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Differences between alimony and child support in Nevada

On Behalf of | Jun 8, 2024 | Divorce |

After a divorce, support arrangements aim to ensure financial fairness between both parties. This is especially true when children are part of the equation.

However, there are key differences between spousal support and child support. Each provision has its own rules and purposes that anyone going through a divorce in Nevada should understand.

How spousal support works in Nevada

Spousal support, or alimony, typically helps the lower-earning spouse maintain a similar standard of living to what they had during the marriage. The court considers several factors when deciding who will pay spousal support. These include the length of the marriage, the income of both spouses and the needs of each spouse.

Spousal support can be permanent, last for a specific period or stay in effect until a certain event occurs. Circumstances that often eliminate the requirement for alimony include the receiving spouse getting remarried or becoming self-sufficient.

The judge has considerable leeway in determining alimony because the state does not have a set formula. (Only rehabilitative alimony for career training has legislative guidance.) The judge must simply ensure that any award is just and equitable. This leaves greater room for couples to negotiate a settlement.

Key factors for child support

The court assigns child support to ensure that children continue receiving the financial support they need when parents are not together. After a divorce, the parent who does not have primary custody usually pays child support to the custodial parent. The amount depends on factors like the number of children and the income of both parents.

However, a custodial parent can request child support from the other parent even if the couple did not ever marry. The court will evaluate the same factors as in cases of divorced parents and make a ruling.

State guidelines are more specific in cases of child support. The judge will closely adhere to the formula in the law, and negotiation between parents plays less of a factor.

However, there can still be challenges to getting a fair decision. For example, the court needs to see the full scope of each party’s income and liabilities. Certain financial factors might remain hidden from the view of the court, or the full impact of debts might not be clear to the judge without a strong case. Consequently, the discovery process becomes even more important in these cases.

Finalizing these arrangements can be complex. Regardless of which side a person is on, it is important to prepare to negotiate or litigate for reasonable support agreements. Proper planning can make this process smoother and fairer for the whole family.


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