If I Have 50/50 Custody Of My Children, Will I Have To Pay Child Support?

NH Child Support — A source of confusion for divorced or divorcing parents is how child custody or parenting time can affect the amount of child support being paid.  The answer to whether you have to pay child support if you have your children fifty percent of the time is, it depends.

If Your Incomes Are Similar

If you and the other parent have equal or approximate equal parenting time and your incomes are similar, you have a good argument for there to be no child support paid to either parent.

If One Income is Higher Than The Other

On the other hand, if one parent has more income than the other, it is likely that there will be a child support order.  The rationale behind this is that the court wants to ensure that the children are well cared for in both households.

Are There Exceptions?

There are exceptions noted in RSA 458-C:5 beyond strictly income that can determine whether or not a parent has to pay child support even if they share the children fifty percent of the time such as:

  • As noted above, equal or approximately equal parenting residential responsibilities. 
  • Whether, in cases of equal or approximately equal residential responsibility, the parties have agreed to a division of expenses for the children such as education, school supplies, day care, after school, vacation and summer care, extracurricular activities, clothing, health insurance costs and uninsured health costs, and other child-related expenses.
  • Whether the parent who would be ordered to pay child support has established that the equal or approximately equal residential responsibility will result in a reduction of any of the fixed costs of child rearing incurred by the parent receiving the support.
  • Whether the income of the lower earning parent enables that parent to meet the costs of child rearing in a similar or approximately equal style to that of the other parent.
  • The economic consequences to either party of providing for the voluntary or court-ordered postsecondary educational expenses of a natural or adopted child.
  • Other special circumstances the court may find to avoid an unreasonably low support order.

It is important to know your rights and make informed decisions regarding your child support case. It is always advisable to contact an experienced family law attorney to guide you with your matter.  If you have questions regarding child support or a family law matter, call Theresa Spearing at 1-800-240-1988 or fill out our online contact form.

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