New Hampshire, like all states in the US, has a state run program to assist families that are in need of receiving or paying child support.
New Hampshire Child Support Laws
Here is a closer look at the services offered by the state of New Hampshire and the information you need to navigate through the process.
Child Support Services
New Hampshire’s Division of Child Support Services operates as part of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). This office works to assist families in their efforts to financially support their children. Staff at the child support office can help parents establish, review, and enforce court orders for child support and medical support. They can also help families establish paternity, locate the parent responsible for paying child support, and maintain child support records.
The state of New Hampshire also offers workplace assistance. The Division of Child Support Services has teemed up with the Workforce Development Staff to try to help non-custodial parents who are unable to meet their child support obligation. For most parents, participation in this program is voluntary, but in some cases it may be ordered by the court. In addition, The Division of Child Support Services offers mediation services for families enrolled in the child support program. Through the financial assistance of a federal grant, the state operates four court-based mediation programs that work to help parents communicate better with one another on their child support and/or visitation issues.
Currently, these programs are available in Coos, Carroll, Cheshire and Merrimack counties. The programs in Carroll and Coos counties are administered by Tri-County Community Action, Inc.; in Merrimack County by the New Hampshire Mediation Program; and in Cheshire County by Monadnock Family Services, Inc.
Before the staff at the child support office can begin to help establish a court order for child support, it will be necessary to positively establish the paternity of the child. If there is any question on this matter, the staff can help families establish paternity either voluntary or through court ordered genetic testing. Fathers who wish to voluntarily establish paternity can complete an Affidavit of Paternity. These forms are available from the Division of Child Support Services, the hospital where the child was born, or the town clerk's office.
New Hampshire Child Support Eligibility
New Hampshire’s Child Support Services offices can help families steer through the process of applying for, paying, and receiving child support. These services are automatically offered to families who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits. In fact, families who participate in the TANF program are required by law to participate in their state’s child support program.
But child support services are also available for families that do not currently receive these public benefits. Anyone who is interested in receiving assistance from New Hampshire Child Support Services offices can submit an application to the Department of Health and Human Services District Office. These services are available even when one of the parties does not reside in New Hampshire. There is no fee for child support services in New Hampshire. However, some other states do charge for their child support services and if either party in your case resides in one of these states, you may be required to pay the appropriate fees.
An application can be obtained by visiting, emailing, or calling the DHHS district office. You can also contact the Division of Child Support Services Office to receive an application at the following address or phone number, or at the website listed below.
Contacting The Division of New Hampshire Child Support Services
Division of Child Support Services
129 Pleasant St.
Concord, NH 03301-3852
Main Number: 603-271-4745
Toll Free Number: 800-852-3345 x4745
TDD Number: 800-735-2964
Fax Number: 603-271-4787
In addition to their case workers, The Division of Child Support Services employs customer service representatives that are available to offer general information about child support, including application information, and answer most questions about current cases. You can also contact one of these representatives to report minor changes in your case such as a new employer or a new address. Customer Service representatives are available at 603-271-4427, Monday through Friday from 8:00-4:30.
In addition, you can contact the Voice Response System, or the automated telephone system for up-to-date child support payment information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This system can be accessed by custodial or non custodial parents to hear the amount of the current payment and the last 5 payments plus account balance information. The telephone number for the Voice Response system is 800-371-8844.
Calculating New Hampshire Child Support Payments
Like most states, New Hampshire has established child support guidelines that are to be used to determine the amount of child support that is to be paid for each case. These guidelines are based upon the non-custodial parent's income. For one child, the amount of child support owed is 25% of net income, 33% for 2 children, 40% for 3 children, and 45% for 4 children or more.
In order to help both custodial and non-custodial parents estimate the amount of child support payments, New Hampshire’s Department of Health and Human Services offers a web-based “Child Support Calculator.” This tool can be used to calculate estimated payment amounts based on financial obligations, income and number of children to receive support. The Child Support Calculator can be accessed at the website listed below.
Making Changes To A Child Support Order
Either parent can request a review of the child support order as often as every three years or if there has been a substantial change in the financial circumstances of the case. To request a review, complete a Support Order Modification Kit. These kits are available from the Division of Child Support Services or from the clerks of superior and family courts. The Support Order Modification kit has complete instructions for requesting a child support order modification through the court system.
Enforcing New Hampshire Child Support Orders
The staff at the Division of Child Support Services can use a variety of methods to enforce a court order for child support payments. These include withholding income from the non-custodial parent’s paycheck, intercepting tax refunds, denying or suspending certain recreational or occupational licenses, reporting delinquent parents to the credit bureaus, assigning liens on personal property assets, denying passports, and intercepting lottery winnings, unemployment compensation payments or worker’s compensation funds.
In the state of New Hampshire, child support payments must be made until a child turns 18 years old or graduates from high school, whichever occurs last. In certain instances, a court order for child support may specify that child support payments must continue for a longer period, such as until the child graduates from college. If the child gets married or joins the military, child support will be discontinued.
Making a New Hampshire Child Support Payment
In New Hampshire, child support payments can be made via income withholding, (where the funds are taken directly from the non-custodial parent’s paycheck), or the payment can be mailed to the Child Support Regional Processing Center. When mailing in a child support payment, write your case number and/or your Social Security number of the check and make sure the check is payable to the Department of Health & Human Services or NH DHHS. New Hampshire child support payments should be mailed to the following address:
Child Support Regional Processing Center
PO Box 9502
Manchester, NH 03108-9502
Receiving Child Support Payments
New Hampshire Child Support Service Office recommends direct deposit as the easiest and quickest method for receiving child support payments. With this method, child support payments are sent automatically to your bank account and can usually be accessed more quickly than waiting for a paper check to arrive and clear at the bank. The Division of Child Support Services aims to disburse funds to custodial parents within two business days of receipt of payment.
Child Support Information For Employers
Employers can assist in the child support collection process by allowing non-custodial parents to utilize the income withholding method of paying child support. This method allows employers to automatically deduct the child support payment from the non-custodial parent’s paycheck just as taxes and other payments are deducted. The child support funds can then be mailed directly to the New Hampshire Child Support Regional Processing Center for disbursal to the custodial parent. Employers should mail child support payments to the following address:
Child Support Regional Processing Center
PO Box 9501
Manchester, NH 03108-9501
There may be times when the non-custodial parent’s paycheck does not fully cover the amount of the child support obligation. Should this occur, employers are asked to call the Customer Service staff the Child Support Service Office at: 603-271-4427.
For more on New Hampshire Child Support
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