I am Ordered to pay child support, but my income has gone down a lot since that Order was entered? Can I have my child support reviewed?
If your gross monthly income has declined at least 20%, you are entitled to a review of your child support obligation. However, it will not be automatically reviewed - you have to ask the Court to review it, usually by filing a Motion for Recalculation of Child Support. If your child support issues are being dealt with by the Family Support Division of the District Attorney's office, then you can ask for a review without the formality of a Motion, but your request has to be accompanied by documentation supporting your claim that your income has gone down at least 20%.
I got fired from my job, so I am not making any income and I am not receiving unemployment - am I eligible for a child support modification?
The short answer is probably "no". If you are fired for cause - you did something wrong - then the Court can impute your most recent income before you were fired for the purposes of setting child support. The reasoning is that your child or children should not have to pay for whatever bad act caused you to lose your job. If you are not fired for cause, you are eligible for unemployment and should seek it immediately. Child support can be recalculated using your unemployment benefits as your reduced income. The key to whether you can receive a modification of your child support obligation or not is whether you were at fault for the termination. Work force reduction and layoffs do not count against you.
Three years have passed but there is no change in my income - can I have my child support recalculated?
Yes - if three or more years have elapsed since the most recent child support Order issued, you can have your child support obligation reviewed. Either parent can ask for the review. Because the graduated caps relative to child support go up annually, it is possible, and in cases of people making more than $60,000.00 per year, quite likely that the review will result in an upward modification of child support. Therefore, it is not generally beneficial for the person paying child support to ask for a "three year review".
I have Joint Physical Custody and the other parent's income has gone up 20%. Can I ask for a recalculation of child support?
Yes you may. The relevant statutory authority indicates that if the income of the "obligor" goes up (or down) 20%, a review of child support is warranted. In cases of Joint Physical Custody, both parents are "obligors" in that Nevada uses a "comparison of income" approach to calculating child support. That means child support is effectively calculated by setting child support from each parent to the other, and then as a convenience, the lesser amount is subtracted from the greater amount, and the difference is paid by the person with the greater income. So if the your gross monthly income is (and has been $3000 per month) and the other parent's gross monthly income was $2,000 per month but is now $2,500 per month, that is a 20% increase, and the recalculation of child support should end up with a reduction in child support.
Does the Court automatically reduce child support if it has been three years or there is a 20% increase or reduction in income?
The answer officially is no - the Court has to find a basis to modify child support AND find it is in the best interests of the child or children to modify it. In Clark County, Nevada, most of the Judges don't perform the "best interest" analysis, but several do, so be mindful that no modification is a slam dunk unless you meet the threshold requirements (three years since the most recent Child Support Order OR 20% increase or decrease in gross monthly income AND you convince the Court it is in the best interests of the child or children to modify child support).
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