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New Hampshire Child Custody and Support Guidelines


New Hampshire Child Custody and Support Guidelines:

In determining parental rights and responsibilities under this section, including residential responsibility, the court shall not apply a preference for one parent over the other because of the sex of the child, the sex of a parent, or the financial resources of a parent. In determining parental rights and responsibilities, the court shall be guided by the best interests of the child, and shall consider the following factors:

  • The relationship of the child with each parent and the ability of each parent to provide the child with nurture, love, affection, and guidance.
  • The ability of each parent to assure that the child receives adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and a safe environment.
  • The child's developmental needs and the ability of each parent to meet them, both in the present and in the future.
  • The quality of the child's adjustment to the child's school and community and the potential effect of any change.
  • The ability and disposition of each parent to foster a positive relationship and frequent and continuing physical, written, and telephonic contact with the other parent, except where contact will result in harm to the child or to a parent.
  • The support of each parent for the child's contact with the other parent as shown by allowing and promoting such contact.
  • The support of each parent for the child's relationship with the other parent.
  • The relationship of the child with any other person who may significantly affect the child.
  • The ability of the parents to communicate, cooperate with each other, and make joint decisions concerning the children.
  • Any evidence of abuse, as defined in RSA 173-B:1, I or RSA 169-C:3, II, and the impact of the abuse on the child and on the relationship between the child and the abusing parent.
  • If a parent is incarcerated, the reason for and the length of the incarceration, and any unique issues that arise as a result of incarceration.
  • Any other additional factors the court deems relevant.

If the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that a minor child is of sufficient maturity to make a sound judgment, the court may give substantial weight to the preference of the mature minor child as to the determination of parental rights and responsibilities. Under these circumstances, the court shall also give due consideration to other factors which may have affected the minor child's preference, including whether the minor child's preference was based on undesirable or improper influences. [Based on New Hampshire Statutes - Chapters: 461-A:6]

Child Support:

Both parents are responsible for the economic support of the children, and the percentage of net income paid for child support should vary according to the number of children and, with limited exemptions, not according to income level, as determined by the following New Hampshire child support guidelines.

All support orders shall provide for the assignment of the wages of the responsible parent pursuant to RSA 458-B, subject to the exceptions listed in RSA 458-B:2. The amount of a child support obligation shall remain as stated in the order until all dependent children for whom support is ordered shall terminate their high school education or reach the age of 18 years, whichever is later, or become married, or become a member of the armed services, at which time the child support obligation, including all educational support obligations, terminates without further legal action. This amount shall remain as specified unless a legal order expressly allocates the payments on a per child basis. If the order involves a disabled child, the court shall specify the duration of the order, which may be beyond the time when the child reaches the age of 18. No child support order shall require a parent to contribute to an adult child's college expenses or other educational expenses beyond the completion of high school. [Based on New Hampshire Statutes - Chapters: 458-C:1, 458-C:3, and 461-A:14]

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