The state of New Hampshire extends the rights of its citizens to include children as well. The Division of Child Support Services was established to help families enforce and enact child support orders (medical and financial). In order for Child Support to be enforced, the parents must have already petitioned and received their divorce decree. Until this is finalized not much can be done to collect on child support.
The Division of Child Support Services does not deal with custody issues or visitation rights. This must be determined via your divorce decree. However, the Division can help to establish paternity if this is in question and will pertain to child support services. The DCSS’s primary role is to enforce court orders and will do so in a variety of ways including withholding money from paychecks, reporting late payments to the credit bureaus, contacting employers for garnishment procedures, placing liens on assets, and preventing issuance of passports. Additionally, this is the department that will be disbursing the funds when the responsible party makes the deposit.
How to File for Child Support in New Hampshire
The governmental website can be accessed: http://www.dhhs.nh.gov From there you can access the pertinent forms. A child support guidelines worksheet will be one of the forms that you must fill out. Once you have done this, then you will file it with the DCSS and they will send a letter to the noncustodial parent (NC) who will have a couple of weeks to respond to the petition. If they do not respond, then they will be served by the Sheriff’s office. The next step is a First Appearance court session. During this session it is just the judge, both parents, and their lawyers if any are used. The court process will be explained and the next step will be scheduled, which is the Child Impact Seminar. To set up a time to take the class you can go to: www.courts.state.nh.us/fdpp
Additionally, in order for funds to be released you must have a lot of documentation. You will need a completion certificate from the Child Impact Seminar, a parenting plan, your financial affidavits, final decrees (dissolution), support order, and child guidelines packet. All of these are available on the state website.
Amounts to be Paid
Once you have jumped through all of the hoops you will be receiving or paying child support into the DCSS system. A quick calculator will give you a basic overview: http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dcss/calculator.htm
Money is sent to the recipient 2 days after receiving payment. They also maintain payment and disbursement records so if there is ever a question of payment it can be answered. There is a basic fee of 25$ for using the service. It is charged annually for as long as you use it. The custodial parent is usually responsible for this. Likewise, there may be a 252$ charge for those filing jointly.