This is the first post in a series of articles in which I will discuss the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on child support obligations in Las Vegas, Nevada. As a result of the pandemic, businesses have been forced to close their doors and lay off workers. Some shutdowns are temporary, while others may be permanent. Individuals who have lost their jobs are often relying on unemployment benefits for survival. For parents who have experienced a COVID-related change in income, making a child support payment that was based on pre-pandemic earnings may not be feasible. If you are in this situation, it may be possible to seek an adjustment of your obligations from the Clark County Family Court. If you need assistance with a child support modification, contact my office to schedule a consultation.
This series will address the following issues:
- How a reduction in income impacts child support obligations
- Why the Court is likely to re-evaluate child support on an ongoing basis during the pandemic
- Requesting a modification of child support obligations
- How underemployment may impact child support calculations
Many Nevada residents are facing difficult financial circumstances as a result of the pandemic. It is important to understand your options if you have been negatively impacted. First, under normal circumstances, parents may only request a review of their child support obligations once every three years or when one parent’s income has increased or decreased by 20% or more. The Court does not ordinarily consider a temporary income fluctuation when evaluating such requests. In light of COVID-19, however, they will likely consider drastic changes in income to justify a temporary support modification. Second, to ensure that child support payments are restored to pre-pandemic levels when a parent’s earnings increase, the Court will likely require ongoing evaluations of the parent’s employment if a temporary change is granted. Third, it is important to understand how to request a modification in support. An attorney with experience in family law matters can help you through the process. Finally, in all child support determinations, parents are required to seek meaningful employment. The Court will not approve a modification for someone who is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed to avoid making support payments or to seek a reduction in their payment amount.
I understand the financial hardship that many Las Vegas parents are facing due to the pandemic. I take pride in helping my clients through difficult situations while giving them the respect and attention they deserve. If you need assistance with a child support modification issue, contact my office to speak with an attorney.