Child support is a crucial part of ensuring the well-being of children whose parents are not together. In Nevada, child support encompasses various types of financial support to cover the essential expenses of raising a child. This includes everything from basic necessities like food and clothing to educational and healthcare needs. Understanding what child support covers and how it is calculated can help both custodial and non-custodial parents navigate their responsibilities effectively.

People often have questions about the specifics of child support and the different ways it can be utilized. This guide delves into the various expenses that child support is meant to cover, providing a comprehensive system overview. By understanding the content of child support obligations, parents can ensure they fulfill their duties and support their children’s overall well-being.

Whether you are a mother, father, or a legal guardian, knowing your rights and responsibilities regarding child support is essential. This guide will cover the important aspects of child support in Nevada, offering insights and answering common questions about this vital aspect of family law.

What Does Child Support Cover in Nevada?

What does child support cover? Child support is frequently only implied to pay for a child’s needs, such as housing, clothing, and food. However, some states allow the payment of child support to cover a wide range of costs, such as the following:

  • Basic necessities
  • Educational fees
  • Medical care
  • Transportation/Travel
  • Childcare
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Entertainment, and
  • College expenses

Continue reading to learn more about typical child support expenses that a child support order might pay for and determine whether they may be relevant to your circumstances.

Overview of Child Support 

Child support is a non-custodial parent’s monetary commitment to help cover the costs of parenting their child. In Nevada, child support is designed to ensure that children receive adequate financial support from both parents, reflecting the principle that both parents are responsible for their children’s welfare. The child support amount is often determined using a child support calculator, which considers various factors such as the gross income of both parents.

The child support calculation in Nevada considers the income of both the custodial and non-custodial parents. Gross income includes all earnings from work, investments, and other sources. The state uses specific guidelines to determine the child support amount, aiming to establish a fair contribution from each parent that meets the child’s needs. These guidelines are part of Nevada’s effort to standardize child support calculations and ensure family consistency.

People often wonder how child support impacts their financial situation. Both parties must maintain accurate financial records and be aware of their rights and responsibilities. In some cases, parents may choose to use online calculators to estimate their child support obligations. This can be particularly helpful for those who are navigating the process for the first time.

Child support in Nevada is not only about monetary contributions. It also encompasses various ways in which parents can contribute to the well-being of their children, including paying for healthcare, education, and extracurricular activities. Ensuring that everything is correctly documented and reported is crucial for parents to avoid future disputes and misunderstandings.

Eligibility Requirements for Child Support

Child support eligibility requirements can vary depending on the jurisdiction and the specific laws in place. However, some common eligibility criteria are generally considered when determining child support obligations. 

Here are some general factors that may be taken into account:

  • Parental relationship: Typically, child support obligations arise when there is a legal parental relationship between the child and the parent. This relationship can be established through marriage, acknowledgment of paternity, or a court determination.
  • Custodial arrangement: Child support is often associated with situations where one parent has primary custody or physical custody of the child. In contrast, the other parent has visitation rights or non-custodial status. The parent with whom the child primarily resides is generally the one entitled to receive child support.
  • Age of the child: Child support obligations generally arise when the child is a minor. The age of majority, which marks the end of child support, varies by jurisdiction but is often 18 or 19 years old. However, some jurisdictions may extend child support obligations beyond the age of majority if the child is still in high school or pursuing higher education.
  • Financial needs of the child: The financial needs of the child, including expenses related to education, healthcare, housing, and other necessities, are taken into account when determining child support obligations. Both parents’ income and financial resources are considered to ensure that the child’s needs are adequately met.
  • Income of the parents: Both parents’ income and earning potential may be considered when determining child support. That includes employment income, self-employment income, investments, and other sources of income.

It’s important to note that specific eligibility requirements and child support guidelines can vary significantly between jurisdictions. It is advisable to consult your relevant state laws and regulations or seek legal advice to understand the eligibility criteria for child support in your particular situation. 

Coverage for Child Support: Typical Expenses

Raising a child may be rather expensive, particularly in light of considerations like rising educational and healthcare costs. The following list further details typical costs that a child support obligation might cover. Reviewing the child support standards where you live is vital to find out how your child support coverage will be established. That is because child support rules differ significantly between states.

Basic Needs: Clothing, Food, and Shelter

Children require food, appropriate clothing, and a home that is both secure and comfortable. At a minimum, groceries, snacks, drinks, and other food items may be bought with child support. You can buy shoes, jackets, and other necessary clothing with it as well. Additionally, payments for the child’s related shelter expenses (such as mortgage or rent, telephone, lighting, and utility bills) are covered by child support.

Educational Fees (Supplies, school fees, school expenses, and Related Costs)

Even if a child attends a public or private school, various fees and charges are associated with supporting students. As a result, many school expenses, in the form of tuition, lunch money, books, and private tutors, may be covered by child support.


Child Support Medical Care

Medical Care

Most states mandate that separated or divorced parents maintain health insurance for their children. The parent must typically carry medical, dental, or vision insurance with greater work benefits.


Child support may cover essential travel and transportation costs because children must move safely from one place to another. The costs of operating a vehicle, such as gas, registration, payments, insurance, and using a bus or another mode of transportation, are covered when a youngster is visiting a non-custodial parent who lives elsewhere, for instance.


Child support may be used to pay for daycare services, nannies, babysitters, or other childcare charges and fees if one or both parents cannot care for their children due to issues relating to their jobs. Child care insurance may also cover daycare over the summer, spring break, and certain holidays.

Uninsured Medical Expenses

Child support may cover the cost of uninsured or “exceptional” medical expenses. Any out-of-pocket medical costs more significant than the expense of a minimal health insurance plan, such as deductibles, co-pays, and surgery expenses, are some “extraordinary” medical expenses. Child support may often cover other costs, including those for casts, eyeglasses, dental braces, and other specific health care, particularly if a child has pre-existing unique medical needs. Parents must split the expense of further medical care according to state regulations.

Extracurricular Activities

Child support coverage includes a child’s extracurricular activities, which often occur during regular school hours and include summer camp, sports, clubs (like Girl Scouts), and other activities unrelated to school.


Numerous courts have ruled that a child has a right to access fundamental entertainment, such as television shows, computers, games, and the internet, and outings to the movies, amusement parks, camping, and other activities. Therefore, under the parents’ agreement, child support could be used for a child’s suitable age entertainment needs.

College Expenses

Occasionally, child support may cover a child’s college costs. According to the reasoning of several governments, a child’s education should not be affected due to their parent’s divorce or separation. Even if the child has attained the age of majority and is enrolled full-time but has yet to graduate, these states will typically demand the non-custodial parent to help pay for college.

What Child Support Includes and Other Factors

Child support guidelines have been set in every state to calculate how much child support a parent may be compelled to pay. Courts take into account several things, such as:

  • income and financial capacity of a parent
  • The child’s financial needs
  • the amount of support required to preserve a child’s current standard of living (if possible).

There is an exception when a child’s fundamental needs still need to be addressed, although courts do not require custodial parents to show that the child support funds they receive are used for specific purposes. Since parents’ physical custody of the child is presumed to cover the child’s upbringing, courts won’t monitor a custodial parent’s spending habits.

Additionally, it could be essential for a parent to seek child modification to existing child support when a child’s requirements change or when there is a significant change in their circumstances, like losing a job. The process is simpler when a parent responds promptly to alter assistance after a change in circumstances.

Determining Amount Of Child Support

Determining the Amount of Child Support

The determination of the amount of child support can vary depending on the jurisdiction and the specific guidelines followed. Generally, child support calculations consider several factors, including the income of both parents, the number of children involved, and the custody arrangement.

Here are the general steps involved in determining the amount of child support:

  • Establish the income of both parents: Each parent’s income is usually a key factor in child support calculations. In most cases, this includes wages, salaries, bonuses, commissions, self-employment income, and other sources of income. Both parents typically need to provide documentation of their income.
  • Determine the child custody arrangement: The custody arrangement or parenting schedule is considered when calculating child support. The amount of time each parent spends with the child may affect the financial responsibilities of each parent.
  • Refer to child support guidelines: Many jurisdictions have specific guidelines that provide formulas or tables to calculate child support based on income and custody arrangement. These guidelines are often established by legislation or administrative agencies and provide a standard framework for determining child support amounts.
  • Consider additional factors: In some cases, additional factors may be considered when determining child support. These factors can include the child’s healthcare and educational needs, extraordinary expenses, special circumstances, or either parent’s financial situation.
  • Calculate the child support obligation: The responsibility is calculated based on the income and custody arrangement, using the relevant guidelines and factors. The specific calculations may differ depending on the jurisdiction and guidelines in place.

It’s important to note that child support determinations can be complex, and the assistance of a family law attorney or legal professional specializing in family matters can be beneficial to ensure accurate calculations and adherence to the applicable laws and guidelines in your jurisdiction.

If you’re considering hiring a child support attorney, Huggins Law Office is here for you and will help you with your problem.

How is child support calculated?

Child support calculations can vary depending on the jurisdiction, as each country or state may have specific guidelines and formulas. However, here is a general overview of how child support is typically calculated.

  1. Income of the parents: The first step in calculating child support is determining the incomes of both parents. That may include salary, wages, self-employment income, bonuses, commissions, rental income, and other sources of income. In some cases, imputed income (potential income) may be considered if a parent is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed.
  2. Deductions and adjustments: Certain deductions or adjustments may be made to the parent’s income, such as taxes, mandatory retirement contributions, and health insurance premiums.
  3. Custody arrangement: The time each parent spends with the child or children is a significant factor in determining child support. Typically, the parent with less custody time (non-custodial parent) will be responsible for paying child support to the other parent (custodial parent).
  4. Guidelines or formulas: Many jurisdictions have established guidelines or formulas to determine the basic amount of child support. These guidelines often consider the income of both parents and the number of children involved. The guidelines may allocate a percentage of the non-custodial parent’s income for child support.
  5. Deviations or adjustments: In certain situations, the court may consider deviations from the guidelines based on specific circumstances. For example, if a child has special needs, the court may deviate from the standard guidelines to ensure adequate support.

What happens if the custodial parent spends child support money on items that are not approved?

If a custodial parent spends child support money on items that are not approved or considered appropriate for supporting the child’s needs, it can raise legal and ethical concerns. The specific consequences can vary depending on the jurisdiction and the circumstances involved. Here are a few possible outcomes:

  1. Legal repercussions: If the non-custodial parent becomes aware of the misuse of child support funds, they may take legal action. It could involve filing a complaint with the court or child support enforcement agency and providing evidence of the misuse. The court may investigate the matter, modify the child support order, or take other appropriate legal actions.
  2. Court-ordered actions: If it is determined that the custodial parent has misused the child support funds, the court may take steps to protect the child’s best interests. That could involve appointing a guardian ad litem or modifying the custody arrangements if necessary for the child’s welfare.
  3. Reimbursement or compensation: In some cases, if the non-custodial parent can prove that child support funds were misused, the court may order the custodial parent to reimburse or compensate the non-custodial parent for the misappropriated funds.
  4. Loss of future child support: If a custodial parent consistently misuses child support funds, the court may consider this behavior in future child support proceedings. It could impact the custodial parent’s credibility and potentially result in a reduction or adjustment of future child support payments.

It’s important to note that child support covers the child’s basic needs, such as food, clothing, housing, education, and medical expenses. The custodial parent is legally and morally obligated to use the funds in the child’s best interest. 

Suppose you suspect an issue regarding child support funds being misused. In that case, it is advisable to consult with a family law attorney or contact your Las Vegas child support attorney to explore the available legal remedies.

Modifications and Enforcement of Child Support Orders

Life is dynamic, and families’ circumstances often change over time. In recognition, Nevada law allows for modifications to child support orders. To modify a child support order, a parent must demonstrate a significant change in circumstances, such as a substantial increase or decrease in income, changes in employment status, or alterations in the child’s needs.

For example, if a parent’s gross income significantly decreases due to job loss or reduced work hours, they may petition to lower their child support obligations. Conversely, if their income increases, they might be required to pay more child support to better reflect their ability to contribute to their child’s upbringing. Such modifications ensure that the child support order remains fair and reflects the current situation of both parents and the child.

Enforcement of child support orders is another critical aspect of Nevada’s child support system. When a parent fails to comply with a child support order, the other parent or the state can take legal action to enforce payment. This can include wage garnishment, seizing tax refunds, or even revoking licenses. The goal is to ensure that children receive the support they are entitled to, regardless of any disputes between parents.

Parents must keep thorough records of all payments and communications related to child support. This documentation can be crucial if enforcement actions become necessary or if there are disputes about what has been paid. Keeping everything organized and maintaining clear records helps protect both parties and ensures transparency throughout the process.

Parents looking to modify or enforce a child support order have several options. They can seek assistance from the Nevada Division of Welfare and Supportive Services, retain private legal counsel, or use online resources to better understand their rights and responsibilities. Understanding the available options can help parents make informed decisions that best suit their circumstances and their children’s needs.

Handling child support in Nevada requires awareness of the laws, proactive record-keeping, and a willingness to adapt to changes in family circumstances. By staying informed and utilizing available resources, parents can navigate the complexities of child support to ensure the well-being of their children.

Resources for Calculating Child Support Amounts

Calculating the appropriate child support amount can be straightforward with the right resources. Nevada offers several tools and guidelines to help parents determine their obligations accurately. One of the primary resources is the Nevada Child Support Calculator, an online tool the state provides to simplify the calculation process. This calculator considers various factors, such as the gross income of both parents, the number of children, and additional expenses like healthcare and education.

Another valuable resource is the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS), which provides detailed information on the state’s legal framework governing child support. These statutes outline the formula used for child support calculation and explain how factors such as shared custody or special needs can affect the final amount.

Parents can also consult with family law attorneys who specialize in child support cases. These professionals can provide personalized advice based on individual circumstances and ensure that the child support amount calculated is fair and accurate.

By utilizing these resources, parents can ensure that their child support calculations are accurate and reflect their financial situation, providing essential support for their children’s well-being.

Uncertain About Your Children’s Child Support Coverage? A Lawyer Can Help

Do you experience problems with your child support coverage? If so, Huggins Law Office is here to help you in this case.

In addition to other costs that child support often covers, for this reason, each parent must contribute financially to their child’s needs for shelter, food, and medical care. If you’re considering submitting a child support claim, consider having a lawyer to ensure that your mind will be at ease, and your child receives legal and financial support. 

If you live in the Las Vegas area, speak with our child support attorney to find a lot of information and clarity regarding your case. For questions and inquiries, call our team of professionals at (702) 387-4014.