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Important factors of child custody in New Hampshire

During divorce proceedings, child custody is one of the most important determinations that the courts make. It can also be one of the most stressful decisions for the parents.

Custody laws may vary depending upon the state. There are a few important factors that parents should know about child custody in New Hampshire.

Responsibilities

Parental rights come with certain responsibilities. For the sake of division, the responsibilities are broken down into two categories:

  1. Residential
  2. Decision making

As the name indicates, residential responsibilities designate where and with whom the children live. Decision making responsibilities encompass the right to make health, educational and religious decisions for the child. The courts usually try to divide these responsibilities fairly.

Co-parenting

The courts favor parents working together to determine child custody on their own. If the parents choose to go this route, they must develop a parenting plan that designates which parents retain what rights, living situations, dispute resolution and more. The parents must complete and submit a parenting plan form to the courts, and once the judge approves the form it becomes legally binding.

Best interests

In any case, the courts make custody determinations in the best interest of the child. To do this, the judge must consider several factors, including:

  • The safest environment
  • Custodial ability to nurture the children
  • The children's developmental needs

Depending upon the age of the child, courts may consider additional factors. For instance, in cases where children are older and mature, judges sometimes allow them to designate the parent they would like to live with.

Child support

As with any other decision, the courts set the amount of child support with the children's best interest in mind. Therefore, the judge follows child support guidelines that examine both parents' economic standing and the child's standard of living, along with a few other factors, to determine the percentage of child support that the obligor must pay.

By examining the process, parents in New Hampshire may make the best decision for their families.

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