Family Law Info Blog

Get the Facts About Spousal Support and Alimony

When a couple divorces in Nevada, the court may award alimony if one spouse is financially dependent on the other spouse. These payments, also known as spousal support, are designed to help both parties maintain the standard of living they enjoyed during the marriage. Either spouse can request alimony in a divorce filing and the judge makes a determination based on each person’s current and projected future income and expenses.

Types of Alimony in Nevada

Courts in the state may award either general, temporary, or rehabilitative alimony. With the latter, the spouse who receives financial assistance uses the funds to train for a career so that he or she can eventually become self-sufficient. General alimony simply allows the person to maintain his or her lifestyle after the marriage ends. Temporary alimony is given to the spouse with the lower income only during the divorce process and ends once the divorce is finalized.

Some spousal support arrangements provide monthly payments for a specified time period or indefinitely, while other arrangements include a lump-sum payment. Regardless of the arrangement, the dependent spouse cannot report these payments as income, while the spouse paying alimony cannot deduct this expense from his or her annual tax return as of January 2019.

Factors in Determining Alimony

When making a spousal support determination, the family court judge will consider:

Assets and debts to be divided during the divorce

Each spouse’s contribution to caring for the home and children

Each spouse’s ability to earn a living, including skills, education, and training

The career history of both spouses

The standard of living the couple shared during marriage

The income and earning capacity of each spouse

The age and health status of each spouse

The length of the marriage

Changes to Spousal Support

If the court requires one person to pay alimony, he or she can request a modification to these payments in the case of a change in circumstances or income decrease of at least 20 percent. In addition, Nevada alimony payments automatically end if the person receiving alimony remarries or when either former spouse dies.

The Law Offices of Karen A. Connolly, Ltd. provide legal guidance and advocacy to clients facing divorce.

Schedule a consultation today or call (702) 678-6700 to learn more about how she can help with spousal support, child custody, child support, and other issues that arise at the end of a marriage.

‘Til Divorce Do Us Part: How an Attorney Can Help in the Mediation Process

‘Til Divorce Do Us Part: How an Attorney Can Help in the Mediation Process

No one gets married thinking that it will end in divorce, but this is the unfortunate reality for many couples. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, Nevada has one of the highest divorce rates in the country, with 4.6 divorces for every 1,000 people, higher than the national average of 3.1 divorces per 1,000 people. Divorces can get nasty, but a consulting attorney can provide legal advice and advocate for their client before any documents are signed.

Attorneys Provide Invaluable Legal Advice

Although mediators provide impartial, unbiased information for couples to use as a basis for dialogue, most people don’t fully understand divorce laws. This is where it helps to hire a consulting attorney who can provide specific legal advice to help people make informed decisions regarding alimony, child custody, and more.

Attorneys Advocate for Their Clients

Many couples choose mediation instead of litigation so that they can be in control of the terms of separation, rather than relying on a judge to hand down a decision. This allows both parties to agree to terms based on what they feel best suits their living situations. Some people have a hard time clearly voicing their thoughts in this tense, overwhelming environment. An experienced attorney can help their clients focus on their priorities and devise strategies that lead to fair and reasonable resolutions.

Attorneys Review All Contracts & Legal Documents

The goal of mediation is to create a binding legal contract that outlines the terms agreed to by both parties. An attorney can ensure clients fully understand each facet of an agreement. Misunderstandings can be costly, so it’s imperative that an attorney reviews all paperwork before signing.

Consult an Attorney Now

Karen A. Connolly, J.D. is a family law attorney who has helped countless clients navigate the divorce and mediation process, helping them reach agreeable terms with their spouse for child custody, the division of assets, and other important issues. She can review your case and advocate for what you feel is best for your family.

Call (702) 678-6700 for a consultation with the Law Offices of Karen A. Connolly, Ltd.

Child Support Hearing Questions in Nevada

Child Support Hearing Questions in Nevada

If you have been served with a summons to appear at a child support hearing in Nevada, or have requested that your co-parent appear at one, you probably have many questions about your rights and responsibilities.

This post will discuss what to expect at a child support hearing and how to prepare yourself for what can be an emotionally challenging experience.

In most cases, it is best to contact an experienced family law attorney before appearing at a child support hearing.

What triggers a child support hearing?

A child support hearing can be triggered when one parent requests an initial child support order, or files a motion to modify an existing order. Under Nevada law, parents have the right to request a change of child support every three years. They may also do so whenever there has been a substantial change in financial or other family circumstances.

What happens during a child support hearing?

There are two types of child support hearings: initial child support hearings, and child support modification hearings.

At an initial child support hearing, a family court judge or hearing master will give both parents an opportunity to be heard. If the parents are represented by lawyers, the lawyers will present arguments on behalf of the parents. In some cases, the parents may be required to prove a child’s paternity or maternity. The parents will have to provide information about their income, the amount of time they spend with their child or children, and the expenses related to the care of their child or children.

After the hearing, the family court judge will issue a decision about your case and enter a child support order. Sometimes this happens at the end of the hearing, but it may take a few weeks. Once the judge enters a child support order, the parent responsible for making child support payments must do so in accordance with the terms of the order. If he or she fails to do so, there will be serious legal consequences. If your co-parent has failed to pay child support, contact a family law attorney right away.

If the hearing master renders a decision, and objection can be filed in the district court within 10 days.

A child support modification hearing takes place only if one or both parents has requested a change to an existing child support order. Just like at an initial child support hearing, both parents will be given an opportunity to present their case. The parents will have to prove why the existing child support order should or should not change, and may be required to show that changed circumstances justify an increase or decrease in their monthly support payments. After the hearing, the judge will issue a decision about your case. He or she will either agree to modify your existing order, or leave it as is.

What if both parties agree to submit a stipulation?

If you and your co-parent have reached an agreement about child support payments that you both want to take force, you can submit what is known as a “stipulation” to your family court judge. If the judge approves the agreement, the judge will sign an order that makes the stipulation binding. Typically, judges will approve child support stipulations submitted by parties as long as the stipulation is not illegal or against public policy.Submitting a stipulation can help you avoid having to appear at a child support hearing.

What can I do to prepare for a child support hearing?

A child support hearing can be an emotionally charged and very difficult experience. To eliminate the possibility of surprises, you should be as prepared as possible for your hearing. Keep accurate, detailed, and up-to-date financial records. Have this information ready to present at your hearing. A family law attorney can help you best prepare for your child support hearing, and make sure that you get the support you need to raise your child or children.

How Social Media Can Impact Your Divorce, Child Custody, or Child Support Case

In recent years, it has become common practice to use evidence gathered from social media websites in all types of family law cases. Evidence from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, dating websites, and blogs is now routinely used in divorce, alimony, child support, child custody, and visitation cases. Sometimes, this type of evidence is introduced in an attempt to distract from the real issues at the core of a family law case. But it can also be critically important and highly persuasive.

This post will discuss how social media can impact your custody or support case, and provide tips on which online behaviors to avoid during family law proceedings.

Social media posts can provide clues about income and hidden assets.

Some people can’t resist posting pictures of lavish vacations, expensive meals, new cars, and designer clothes online. When support is at issue in a divorce case or other family law proceeding, these types of photos can debunk a parent or spouse’s contentions that he or she is unable to make child or spousal support payments. Moreover, Facebook pictures of your spouse’s best friend from college with his/her new motorcycle – one you instantly recognize as belonging to your spouse – can support your contention that he/she is hiding assets until your divorce is finalized.

Social media posts about alcohol and drugs can impact custody determinations.

A tweet about a “crazy Friday night out at the bars” may seem harmless, but if you miss your child’s Saturday morning soccer game the following day, it will not help your case. Similarly, social media posts about drug and alcohol use could persuade a court that you or the opposing party is not fit to be the primary custodian of your child. In the most serious cases, social media posts chronicling drug or alcohol abuse may spark a child welfare investigation.

Social media posts about an active court matter can upset your family court judge.

If you are involved in an active family court case, it is best not to post about the proceedings online. Parties who vent about the “incompetent judge” or “lazy court staff” working on their case on social media websites will not help their chances at getting what they want in the matter. Sometimes, family court judges will specifically request that parties refrain from publicly discussing their case. In this case, social media posts about your case could violate a court order and you could be held in contempt of court.

If you are involved in a family court case, avoid these 10 social media behaviors.

You should always be careful about what you post on social media. But when you’re involved in an active family court case, here are 10 social media behaviors to avoid entirely:

Posting complaints or negative statements about your spouse or children.Maintaining a dating profile that states you are “single” before your divorce is finalized.Referencing alcohol or drug use or your “party” lifestyle, especially when child custody is at issue.Posting provocative pictures of yourself to social media or dating websites.Venting about your active court case or a decision in favor of the other party.Posting about your new boyfriend or girlfriend before your divorce is finalized.Sharing private information about your spouse or children.Posting pictures of luxury purchases if child or spousal support, or division of assets, is at issue.Disclosing any information that was communicated to you in a confidential setting.Posting about your weekend plans when you were supposed to be with your children.

In short, a “Like” on Facebook is never worth losing time with your children or support payments. If you have questions about how social media might impact your family court case, contact an experienced family law attorney.