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Can child support be negotiated?

Child support under Nevada family law is determined by the court and covers food and shelter along with clothing and utilities. Nothing prevents parents from negotiating additional payments by the non-custodial parent and even settling for less under certain circumstances. Why would a custodial parent settle for less than the court's child support guidelines?

A non-custodial parent is more likely to pay an affordable amount, and it is not uncommon for some to pay nothing if the court ordered amount of child support is more than what they can afford. In order to get something, it might be wise to agree to a lower amount. Once a paying parent falls behind, it becomes more and more difficult to collect child support. In some cases, a parent whose financial limitations are accommodated by the custodial parent may agree -- or even offer -- to contribute in other ways and add on additional items that do not form part of the court-ordered support.

However, parents may not go ahead and change child support informally. A court order to modify the child support amount must be obtained. If this is not done, the unpaid amounts will accrue, and the non-custodial parent will be held responsible.

This area of Nevada family law can be complicated, and parents should not hesitate to consult with an experienced family law attorney before taking matters into their own hands. Obligated parents who can demonstrate hardship are entitled to ask the court for modified child support orders. Similarly, custodial parents may ask for increased amounts at particular intervals. A suitable option for parents who want to negotiate child support obligations may be to use family law mediation. A skilled child support attorney can provide support and guidance through all these proceedings.

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