New Hampshire Child Support Laws

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New Hampshire Child Support Laws

New Hampshire Child Support Laws

Child support laws in New Hampshire allow for adjustments if circumstances change significantly. This could include substantial changes in income, changes in the child’s demands, or changes in the custodial arrangement. To request a modification, file a petition with the court. It can be difficult to get around the complex world of child support rules, particularly when interacting with the court system. Regardless of the parent’s marital status, New Hampshire’s child support laws are meant to guarantee that children receive sufficient financial support from both parents. An outline of the Granite State’s child support laws is provided here.

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1. Determining Child Support Obligations

New Hampshire uses the “Income Shares Model” to calculate child support. This model considers the income of both parents and aims to allocate a portion of their combined income to support the child as if the family were still together. The specific calculation involves several steps:

Gross Income Calculation: The court first determines the gross income of both parents. This includes wages, bonuses, commissions, self-employment income, and other sources of income like rental properties or investment earnings.

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Adjusted Gross Income: Certain deductions are allowed from the gross income, such as taxes, mandatory retirement contributions, union dues, and support for other children or a spouse.

Basic Child Support Obligation: Using the combined adjusted gross income, the court refers to the New Hampshire Child Support Guidelines to determine the basic child support obligation. This is the amount that would be spent on the child if the parents were living together.

Additional Expenses: Costs such as health insurance premiums, childcare, and extraordinary medical expenses can be added to the basic child support obligation.

Final Support Amount: The final child support amount is proportionally divided between the parents based on their individual incomes.

2. Modifying Child Support

Circumstances can change, and New Hampshire law allows for modifications to child support orders. Either parent can request a modification if there is a substantial change in circumstances, such as:

A significant change in either parent’s income.

Changes in the needs of the child (e.g., medical expenses, education costs).

Changes in the custodial arrangement.

To modify a child support order, a parent must file a petition with the court. The court will review the circumstances and determine if a modification is warranted.

3. Enforcement of Child Support

Ensuring that child support payments are made is crucial for the child’s well-being. In New Hampshire, the Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) is responsible for enforcing child support orders. Methods of enforcement include:

Income Withholding: Child support payments can be automatically deducted from the paying parent’s wages.

Contempt of Court: If a parent fails to comply with a support order, the court can hold them in contempt, which could lead to fines or imprisonment.

Interception of Tax Refunds: The state can intercept federal and state tax refunds to cover overdue child support.

License Suspension: Professional, recreational, and driver’s licenses can be suspended for non-payment of child support.

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Property Liens: Liens can be placed on the delinquent parent’s property, preventing them from selling or refinancing until the debt is paid.

4. Interstate Child Support Cases

In cases where one parent lives outside of New Hampshire, the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) ensures that child support orders are enforceable across state lines. This means that a parent living in another state must still comply with the New Hampshire support order, and New Hampshire can coordinate with other states to enforce the order.

5. Legal Assistance and Resources

Dealing with child support issues can be complex, and it’s often beneficial to seek legal assistance. Family law attorneys can provide guidance and representation throughout the process. Additionally, the New Hampshire Legal Aid and the Division of Child Support Services offer resources and support for parents navigating child support matters.

The child support rules in New Hampshire are crucial in guaranteeing that children have the necessary financial assistance. The laws and procedures put in place by the state are intended to protect children’s best interests while distributing financial obligations among parents in a fair and equitable manner. To properly navigate the process if you’re dealing with child support concerns, think about getting legal counsel. You may contribute to making sure that your child’s needs are satisfied and that their future is safe by being knowledgeable and proactive.

Frequently Asked Questions About New Hampshire Child Support Laws

1. How is child support calculated in New Hampshire?

Child support is calculated using the Income Shares Model, which takes into account the combined income of both parents. The court determines each parent’s adjusted gross income and then uses state guidelines to establish the basic child support obligation. Additional expenses, such as healthcare and childcare, are added to this amount and the final support is divided proportionally between the parents.

2. Can child support orders be modified?

Yes, child support orders can be modified if there is a substantial change in circumstances. This could include significant changes in income, changes in the child’s needs, or changes in the custodial arrangement. A petition must be filed with the court to request a modification.

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3. What happens if a parent doesn’t pay child support?

If a parent fails to pay child support, the Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) can enforce the order through various means, such as income withholding, tax refund interception, license suspension, property liens, and even holding the non-paying parent in contempt of court.

4. How can I ensure my child support payments are enforced if the other parent lives in another state?

The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) allows for the enforcement of child support orders across state lines. New Hampshire can coordinate with other states to ensure the out-of-state parent complies with the support order.

5. Are there any deductions allowed when calculating child support?

Yes, certain deductions are allowed when calculating child support, including taxes, mandatory retirement contributions, union dues, and support for other children or a spouse. These deductions help determine the adjusted gross income used in the support calculation.

6. What if the non-custodial parent’s income changes significantly?

If the non-custodial parent’s income changes significantly, either parent can request a modification of the child support order by filing a petition with the court. The court will review the new circumstances and adjust the support amount if necessary.

7. How does the court handle healthcare and childcare expenses?

Healthcare and childcare expenses are considered additional expenses and are added to the basic child support obligation. These costs are then divided between the parents based on their proportionate incomes.

8. Can child support be paid directly to the custodial parent?

While direct payments can be arranged, it is generally recommended to use the state’s payment processing system to ensure proper documentation and tracking of payments. This helps avoid disputes about payment amounts and dates.

9. What should I do if I’m unable to pay the full child support amount?

If you are unable to pay the full child support amount, you should contact the court or the Division of Child Support Services as soon as possible. It may be possible to modify the support order if you can demonstrate a substantial change in circumstances. Ignoring the issue can lead to enforcement actions and additional penalties.

10. Is child support taxable income?

No, child support payments are not considered taxable income for the recipient. Likewise, the paying parent cannot deduct child support payments from their taxable income.

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