After a final order of child support is entered, either party may seek a modification at any time based on a substantial change in circumstances that has made the original order unfair and improper. A party may also seek a modification if more than three years has passed since the date of the final order without a need to show a substantial change in circumstances.
Cases are always fact specific, and your situation may be different then the examples laid out here. Situations vary by income, expenses, new children and stepchildren, distance between the homes, or special needs of a child. The court hearing your case will examine the specific factual circumstances of your family to determine whether there has been a substantial change in circumstances that make the original order improper or unfair. Therefore, it is important to succinctly and accurately make your case for the modification.
Examples of situations that could warrant modification include:
- Involuntary loss of employment.
- Reduction or increase in income
- Change in residential responsibility or parenting time.
- Child graduating from high school or turning 18, while younger still children still require child support.
- A parent returning to school. In Re Lynn.
There are several circumstances that the New Hampshire Supreme Court has ruled that modification of child support should be denied. Some of the circumstances include:
- A parent’s relocation itself, without more evidence, is not a substantial change in circumstances sufficient to modify child support. In Re Adams.
- The remarriage of either party does not as a matter of law warrant a modification of child support. Peterson v. Buxton.
- Absent other circumstances, the expected growth of a child and normal cost of living increases are not substantial chances or special circumstances that justify modification. Morrill v. Millard.