I have been divorced for 7 years. We have two children, ages 9 and 11. My ex-husband is extremely wealthy and was wealthy at the time of the divorce. The judge ordered that he pay Nevada child support in the amount of $5,000 per month for both children, which I thought was low given his income. I just found out from a mutual friend that his company has really taken off and I suspect that his income has substantially increased. Shouldn’t his child support increase as well? Is it worth it to take him to court to increase the support?
In order to a modify a Nevada child support obligation there must be a substantial change of financial circumstances since the last court order. Courts have held that a substantial change of circumstances occurs when the income changes by 20% upwards or downwards. It is unclear from the question above what Father’s income was at the time of divorce and what it is now. Mother may not know the answer to this question. She should first make sure that her information is accurate before she goes back to court. This may take a little investigating on her part.
Assuming that Mother can show that Father’s income has substantially increased since the time of divorce, the court has discretion to deviate from the child support guidelines. The original child support obligation was likely an upwards deviation from the statutory guidelines, so the question is whether or not an additional upwards deviation is appropriate under the circumstances.
The court may be inclined to look at the business income over a period of time- does the income fluctuate? Is this year’s income indicative of what his future income will be? Is there a variation of income from year to year? What is the standard of living in both households? Is Mother also wealthy? Are the financial circumstances of the parties such that the children have significant additional advantages in both homes, above their actual needs? Ultimately, the court will attempt to set child support at an amount that takes into consideration a balancing of the equities and the welfare of the children.
To find out more information regarding Nevada child support, you can find a Nevada child support calculator at: http://www.alllaw.com/calculators/childsupport/nevada.