New Hampshire Child Support & Parenting Time Totals
In New Hampshire, the amount of child support is figured based on a percentage of the non-residential parent's income, and parenting time doesn't factor into the formula.
New Hampshire uses a basic child support formula that uses one parent's income to determine the amount of payment. Accurate parenting time numbers don't directly affect your child support, whether you pay or receive.
New Hampshire attorneys and judges often rely on parenting time estimates, even if they are incorrect, because counting parenting time is tedious and time consuming. Divorcing parents often rely on these estimates as well.
Using estimates means your parenting time totals are wrong when compared to your actual parenting time schedule. Keep your parenting time fair and exact with accurate records.
To calculate parenting time, the easiest and most accurate way is to use software. Without software, you're forced to add up hours for a whole year, which is error-prone when you include alternating holidays, summer break, and any changes to the schedule throughout the year.
The leading parenting time calculation software, Custody X Change, can calculate your parenting time to see if it was estimated incorrectly.
Using software, you can also tweak your schedule to see how even little changes affect your total parenting time, and you can see how your parenting time changes each year due to holidays and other events.
You can also track what actually happens, and show how much parenting time you've actually received for any period of time. Historical information is a powerful tool when you request a child support modification or when you request more parenting time.
In a New Hampshire physical custody case, the family court will designate a primary physical custodian. The residential parent hosts the children the majority of the time. The non-residential parent has visitation time.
A New Hampshire family court awards joint physical custody to most cases, except where the children's best interests or a parent's health or safety are an issue.
New Hampshire family courts must comply with the child support guidelines as specified in the statute, but a court has the right to deviate. According to New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated; Chapters 458:17-18, a deviation is allowed in the case of “any extraordinary costs associated with physical custody.”
In New Hampshire, a basic child support formula is used to determine child support amounts. The same formula is used for sole and joint physical custody. Unlike many other states, New Hampshire gives no automatic parenting time credit that can reduce your child support amount.
In the New Hampshire formula, the non-residential parent's gross income is determined and then allowable deductions are made. Deductions can include health insurance obligations for the children or day care expenses, for example. The net income is then used in the child support formula.
The child support formula requires the non-residential parent's net income combined with the number of children to support:
- One child = 25% of the non-residential parent's monthly income
- Two children = 33% of the non-residential parent's monthly income
- Three children = 40% of the non-residential parent's monthly income
- Four children or more = 45% of the non-residential parent's monthly income
In New Hampshire, the non-residential parent pays child support to the residential parent.
New Hampshire family courts decline to put a dollar amount on non-residential parent spending time with their children, and currently do not tie compensation or credits to figuring child support amounts.
Accurate parenting time percentages are important because in New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated; Chapters 458:17, 458:18, and 458-C:1-5, New Hampshire law allows for certain exceptions to be made in the child support amount if you can show you qualify for special consideration.
The law states that the court may deviate from the standard child support guidelines when it finds “any extraordinary costs associated with physical custody.” This could include instances where the non-residential parent hosts the children for overnights that far exceed a standard parenting time schedule.
While this scenario is rare, at least you can present the court with accurate parenting time numbers.
Consider the hypothetical case of Robert and Mary. Robert's net income is $4,000 per month, while Mary's net income is $2,400 per month. They have two children.
See how the child support amounts change in these examples:
- Scenario #1: Robert is the non-residential parent. The child support formula takes his monthly income and multiplies it by 33 percent. Robert pays $1,017 in child support each month to Mary.
- Scenario #2: Mary is the non-residential parent. Her monthly income is multiplied by 33 percent. Mary pays $623 in child support to Robert.
- Scenario #3: If there were three children and Robert is the non-residential parent, he pays $1,233 in child support to Mary, based on 40 percent of his income.
In New Hampshire, the basic child support formula results in the non-residential parent paying child support to the residential parent.
New Hampshire's child support formula uses the following information to calculate your monthly amounts for joint custody child support:
- The non-residential parent's monthly gross income
- The number of children who are under 18 or 19 if a child is still in high school and will to graduate by age 19.
- Certain deduction amounts, such as the cost of health insurance premiums for the children or the cost of child care.
- A pre-existing child support or alimony obligation by either parent
Parenting time does not figure into the child support formula. However, you could submit your total parenting time to the court to show whether it is substantially in excess of the standard visitations in New Hampshire.
Paying accurate child support helps your children in several ways, primarily because it ensures their financial needs are met.
Here are some other reasons why accurate overnight numbers help you, the other parent and your children:
- It provides a fair way to determine your child support amounts
- It guarantees the child support amount reflects each parent's responsibilities
- It allows for modifications if your actual time and scheduled time are different
- It is compliant with New Hampshire law
Your financial obligations to your children don't end with divorce, so whether you are paying or receiving child support, you owe it to your children to pay or receive the proper amount.
To ensure you are paying or receiving the right amount of child support in New Hampshire, remember these 5 things:
- State-specific child support guidelines are found in the New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated; Chapter 458.
- New Hampshire figures child support amounts based on a percentage of the non-residential parent's net income. The residential parent's income is not included.
- The percentage used in the child support formula is found in the New Hampshire child support guidelines and is based on the number of children that qualify. One child is 25 percent, two children are 33 percent, three children are 40 percent, and four children or more are 45 percent.
- The non-residential parent pays child support to the residential parent.
- New Hampshire family courts can order a deviation from the standard child support formula if it determines that the non-residential parent's visitation greatly exceeds what is standard for the state.
Use the Custody X Change software to accurately calculate your total parenting time to present to a New Hampshire family court.