Imagine you’ve been divorced for a few years now in New Hampshire, and despite a contentious beginning to the new relationship with your ex, things are now running smoothly and the two of you are able to co-parent cooperatively. You are both happy with the custody arrangement–transferring the two children to and from each other’s homes goes easily, and you are dutifully making your child support payments every month since the children primarily live with your ex. Then you meet someone new and eventually decide to remarry. Shortly after your wedding ceremony, you learn that your ex has filed a child support modification action with the court to adjust your child support payments.
Does this mean you will now have to pay more in child support just because you decided to give love and marriage a second chance?
New Hampshire Guidelines on Child Support
In New Hampshire, both parents–whether they were married or not–are responsible for supporting their children. When parents divorce, primary custody is usually awarded to one parent–the obligee–and the other parent, the non-custodial or obliger parent, pays child support to the obligee. Child support payments are based on:
- the current gross monthly income of both parents; and
- the number of children that are to be supported.
Gross monthly income includes salary/tips, social security payments, stock dividends, commissions, and severance pay. The New Hampshire Department of Human Services Bureau of Child Support Services provides a child support calculator to help you calculate your child support payments.
Remarrying is not reason enough for adjusting child support payments. But, if your new spouse is a doctor and earns significantly more than you–meaning you now don’t have to cover your mortgage, car payment, or utilities all on your own, a judge may rule that your child support payments increase because now you have “extra” income.
If your new spouse earns roughly the same amount you do and also has children from a previous marriage, there is probably no extra income coming into your household and therefore you would not be required to increase your child support payments. The same would be true if your new spouse does not work at all–your gross monthly income would not change.
However, if you and your new spouse decide to have a child together, you could file a child support modification action with the court to request that your child support payments to your ex be lowered, because now you are effectively supporting three, not just two, children.
New Hampshire Child Custody Attorneys Tenn And Tenn, P.C.
Whenever either parent has a significant life change that affects their income, they can petition to adjust their child support payments with the court. If you need help doing this, do not hesitate to contact an experienced family law lawyer in New Hampshire.