Updated: March 20, 2014

A lot is changing in the New Hampshire courts. The probate courts, district courts and family courts have merged into what is now the New Hampshire Circuit Court with divisions handling what was previously in separate courts. A centralized call center fields calls for the courts and transfers calls to a specific court clerk only if the central call center cannot handle the question. Judges are moving from court to court, and fewer marital masters who once heard the lion's share of divorce and parenting cases in the state are still serving. Court staffing was cut by 25% by the Legislature in 2010, and backlogs in courthouses have reached levels not seen in more than 15 years. Decisions and even routine papers are often taking months to come from courthouses. No end or relief for this problem is in sight as funding levels remain perilously low.

Child support calculations have undergone the biggest change since child support guidelines were first introduced in New Hampshire in the late 1980's. No longer is the same percentage of income applied as guideline child support regardless of income, but a reducing scale as incomes go up is now applied. The new law is found at RSA 458-C:3.

Also new in 2013, effective August 27th, parents agreeing on provisions for paying for college may do so and have those agreements enforced by courts. Previously, RSA RSA 461-A:14 prevented courts involving themselves with college costs. New sections added to the child support law allows parents to make such agreements after the effective date of the law.






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