Important Changes to the NH Child Support Guideline

Changes_NHChildSupportChanges to the New Hampshire child support guidelines that take effect on July 1, 2013 will allow higher wage earners to pay less child support than under current guidelines.  Under the current guidelines, child support is payable at a consistent percentage of the parties’ net income solely based upon how many children were to be supported.  More specifically a parent paying child support under the current guidelines would pay:  25% of the net income for one (1) child; 33% for two (2) children; 40% for three (3) children; and 45% for four (4) or more children regardless of the paying parties’ income.  High wage earner parents have argued for years that these guidelines were unfair to them.  For example, if a parent earned $125,000 per year, he would pay approximately $30,360 per year (or $2,530 per month) in child support for two (2) children under the current guideline.  Parents in that position have argued that children do not require that much in child support especially if the other parent is also contributing to the children’s support.  Under the new guidelines set forth in the following chart, that same person would pay approximately $24,000 per year (or $2,000 per month), a decrease of almost $6,400 per year or $533 per month.

Net income

1 Child

2 Children

3 Children

4 or more Children

$15,000 or less

25.6%

35.5%

42.5%

45%

$25,000

25%

35%

42%

44.5%

$35,000

24%

33.5%

40.5%

43%

$50,000

23%

31.5%

38%

40.5%

$60,000

22%

30.5%

36.5%

39%

$70,000

21.5%

30%

36%

38.5%

$80,000

21%

29%

35%

37.5%

$90,000

21%

28.5%

34.5%

37%

$100,000

20%

27.5%

33%

35.5%

$125,000 or more

19%

26%

31%

33.5%

If you are currently under a child support order you should consider whether you might be entitled to obtain a reduction under this new statute.  If the existing child support order was more than three (3) years old or if there has been any substantial change of circumstances, in either party’s financial condition, you may be entitled to a modification based on these new guidelines.  Please note that the enactment of this new statute in and of itself does not provide a basis for modification of an existing child support order.

Please do not hesitate in calling Attorney Michael Fontaine to discuss whether you might be entitled to a reduction in your child support based upon these new guidelines.

Author: Attorney Michael Fontaineh

12 thoughts on “Important Changes to the NH Child Support Guideline

  1. Amy Poirier says:

    Are the net income amounts you listed above based on the combined incomes of both parents or just the parent ordered to pay child support??

    • Hi Amy,
      The new guidelines are for combined income. Therefore, if one spouse earns $20,000 and the other spouse earns $80,000 ($100,000 combined), and there is one child, the parent paying support would pay 20% under the new guidelines versus 25% under the old guidelines.

  2. Judy Sekerak says:

    My daughter has four children resulting from an 18-year marriage. They opted to have her work as a stay-at-home mom; thus no tangible income on her part. How does the revised Guideline impact her situation? Many thanks.

    Judy

    • Your daughter’s income would be counted as zero, and child support would be calculated based on the father’s income. However, the resulting child support is unlikely to be enough for your daughter to support four children without any additional sources of income. Depending on the circumstances of your daughter’s situation, she may be entitled to alimony for a period of time.

  3. How is this fair to the parent paying support who earns SIGNIFICANTLY less than the parent getting the support?!

    • The child support guidelines presume that the amount of child support calculated is the correct amount of child support. However, this presumption can be rebutted by showing that the application of the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate in a particular case. One of the factors to be considered is the significantly high or low income of the oblige or obligor.

  4. Would the mother getting a new job and not telling me that she is making more money than when we agreed to the last modification qualify as reason to modify?

    • The employment of a parent may qualify as grounds for modification. However, because the total income available for the support of the child has now increased, it may not result in a lower child support obligation. Whether to pursue a modification of child support is case-specific. You should review the child support guidelines with a family law attorney regarding the details of your situation.

  5. If I am the parent who receives the child support and I am unemployed presently (cant find a job, so going back to school for a year.) And I am remarried (new spouse earns $51K/yr…. How does my situation get effected? Am I penalized because I am unemployed and going to school full time (with the goal of re-employment?) My ex earns around $125,000.00 and is remarried to a person making $60,000.
    Do our new spouses income impact the amount? My decision to get retrained in another field so that I can go back to work effect this?

  6. Please help me…..I have no idea where to start or what to do?? I have been unemployed since Nov. 19th of 2012 and was lucky enough to gain a job and started last week Aug. 16th 2013. I had called DHHS when I lost job to advise of this and see if any help or way to make sure I didn’t fallbehind and I was told no. I have not been able to pay at all as what I was making barely kept us above water. I now owe $1,295 and have received a court date for Sept. 2013 and today a letter of revocation on my license?! I have left messages that I am now working and will send $200 and they can start pulling from my pay and I never get a call back? What do I do, this is only going to make me lose my job and be worse than I already am?? Thank you so much! By way I also have my daughter 50% of time and pay for all extra activities and need to know how I try to have my support dropped. Thank you in advance for any suggestions. Mike

    • Hi Mike,
      You will need to go to the Court and file for a modification. I recommend that you seek the advice of an attorney or if you cannot afford an attorney, contact NH Legal Services to assist you.

  7. when the judge calculates the income and the parent with custody has 0 income, does the judge takes in consideration any expenses of the other parent? a % like this affects the family of the other parent specially with more kids. what kind of expenses can a judge consider if any?? thanks!

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