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Child support in Nevada

Nevada has statutory guidelines in NRS Chapter 125B for how much a parent will pay in child support. For instance, a paying parent with one child is expected to pay 18% of his/her gross monthly income to the receiving parent, a paying parent of two children is expected to pay 21%, and so forth. Courts rarely diverge from this formula absent extraordinary circumstances, such as where the child has special needs that require additional costs.

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Are you considering a legal separation or a divorce?

Tis the season for holiday cheer, but unfortunately, also for holiday gloom for many couples. January is reportedly the most common month of the year for people to file for divorce. Perhaps people realize their holidays together with their spouse was not ideal; or maybe the disappointment of the holidays being over in January hits, along with the realization that you’re still not happy in your marriage; or maybe people decide to start the new year off with a clean start. Whatever the reason may be, many couples will unfortunately initiate the start of their separation next month.

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We’re not married, so can I just move away with the kids?

A lot of people are still unaware that Nevada changed its law back on October 1, 2015 under Assembly Bill 263, requiring a parent to either obtain the permission of the other parent or the court before relocating with his/her child to another state. The same also applies to relocations within Nevada where the distance would "substantially impair the ability of the other parent to maintain a meaningful relationship with the child." It does not matter if you are not married to the other parent or have no existing custody order in place.

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How the law views pets in general, including in divorces.

The topic of how the law treats pets recently popped up, so let’s explore it. Despite all the humanly and emotional attachment, remember that Nevada law considers pets to be “property.” For instance, if someone negligently or even intentionally kills your dog, the law would only allow you to recover the market value of your dog and any reasonable burial expenses, along with attorney’s fees and court costs.

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To co-sign or not to co-sign? Is that the question?

Let’s say your nephew has fallen on hard times, but wants to buy a new car or lease a new apartment. He doesn’t have the credit and financial history to secure the loan or apartment himself, so asks you to co-sign. He promises he will maintain all payment obligations, but just needs you to co-sign to convince the creditor or landlord to lease to him. Should you agree?

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Don't fall victim to auto sales fraud!

I often hear about the following consumer situation, so decided to write about it. The situation is as follows: you signed a retail purchase/financing agreement to purchase a car, and then the dealership calls you back to sign a new contract. This arrangement is commonly called a “yo-yo” or “spot delivery” sale, where you thought everything was final, but suddenly the dealership says otherwise. What rights do you have in this situation?

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Basic steps for drafting your own contract.

Because I recently gave a talk on contracts, I thought it appropriate to write an article summarizing some of the points discussed. By no means is this article comprehensive enough to ensure that you can draft a solid contract, but is just meant to be a quick checklist to get you started, upon which you can expand or modify to fit your particular needs.

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What if my ex doesn’t want to see his/her child, but I want him/her to?

Oftentimes parents gripe about wanting more custody or visitation with their child. However, less commonly, a parent may gripe about wanting less time with their child essentially. That is, the parent will complain about the other parent not exercising his/her custody or visitation time and wanting to “enforce” the order against that parent. Of course, some violations may be more frequent than others, like where the other parent missed a series of weeks with his/her child versus merely a weekend or two. Regardless of how tempted you may be to drop your child off on the other parent's doorstep to "force" the visitation, doing so would not be prudent or in your child's best interests

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Even though we’re not married, can I still get anything from him/her if we split up?

Cohabitation is very common now among unmarried couples, where some couples live together for several years without marrying. Although a minority of states still recognize “common law marriages” (i.e. granting the same legal rights and obligations of married couples to unmarried couples), most states do not. Nevada ceased recognizing common law marriages in 1943. However, even if you are not married or a registered domestic partner, you may still have some rights against your partner.

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Can't I cancel that contract I just signed?

Unfortunately, a lot of people have the impression that a contract carries a “rescission period” for them to change their mind and cancel the contract after signing. I commonly hear the misbelief about a “3-day rescission period” in particular. Some states may have laws allowing for rescissions, but Nevada is extremely limited in the types of contracts you can rescind by statute.

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How can I resolve custody spats with my ex?

Custody cases can bring out the worst between two parents caught in an argument. Each parent usually feels his or her opinion is best about upbringing, and when people can’t agree and become adversarial, they may become unyielding about even the most mundane things. For instance, the court order may say a parent gets one phone call a week with his/her child, but the other parent doesn’t want to allow it. What options do you have in this or any other case?

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Beware of the landlords?!

Since practicing in Las Vegas, I have heard many stories about “slumlords,” i.e. shady, unethical landlords. For example, a landlord had verbally promised to clean or revamp a property before the tenant moved in, only to renege on and deny that promise afterwards; or a landlord who repeatedly painted over mold without proper remediation, causing their tenants to get ill.

To be fair, I have also heard many stories about undesirable tenants...

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Doesn’t a trust protect my assets?

Many, many people believe that once they form a “trust,” their assets in the trust will be protected against any creditor claims. However, a good number of those people have a revocable living trust in mind – that is, the usual family trust people form to manage or distribute their property upon death or incapacity. When most people mention a “trust,” they are talking about the revocable living trust that allows them to add or remove property at any time, or to terminate the trust. Unfortunately, this type of trust does NOT protect your assets.

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New HOA foreclosure laws

On October 1, 2015, new revisions took effect in Nevada’s law concerning foreclosures by homeowner’s associations (HOA’s). HOA foreclosures garnered much attention last year when the Nevada Supreme Court held in SFR Investments Pool 1, LLC v. U.S. Bank (139 Nev. Adv. Op. 75, 334 P.3d 408 [2014]) that NRS 116.3116 created what is commonly referred to as a “super-priority lien” with certain HOA assessments, where an HOA foreclosure could extinguish a first lienholder’s secured interest in the property. Thus, an HOA foreclosure on a super-priority lien could wipe out a mortgage holder’s interest secured by a first deed of trust.

Senate Bill 306 modified NRS Chapter 116.3116 with the addition or modification of various provisions, such as the following:

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