Under New Hampshire law, all parents must support their children. In most cases, the parent who is responsible for the child's primary residence is the parent to receive child support from the other.
Who must pay child support?
A parent must financially support his or her children, even if:
- the parent and child live in different households, or
- the parents were not married to each other when the child was born, or
- either parent remarries, or
- the parent who provides the child's primary residence is employed or receives public assistance, or
- the parent who provides the child's primary residence refuses to allow visitation, or
- the parent who does not provide the child's primary residence lives or works in another state.
Children are entitled to support until they reach age 18, or end their high school education, whichever happens later.
New Hampshire's child support guidelines provide a formula for determining how much child support a parent is required to pay. Generally the amount is 25% of income after certain adjustments for one child; 33% for two children; 40% for three children; and 45% for four or more children. The amount of child support may change if there are child care expenses, or if the parent provides medical insurance for the children (see "Medical support"), or if a judge determines there are special circumstances (see "Can a support order differ from the guidelines?").