Establishing and Calculating Child Support in a New Hampshire Divorce

New Hampshire's 2008 Child Support Guidelines became effective on April 1, 2008.(See also "Enforcement of Child Support Orders in a New Hampshire Divorce."

All of the forms, instructions, calculators, and statutes can be downloaded from the following Web site, including:

  1. The 2008 Child Support Guidelines
  2. Cover Page & Table of Contents (PDF)
  3. Explanation of Information Contained in the Guideline Table (PDF)
  4. 2008 Child Support Guideline Calculation Table (Form 651) (98 pages, 280 Kb PDF)
  5. Child Support Guidelines Worksheet (Form 650) (PDF)
  6. Instructions for Completing the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet (PDF)
  7. Chapter 458-C, Child Support Guidelines (PDF)

New Hampshire developed Child Support Guidelines based on the following principles:

  1. Both parents will bear responsibility for the economic support of their children;
  2. The children of the parents' initial family are entitled to the same standard of living as subsequent children from newly formed families;
  3. The percentage of income paid for child support should vary according to the number of children and, in general, not according to income level.

The Guidelines provide a formula that is used to determine the amount each parent's financial responsibility. The formula takes into account the number of children to be supported and the income of each parent. If a parent's income is below the amount the Guidelines allows for a "self-support reserve" and the parent is not voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, the support obligation is $50 per month.

New Hampshire Code, Section 458-C: 2

New Hampshire Child Support Formula

The total support obligation is divided between both parents in proportion to their respective incomes.

New Hampshire has a Child Support Calculator to assist in determining the appropriate financial division. The calculator asks for the following information for both parents:

  • monthly income before taxes
  • monthly amount of court-ordered support paid for all children
  • if self-employed, the amount of self-employment tax paid monthly
  • monthly mandatory payments to a retirement fund
  • monthly state income tax payments
  • monthly employment-related childcare payments
  • monthly payment for medical insurance paid on behalf of the children

The Child Support Guidelines allow for deviations from the formula for the following situations:

  • A child's extraordinary medical or educational expenses
  • Significantly high or low income of one of the parents
  • The presence of stepparents or stepchildren
  • Extraordinary travel expenses for visitation
  • Economic consequences to either parent of the sale of the marital home made for the benefit of the child;
  • Optimizing the tax effects of the support order on the parents' tax obligations

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