In our blog we will try to provide you with general information regarding family law, as well as updates in important cases and statutes dealing with family law in New Hampshire. This is not to be construed as legal advice. Every case is unique and small facts can make a difference.
Child Support – Am I Eligible For An Adjustment?
The economic climate has been altered significantly in the past several years. Within the state of New Hampshire, an increasing number of families have found themselves in distress financially due to unemployment, job cuts, and a rise in the cost of daily living. If you are divorced and are currently paying for child support, then you have most likely felt the financial stress more so than others. On the other hand, if you are the former spouse receiving child support, then a few extra dollars could prove invaluable for you and your children.
If both parents are dealing with financial stress, then now is an ideal time to review the numbers. If both parents are soundly employed and no considerable changes in the amount of income have occurred, then your chance of receiving an adjustment is rather limited. However, if one parent has lost their job and is unable to find gainful employment, what should happen?
Do not wait. The other parent should be notified of the problem. A new job is not going to magically appear and solve your financial distress. Honesty is the best policy. Missing one or multiple child support payments does nothing to further communication between two parents.
A parent who has lost their job maintains the legal obligation to inform a New Hampshire family court of the issue and to request an appropriate adjustment during the time they are unemployed. If you don’t ask for help, you won’t receive it. The longer you choose to wait, the more difficult it will become for you down the road. If one parent fails to make timely child support payments, then the other parent has the legal right to request a judge to hold the other in contempt for violating a legal court order.
Let’s say that the father lost his job the first week in February. That same week, he goes to a courthouse to file for a temporary adjustment in the amount of child support he must pay. He has now taken affirmative steps to protect his own financial well-being. While a hearing will most likely not be held for several weeks, but any order that is issued is effective from the date the request was filed with the court system. This is a much better situation than finding one’s self charged with contempt of court.
In such a situation, it is preferable for each parent to consult with an experienced NH family law attorney to identify workable alternatives and to obtain the solution that is best for their family. Despite unforeseen circumstances, each parent can request a child support review every three years under New Hampshire state law.
If you have questions regarding child support orders or would like assistance in requesting an adjustment, please contact one of our skilled New Hampshire family lawyers today. Your initial consultation is 100% free, and it is our pledge to our clients to work closely with them to obtain the best possible outcome in their situation. You have nothing to lose, but everything to gain.
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