This is the next post in a series of articles discussing the potential impact the COVID-19 pandemic may have on a parent’s child support obligations in Las Vegas, Nevada. My previous article provided an overview of the topics to be addressed throughout this series. It also stressed the importance of discussing your case with an experienced family lawyer to ensure that you understand your rights and responsibilities. In this post, I will address the circumstances under which one’s reduced income due to the pandemic may impact one’s current child support obligations. If you need assistance, contact my office to schedule a consultation.
Millions of people across the world have experienced the effects of the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether due to government-mandated closures, lack of demand for services, or otherwise, many individuals are unemployed or have experienced significant reductions in income. As a result, it has become challenging for those adversely impacted to meet their child support obligations. Fortunately, Nevada law provides a mechanism to modify such obligations in certain cases. A parent who has experienced a significant change in circumstances may request a modification to an existing child support order. Typically, a 20 percent change in income would be sufficient enough to justify a modification. Under normal circumstances, a temporary or foreseeable income reduction may not be considered by the Court to grant a modification. For instance, if a person is regularly employed in a seasonal job, such as providing maintenance service at a hotel pool, the person’s off-season drop in income would not justify a reduction in support. In light of the COVID-19 crisis, however, the Court may entertain such a request based on a temporary income loss, such as a layoff or pandemic-related reduction in force. Under such circumstances, the Court may adjust one’s obligations temporarily subject to ongoing status checks to determine if the support should be increased in the future.
The Court will factor in all relevant objective evidence in making such a determination, including required income disclosures from both parents, receipt of federal and state aid such as unemployment benefits, and any known or anticipated rehire date. Parents seeking an adjustment must also demonstrate that they are not voluntarily underemployed or unemployed simply to avoid making child support payments. Depending upon one’s specific circumstances and in light of the impact on the other parent’s finances, these cases can become contentious. It is important to work with an experienced family lawyer to prepare the necessary evidence in support of your case and present such information to the Court.
My office represents Las Vegas parents in child custody and child support matters. I take pride in giving each of my cases the attention they deserve. If you need assistance with a family law matter, contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.