Divorce in Nevada with Children
For general information on Nevada divorces, please visit our Nevada divorce home page.
Basic Requirements when Filing a Divorce in Nevada with Children:
- 6-month Nevada residency for the children
- Mandatory COPE (cope with divorce) class (can now be taken online)
- Child Support guidelines for Nevada divorce with children
- Establish physical custody
- Establish visitation
- Provide Medical Insurance coverage
Residency Requirements when Filing a Divorce in Nevada with Children:
Nevada District Court only takes jurisdiction over children that have lived in Nevada with you for a minimum of six (6) months. At that point, Nevada is considered the “home state” of the children and the Court will pass rulings on physical custody, visitation, and child support.
Exception: If you can show an “emergency” under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act, a Nevada judge can make rulings over children who have not resided in Nevada for six months. Such cases can become complicated. In order to protect your children’s rights and your own rights, we highly recommend that you contact us so that Attorney James E. Smith can advise you on your best course of action.
If you find it difficult to make a decision regarding physical custody, visitation, and child support , consider addressing those issues with a professional, licensed, mediator before filing your divorce.
Many people filing a divorce in Nevada with Children (and, or, with property to divide), find that they benefit greatly from a collaborative divorce (also known as mediated divorce) with a family law attorney.
Through the mediation process, you’ll come to decisions regarding your children that work for both parents and, most importantly, for the children. Leaving it up to a judge in a trial, as well-intentioned as she or he might be, never makes anyone happy because the decision is made by someone who knows little of you, your children, and your life.
Mandatory Cope Class:
Both parents in a Nevada divorce with children must attend a COPE class when the parties and the children live in Clark County, Nevada.
The class can now be taken online, at any time you wish, making it much more convenient for you than in the past.
You might have read on other websites that taking the class can be avoided by filing your case in a county other than Clark. This means that if you ever have issues with child support or visitation, you have to either move your case to Clark County (and pay the costs associated with that and spend the time handling the matter), or travel to the other county to attend court there. In the end, you don’t save money because in a large majority of divorces with children, the parties return to court at least once if for nothing else than to adjust the child support amount.
Child support in Nevada is reviewable every three years or whenever circumstances change. Parties also often return to court to adjust visitation. So, all in all, you gain nothing by filing outside Clark County if you live here.
If one of the parties to the Nevada divorce with children refuses to attend a COPE class, he or she can be held in contempt of court — and the judge has the authority to withhold visitation until the class is completed. Considering how easy it now is to take this class, it’s truly not worth trying to find ways to avoid it. You’ll spend more time doing that than you will taking the class.
Child Support Guidelines for Nevada:
This simple chart should help you easily figure out the amount of child support you would be expected to pay should a judge make the decision for you. You can, of course, pay a higher amount if you wish, as long as the deviation is explained.
In any deviation from the table below (higher or lower amount), the Court takes into consideration the following factors (NRS125B.080)
(a) The cost of health insurance;
(b) The cost of child care;
(c) Any special educational needs of the child;
(d) The age of the child;
(e) The legal responsibility of the parents for the support of others;
(f) The value of services contributed by either parent;
(g) Any public assistance paid to support the child;
(h) Any expenses reasonably related to the mother’s pregnancy and confinement;
(i) The cost of transportation of the child to and from visitation if the custodial parent moved with the child from the jurisdiction of the court which ordered the support and the noncustodial parent remained;
(j) The amount of time the child spends with each parent;
(k) Any other necessary expenses for the benefit of the child; and,
(l) The relative income of both parents
Income Range of Parents:
|More Than||Less Than||Maximum|
NRS 125B.070 (1)(B):
One (1) child: 18%
Two (2) children: 25%
Three (3) children: 29%
Four (4) children: 31%
Five (5) or more children: 2% more over amount for four (4) children for each additional child.
Easy Formula to Figure Out your Child Support Obligation:
- Take the percentage of each party’s salary according to the number of children you have (see Statutory Percentages just above)
- Subtract the smaller amount from the larger amount
- The party with the higher income pays the difference to the other party
John and Jane have one child and no reason to deviate from the Nevada statutory guidelines on child support. John’s gross monthly salary is 1000 per month, so his obligation to Jane for child support is $180 per month.
Jane’s gross monthly salary is 800 per month, so she is obligated to John for $144 monthly for child support.
Difference between $180 and $144 is $36, so John pays Jane $36 per month.
Establish Physical Custody of Children:
In Nevada, customarily, both parents assume legal custody of their children, no matter with which parent a child spends the most time.
To take away legal custody from one parent, you must prove that the parent in question is dangerous to the well-being of the child in some way. A Motion separate from the divorce must be filed, though it can be filed at the same time.
These days, our Family Court likes to see an equal time split between the parents, and will generally award split physical custody, provided it works to the advantage of the children. For instance, if one of the parents lives so far from the children’s school that it means the children will spend several hours a day in a car to get to and from school, a judge may well rule that the children be with the parent who lives closer to the school during the week, and visit the parent who lives farther on the weekends.
Even if both parents live close to the children’s school, you can opt to have them live at one parent’s house more than at the other. It is not required that the children spend equal time with both parents. It’s considered best for the children if it also works for both parents.
It’s always best for the parents to make the decisions on the time split between the children – and if the children are over the age of 13, it’s a good idea to involve them as well.
Should a judge have to make the decision on where your “over-13” children will live most of the time, it’s possible that the judge would ask them where they wish to live, as they now have a right to make that decision.
If you opt for one parent only to have physical custody, you’ll want to establish visitation for the other parent. There is no absolute rule here, just whatever works for the children and both parents. Again, it’s always best to make this decision yourself. If a Nevada judge makes the decision for you, it’s likely that visitation will be either every weekend, or every second weekend.
Medical Insurance Coverage
It is expected that at least one parent provide the children with at least basic medical coverage. If you cannot cover your children with health insurance, have an explanation to enter into the Joint Petition or Complaint for Divorce.
For more information go to our Nevada divorce home page.
*Court Costs (currently $326 for Joint Petition, and $364 for a Complaint) and cost of process service and publication (when the other party won’t sign or cannot be found) is additional: process service in the U.S. average cost is $150; publication average $125. Out of country service costs vary by country and are individual to each case.
Please go to our Nevada divorce home page.