This is the next post in a series of articles discussing possible reductions in a father’s child support obligations as a result of a reduction in his income. My previous post provided an overview of the topics to be discussed throughout this series. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, this question is particularly relevant to Las Vegas fathers who have lost their jobs or been furloughed as a result. Falling behind on child support payments can negatively impact one’s parental rights. It is important, therefore, to understand your rights. In this article, I will review the circumstances under which the Clark County Family Court will consider reducing one’s support payments. If you need assistance with a child support adjustment, contact my office today to speak with a fathers’ rights attorney.
Las Vegas residents, like millions of others across the country, have experienced the negative economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Widespread unemployment and reductions in wages, as businesses were forced to close or operate with less staff, made it difficult for many to meet their child support obligations. Fortunately, child support can be modified under certain circumstances. Under Nevada law, a parent may request a modification in child support once every three years or if the parent has experienced a change in circumstances. Generally speaking, the court will consider a 20 percent change in income to be a sufficient change in circumstances to warrant a modification. Under normal circumstances, the court will not consider reducing child support based on temporary or foreseeable income fluctuations. For example, if a person is employed in a seasonal job, such as bartending at a pool, the person’s temporary and foreseeable drop in income during the winter would not warrant a modification in child support. In the wake of the current crisis, however, the fact that the pandemic may be temporary will not necessarily stop the court from reducing one’s current obligations. Due to the potential long-term impact on our economy, the court will likely issue a temporary adjustment of one’s obligations subject to periodic status checks to determine if the support should be increased in the future.
It is important to remember that a request for modification must be supported by objective evidence. Both parties will be required to submit financial disclosures to the court, outlining all sources of their income. This includes any state or federal benefits received, such as unemployment or additional payments under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). A father seeking the adjustment must also demonstrate that he is not voluntarily underemployed or unemployed and that he has attempted to seek meaningful employment. These matters are often contentious and require the parties to submit documentary evidence, testimony, and sometimes expert witnesses to support their position. An experienced fathers’ rights attorney can assist you with presenting an effective case to the judge.
My office represents Las Vegas fathers in a variety of child custody and child support matters. I take pride in providing the highest levels of customer service to my clients throughout their cases. If you need assistance with a family law matter, contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.