divorce and moneyThis is the fourth post in my “Understanding Child Support Laws in Las Vegas,” series. My last post discussed circumstances in which the Family Court will consider deviating from the standard child support payment formula. In this post I will be discussing how child support payments factor into the decision to award spousal support in Clark County, Nevada divorce cases.

The amount of child support paid in a Las Vegas, Nevada divorce impacts how much alimony will be awarded

An award of child support will impact how a Clark County Family Court Judge views the issue of alimony. Nevada awards alimony after considering the following:

  • The earning capacity of each spouse
  • One’s career before the marriage
  • The amount of community property each parent will receive
  • The amount of child support being paid
  • Etc.

In other words, the more one is paying in child support then the less that person will have to pay in alimony. Conversely, the more one receives in child support then the less that person is likely to receive in alimony. While at first glance it may appear that these two issues should be completely separate there is, in fact, a number of inequalities which are partially equalized by factoring child support amounts into a Nevada alimony calculation.

There are some inequalities in the child support system in my opinion. If one has primary custody of a child then they receive the child tax deduction on their federal income tax return. They may also be eligible for a number of other tax benefits by way of having primary custody. Also, one with primary custody is not required to pay taxes on any child support payments received. Conversely, the parent paying child support receives no tax deduction for support paid – which can be 29% of one’s income if he or she has three children. Not reducing alimony on the basis of paying child support would result in situations where many Las Vegas parents could not afford to live due to long-term support obligations. This is prevented by factoring child support payments into alimony calculations.

The skill of a family law attorney can make a huge difference when it comes to how much alimony is awarded in a Nevada divorce case

It is difficult to have an in-depth discussion on alimony without the context of a specific case because spousal support awards are not based on a standard formula. The important thing to know is that there is no hard and fast law to calculate a spousal support award. Your attorney’s skill, argument, and experience will, therefore, come into play when a Judge is determining alimony amounts in your Las Vegas divorce case. If you are the side that will be paying child support and alimony then your attorney will argue that the child support payments that you are already required to make should reduce your spousal support award. However, if you are the party receiving support, your family law attorney will make arguments regarding your employability, your job skills, and ask a judge for alimony payments designed to help you keep your current lifestyle.

The Court’s decision will be based largely on which lawyer makes the most compelling and concise argument. While child support payments are fairly standard in nature, spousal support payments can vary widely. If you are seeking alimony payments in addition to child support, or are attempting to defend yourself from large alimony payments, it is important to hire a skilled attorney immediately. Contact our office today to set up a consultation. Our family law attorneys service the greater Las Vegas area and Pahrump.