I Want to Modify Child Support – What Do I Do?
First, you need to figure out if you have a basis to modify. In Nevada, child support is modifiable when there has been a change in circumstances. Generally, a change in circumstance is when there is a 20% change in either parties’ income. But, other factors can also be considered by the court, such as when a party moves and there are now travel costs, a birth of a new child that a party must support, a party getting married or having a live in significant other, etc.
Our team often hears people cite the 3 year rule as a basis to modify, but there is a huge misnomer about this rule. Yes, the statute says you can request a child support review every 3 years, but that DOES NOT mean modification is automatic. In fact, Nevada law (Rivero v. Rivero) states that while a Court may review a child support order every three years, there still must be a change in circumstance before the Court can modify child support. So, 3 years gets you into court, but it does not guarantee a modification. Ultimately, the Court has to make a finding based upon what they believe is in the children’s best interest.
Now, at the end of the day, child support is very formulaic and the Court will likely just apply the formula based upon the parties’ current incomes (or the non-custodial parent’s income if one parent has primary physical custody). You can always argue deviations, but deviations are the exception not the rule, so do not bank on those deviations. See NRS 125B.080. Also be aware that the statutory caps increase each year, so there is always a risk, if you are the payor, that your child support could go up. It is best to seek the advice of a family law attorney before seeking a modification to understand the possible outcomes.
If you believe a modification is appropriate, you need to file a request/motion to modify with the Court. If you have an open DA Case, Law Offices of Andriea Aden would suggest going through the DA. If you do not, you will need to file a motion in your Divorce/Custody case.