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Are You Receiving the Correct Child Support Amount?

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Child Support in NH – Child support is based on gross income from all sources. This broad description of gross income includes categories of income that one might not realize would be taken into consideration in their child support case.

What Is Gross Income

Below is the legal definition of gross income under 458-C:2, IV:

“Gross income” means all income from any source, whether earned or unearned, including, but not limited to, wages, salary, commissions, tips, annuities, social security benefits, trust income, lottery or gambling winnings, interest, dividends, investment income, net rental income, self-employment income, alimony, business profits, pensions, bonuses, and payments from other government programs (except public assistance programs, including aid to families with dependent children, aid to the permanently and totally disabled, supplemental security income, food stamps, and general assistance received from a county or town), including, but not limited to, workers’ compensation, veterans’ benefits, unemployment benefits, and disability benefits; provided, however, that no income earned at an hourly rate for hours worked, on an occasional or seasonal basis, in excess of 40 hours in any week shall be considered as income for the purpose of determining gross income; and provided further that such hourly rate income is earned for actual overtime labor performed by an employee who earns wages at an hourly rate in a trade or industry which traditionally or commonly pays overtime wages, thus excluding professionals, business owners, business partners, self-employed individuals and others who may exercise sufficient control over their income so as to re-characterize payment to themselves to include overtime wages in addition to a salary. In addition, the following shall apply:

(a)  The court, in its discretion, may consider as gross income the difference between the amount a parent is earning and the amount a parent has earned in cases where the parent voluntarily becomes unemployed or underemployed unless the parent is physically or mentally incapacitated.

(b)  The income of either parent’s current spouse shall not be considered as gross income to the parent unless the parent resigns from or refuses employment or is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, in which case the income of the spouse shall be imputed to the parent to the extent that the parent had earned income in his or her usual employment. (c) The court, in its discretion, may order that child support based on one-time or irregular income be paid when the income is received, rather than be included in the weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly child support calculation. Such support shall be based on the applicable percentage of net income.

As illustrated above in the lengthy definition of gross income, child support can be based on a wide variety of sources.  If you are the recipient of a child support order, you may not be receiving the correct amount of child support if the paying parent is not declaring all of their gross income.  It is best to consult with an experienced Family Law attorney to understand if your support order is accurate.  Call us at (603) 288-1403 or fill out our online contact form.