Four Steps To Changing A "Child Support" Order In New Hampshire
Modifying Your "Custody"Frequently, New Hampshire parents who have already gotten divorced or already gotten a child support order need to change or "modify" child support. Don't worry - you are not alone. Two of the most commonly asked questions include: "How do I change custody?" or "How do I change child support?"
There are some important conditions and thresholds that must be met in order for you to change your child support. And, from a technical definitions perspective, what you are actually seeking is a "modification" to your child support.
So, what does New Hampshire law permit in "modifying" your child support? When are you permitted to seek a "modification"?New Hampshire parents can request the court to modify the child support order no sooner than three years after the date of the last child support order.
However, if you need to modify a child support order sooner than three years, you must prove that there has been a "substantial change in circumstances" justifying a modification.
What are three examples that might warrant a change to your child support in New Hampshire if it's been less than three years?
If the parent paying support got a big pay raise
If the parent paying support lost his or her job
If the "custody" or "parenting schedule" for the kids has significantly changed (or
isn't being upheld as agreed to).
What steps do you take to change your child support and get a modification if it's been less than three years since your last child support order?This next section lays out the four steps New Hampshire residents must take if they seek to change their "child support."
How to Change Child Support in New Hampshire - Step 1:Schedule a meeting with a trusted and experienced divorce attorney. You may have been disappointed in how your previous lawyer handled the case - or you may not have had an attorney help you with your previous matter at all. Whatever the case, it's important to know what qualities and attributes you are looking for in a divorce attorney. Explain that a substantial change to either parent's financial situation or to the parenting schedule has occurred requiring you to change the amount of child support paid or received.
How to Change Child Support in New Hampshire - Step 2:Once you have discussed your case with and hired a divorce attorney you trust, the lawyer will draft and file a "Petition to Change Court Order" with the New Hampshire Circuit Court - Family Division (based on where you reside). Circuit Court locations include Manchester, Nashua, Concord, Goffstown, Merrimack, Hooksett, Franklin, Hillsborough, Derry, Brentwood, and Salem. Upon receipt of your paperwork, the court will process the Petition and notify both parents of a hearing date.
How to Change Child Support in New Hampshire - Step 3:Meet with your family law attorney to help prepare and strategize for the child support hearing. Prior to the hearing, your attorney will receive financial documents from "the other side" that will help both of you prepare. The work you do here with your attorney will be critical in positioning you for success at your hearing.
How to Change Child Support in New Hampshire - Step 4:Attend the child support hearing with your lawyer. What should you expect to happen in court? Typically, your attorney will have about 15 minutes to present to the court your proposal for changing child support. Your attorney will outline the explicit reasons and justifications for why you need your previous child support order "modified." If your lawyer successfully argues your position, you will receive a new child support order issued by the court within weeks (and if the court is backed up perhaps months) after the hearing.
ConsiderationsPlease note: To qualify for a child support modification in New Hampshire, your child support order must be at least three years old or there must have been a substantial change to either parent's financial situation or to the parenting schedule.