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Child Support for Incarcerated Parents in Nevada

Anyone can find themselves in jail or prison; they don’t have to be a lifelong criminal to end up behind bars. Common charges among everyday citizens include driving under the influence or DUI, drug possession, assault, and domestic violence offenses.

Even wealthy individuals can be convicted of typical drug offenses or white-collar crimes, such as insurance fraud, embezzlement, bankruptcy fraud, or tax evasion. And often, when someone is convicted of a misdemeanor or felony offense, they are a noncustodial parent, a mom or a dad who pays child support.

When Noncustodial Parents Are Incarcerated

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), “As of Dec. 31, 2015 there were approximately 1.56 million people in federal and state prison. Maybe more than 50 percent of those inmates have one or more child [sic] under the age of 18, leaving an estimated 2.7 million children with a parent incarcerated.” So, as you can see, the issue of incarcerated parents having a child support obligation is common knowledge in the criminal justice system.

“If I’m in jail or prison and I pay child support, can I request a downward modification since I’m not working?” The State of Nevada does not have any laws preventing incarcerated parents from asking the court for a downward modification. “However, courts may find that incarceration constitutes voluntary unemployment,” according to the Office of Child Support Enforcement.

Requesting a Child Support Modification

If you become incarcerated for an extended period of time and you don’t have enough assets to continue paying your current child support payments, you’ll want to ask the court for a downward modification. Under Nevada law, you can ask the court for a modification under these two circumstances:

  1. If your child support order is older than 3 years.

  2. If the child support is less than 3-years-old, but you have experienced a significant change in circumstances. If your gross monthly income has dropped by more than 20 percent because you’re in jail or prison, you can ask the court to lower your child support payments.

Related: Contempt of Court in a Family Law Case

If you’re facing criminal charges, a trial, or a plea bargain, and you expect incarceration, we urge you to contact our Las Vegas divorce firm for assistance with your child support matter!

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