In the Matter of Guri and Guri, the New Hampshire Supreme Court was faced with the question “does a child support recipient’s acceptance of a reduced payment result in a modification of the child support order?”. The New Hampshire Supreme Court responded with an unequivocal “no”. The Court explained that the recipient’s silence does not indicate his or her implied agreement to modify child support, even in the instance when a voluntary acceptance of reduced payments was over a long period of time. The Court explained that the child support recipient does not have an obligation to affirmatively notify the parent paying child support that she or he objects to the reduced amount.
This case illustrates the importance of having any modification in child support agreed to by the parties and approved by the court. Too often, the person making the reduced payments acts under the misconception that the reduced payments are legally authorized and is later faced with a contempt complaint and a significant child support arrearage, with the potential of interest and the payment of attorney’s fees and costs.
If you have any questions regarding the modification of child support, please do not hesitate to contact an attorney at Hamblett & Kerrigan to discuss. The attorneys at Hamblett & Kerrigan have experience in handling such situations. Let Hamblett & Kerrigan use their experience to your advantage.
Kevin P. Rauseo is a former director at Hamblett & Kerrigan P.A. and has since been appointed as a Justice for the New Hampshire Circuit Court. Please feel free to contact another attorney at Hamblett & Kerrigan to discuss your legal issues.