In New Hampshire, both parents are obligated to financially support their child. This obligation exists regardless of whether the parents are married and even if they live in different states. Child support is put in place to help guarantee that both parents are doing their part for their child. You can’t simply stop paying child support without some consequences.
What is child support?
Child support is payment given to the parent who cares for the child for the majority of the time for the support of a child. These payments are typically made by the parent who does not care for the child the majority of the time. Child support payments are calculated based on a variety of factors, including how much money the parent makes and how many children they have. The amount of child support the parent may need to pay can be changed, but they need to go through a formal process in order for that to happen.
Child support enforcement
In New Hampshire, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services called Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) manages the enforcement of child support. They also take care of a variety of related issues, such as establishing paternity of babies born to unmarried couples, locating absentee parents, and working with other states as necessary. If you’re not paying child support, this is the division of the government that you’ll be working with.
DCSS has several ways of enforcing child support. For instance, they can add a withholding provision to your paycheck, which means a portion of your paycheck goes directly to the DCSS. Additionally, DCSS can put a stop-hold on your bank account if you are in nonpayment of child support. They are also able to intercept your federal tax return for payment. If you win the lottery, they can even take a portion of your winnings for child support.
DCSS can also enforce child support through methods like suspending the parent’s license and reporting the lack of payment to the consumer credit bureaus. If you owe more than $2,500, DCSS can even recommend your case to the U.S. Department of State who can revoke your passport.
Going to court
It’s also possible for a parent to go to court in an attempt to collect child support payments. If you’re not receiving child support payments, you may find it’s faster to hire a private lawyer to make your case rather than wait for DCSS to act. DCSS can also go to court for enforcement. The court can take such action as ordering property to be sold to pay the child support and for the parent to pay the receiving parent’s legal fees.
Through the court, you can also file a legal action known as contempt. This requires the parent who should be making child support payments to go to court and explain why they haven’t been making payments. Contempt is serious and can even result in jail time.
Bottom line, there can be many consequences for not paying the child support you’ve been ordered to pay. If you’re struggling with meeting your child support obligation, you can go back to the court and attempt to get a lower support payment, which is always a better option than simply refusing to pay.
Whether you’re struggling to get the child support payments you need or you’re struggling to pay child support, we can help. We have the experience you need to get the result you’re looking for. Reach out to us today.