It is the responsibility of both of a child’s parents to financially support their child, even if they are no longer married. The custodial parent meets this obligation by having the child primarily in their care, and the noncustodial parent meets this obligation by paying child support per a court order.
However, a variety of circumstances may arise in which the paying parent fails to meet their child support obligations. When a parent does not pay child support per the court order issued when they divorced, the New Hampshire Bureau of Child Support Services can take certain measures to ensure the custodial parent receives what they are owed.
One option may be to revoke the driver’s license or professional license of the paying parent. Credit bureaus may also be notified of the paying parent’s arrearages. The paying parent’s tax refund may be intercepted, or they may be denied a passport. Liens can be placed against the paying parent’s financial accounts and real estate holdings. Lottery prizes may be intercepted in the amount of the arrearage. Finally, there may be a hearing in which Child Support Services will provide a judge with the case history at issue, and the judge will determine what additional measures need to be taken, such as an immediate payment of what is owed or even the incarceration of the delinquent parent.
These measures are understandably unappealing to a parent who pays child support. If a paying parent’s life circumstances have changed and they are no longer able to meet their child support obligations, simply failing to pay child support is not the answer. Instead, that parent may want to seek a modification of the child support order from the court.
Keep in mind that even though a parent may seek to lower the amount of child support owed, until a judge signs off on such an order, that parent still must pay the amount of child support in the current order. So, parents who cannot meet their child support obligations will want to seek a modification as soon as possible, and they should do all they can to meet their current obligations until changes are made.