New Hampshire law states that both parents must provide support for their children. If only one parent has custody of the children, the other parent must pay child support. If both parents share custody of the children then both parents will owe child support. To simplify this situation, New Hampshire courts typically make higher-earning parent pay the difference.
For example, if John and Karen have one child in joint custody the court will use this formula. For one child, it is assumed that each parent will pay 25% of their income in child support. If John is a waiter making $30,000 per year and Karen is an accountant making $60,000, John would be expected to pay $625 per month and Karen would be expected to pay $1,250 per month. This would be simplified to Karen making child support payments to John at $625 per month.
How Do You Petition for Child Support?
To begin receiving child support, either parent must fill out an application and file it with the New Hampshire Department of Child Support Services. The petitioning parent must be able to provide information about the other parent, such as the other parent’s:
- Assets; and
- Family members or other contacts.
If the mother of the child is filing the application the father of the child must be determined if it is not already determined via birth certificate or record. If it is not determined it may be established by either the father voluntarily submitting a document declaring his paternity, or through genetic testing. New Hampshire’s Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) typically pays for genetic testing and the results can be available within 30 business days with the results mailed to both parents.
What If You Don’t Pay Required Child Support?
If one parent fails to pay required child support the other parent may file a motion for contempt. This allows a New Hampshire court to declare the non-paying parent in contempt of court. Being found in contempt allows for the court to use various measures to extract payment. Some of these are ordering the non-paying parent’s property to be sold, the non-paying parent’s credit score might be affected, the non-paying parent be jailed, have the required payment garnished from the non-paying parent’s paycheck, and garnish the payment from the non-paying parents’ tax refund. The consequences of non-payment can also include prosecution for a felony or misdemeanor.
It should be noted that all child support payments should be made through DCSS so they can keep track of what has been paid or what is owed. While it is possible for the paying parent to pay child support directly to the other parent, it is not encouraged as it can result in the paying parent possibly over-paying or under-paying in child support.
What Can the Other Parent Do if You Don’t Pay Required Child Support?
If the non-paying parent does not receive the required payments they may go to the Department of Child Support Services and request various methods of extracting the payment from the paying parent. The parent may also pursue a claim in the courts to sue for owed child support.
How Can You Stop Paying Required Child Support?
Once a child support order is in place it must be followed. If a parent wishes to change it they must file a petition to support a modification of the order through the Department of Child Support Services. Child support also naturally ends when the child turns 18 or is out of high school. It also ends if the child becomes married, joins the military, or becomes emancipated. It can continue indefinitely if the child is declared a legal dependent by the court due to mental or physical disability.
Where Can You Find the Right Lawyer?
If you need help in petitioning or adjusting a child support order, then contact a New Hampshire child support lawyer today to get the help you need.