Child Support

Parents have a legal obligation to contribute to their child’s support and upbringing financially. Nevada law sets out very specific guidelines regarding the determination of child support based on factors including, but not limited to, number of children, disposable income of each parent, and parenting time. If you are a non-custodial parent paying child support and are having difficulty making the assigned payments at all or on time, don’t wait until the court holds you in contempt for failing to abide by the terms of your divorce settlement or court order. This is a time to be proactive. Reno child support lawyer Gloria Petroni helps clients throughout Nevada establish workable and realistic child support arrangements. Her firm also offers experienced legal counsel in modification and enforcement of standing orders of support should the need arise. Contact us today at 775-420-4221 to schedule a consultation.


Child support in Nevada is governed by NRS 125B. In essence, the court must first determine the gross monthly income (pre-tax) of each party and then determine child support accordingly based on either a joint physical custody arrangement or a primary physical custody scenario. If one parent has primary physical custody, the mathematical formula is based on the non-custodial parent’s gross income alone. If each parent shares joint physical custody, the formula is based upon the percentage of time the child or children will be with each parent and the discrepancy in gross incomes. Joint physical custody requires each parent to have a minimum of 40 percent of the time or joint custody does not apply per Rivero, 125 Nev 410. However the Bluestein case, 131 Nev Adv. Op. 14 (2015) was a case where one party had 38.393% which the court opined could be a basis for joint physical custody. Child support is based on NRS 125B as it states below:

“Gross monthly income” means the total amount of income received each month from any source of a person who is not self-employed or the gross income from any source of a self-employed person, after deduction of all legitimate business expenses, but without deduction for personal income taxes, contributions for retirement benefits, contributions to a pension or for any other personal expenses.

“Obligation for support” means the sum certain dollar amount determined according to the following schedule:

  • For one child, 18 percent;
  • For two children, 25 percent;
  • For three children, 29 percent;
  • For four children, 31 percent; and
  • For each additional child, an additional 2 percent, of a parent’s gross monthly income.

Nevada has caps for child support based upon the payor’s income.

This final calculation determines how much a non-custodial parent will be required to pay a custodial parent in child support. There are expenses which can be considered and can allow for deviation up or down from the formula such as the cost of health insurance, day care expenses, tutoring, child support payments for other children, special medical needs and extra curricular activity costs. For this reason, calculating child support payments is difficult without a skilled and experienced child support lawyer. Family Law Attorney Gloria Petroni will explain the child support guidelines, and how the process of paying and receiving child support works in Nevada, offering sound guidance for your case.

Failure to pay child support can impact you on many levels including appearing on your credit history, resulting in garnishment of wages, loss of your driver’s license and/or passport, and possibly even jail time. In extreme cases, the state may act to seize certain assets or property. Individuals who fail to pay child support run the risk of encountering legal and financial difficulty immediately as well as later in life.

In northern Nevada, child support cases are handled by the Child Support Enforcement Program (CSE) through the Division of Welfare and Supportive Services. If you are eligible, you may be able to receive services to aid in the establishment of paternity. Establishing paternity is important legally and can benefit a child for many reasons such as:

  • Parent-child relationship
  • Sense of identity
  • Veterans, social security, inheritance, insurance benefits
  • Medical history
  • Financial support

Determining paternity allows both child support and child custody issues to be resolved.

Parents confronted with divorce need a knowledgeable family law lawyer to help them navigate complex Nevada child support laws, and ensure support arrangements are fair and justified based on income and need. Petroni Law Group can help you understand the legal issues involved in your case. For more information or to discuss your specific case in a consultation, contact us.

At Petroni Law Group, our goal is to provide each and every client with an unobstructed view of all aspects of a case by aiding in informed decision-making and clear understanding of possible outcomes.

Contact Info
5470 Kietzke Lane, Suite 300
Reno, NV 89511