Greater than $6,000 and equal to or less than $10,000 – 13 percent of such a portion;
    • For any portion that is greater than $10,000 – 6 percent of such a portion.
  3. For four children:
    • For the first $6,000 – 28 percent of such income;
    • Greater than $6,000 and equal to or less than $10,000 – 14 percent of such a portion;
    • For any portion that is greater than $10,000 – 7 percent of such a portion.
  4. For each additional child:
    • For the first $6,000 – an additional 2 percent of such income;
    • Greater than $6,000 and equal to or less than $10,000 – an additional 1 percent of such a portion;
    • For any portion that is greater than $10,000 – an additional 0.5 percent of such a portion.

Child support is going down for parents earning $6,000 per month or less from the existing statute.  For example, NRS 125B.070 required 18% paid for one child of the paying party’s gross monthly income.  This will change to 16%, at least for those earning $6,000 per month or less.  For those in the higher income brackets (i.e. six figure incomes and up), expect child support to be much higher. Nevada Presumptive Maximum Amounts or “caps” per child are going away.

More updates on the specifics of this law are going to be rolled out and explained in more detail.  Stand by for when the law actually takes effect.  Because the legal changes are so significant, more than one blog will be necessary just to keep the reading down to a reasonable level!

Kimberly Surratt served for eight years on the executive council and has been the vice chair and then chair of the State Bar of Nevada Family Law Section. In addition, she is the President-Elect of the Nevada Justice Association and the chair of the domestic lobbying committee. She has lobbied with the Nevada Justice Association since 2004.

Related Articles

Will

What Is a Pour-Over Will?

A pour-over will is a special will that provides that some or all of a person’s assets be transferred to their trust rather than specific beneficiaries or heirs through the probate process. Any assets unaccounted for “pour over” into the person’s trust, helping the estate avoid costly probate. Here is a closer look at what this legal document entails.