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Paternity & Support Order Establishment Process

DCSS must have a verified address for the Putative Father (alleged) or other legal parent. We search national databases with the non-applicant's Full Name, Social Security Number and Date of Birth to locate them.

DCSS will also need to verify the non-applicant's employment. This information will help DCSS calculate the amount of child support to be paid and the medical support reasonable cost in accordance with state law.

Pending Court Actions:
It is important that we know if any legal action has already been filed with the courts by either party in the case. This could affect how DCSS proceeds.

Establish Paternity:
If paternity has not been established for your child(ren), we will establish paternity before or at the same time as establishing a support order. Paternity is established by marriage, Affidavit of Paternity, or Court Order.

  • The applicant must complete and notarize a paternity questionnaire.
    If the applicant fails to return the paternity questionnaire:
    • The case may be closed
    • TANF benefits may be reduced (if being paid out)
  • We notify the Putative Father that he has been named a possible father for the child(ren) and ask him to agree to genetic testing or consent to parentage.
    • If he does not agree, we will request a court order for genetic testing

Once paternity is established, by either a court order or an Affidavit of Paternity, either party may ask the city hall or town clerk, where the child was born, to add the father's name to the child's birth certificate.

Genetic Testing:
In most cases, DCSS pays for the genetic testing.

  • DCSS schedules both parents and the child(ren) for genetic testing.
    Once everyone is tested, DCSS receives the results within 30 working days. Notice of the results will be mailed to both parents.
  • If the Putative Father cannot be excluded as the father by the test, an appointment will be scheduled and the necessary forms sent to establish the support order.
    • If the Putative Father is excluded by genetic testing, we will ask the applicant to complete a new application and paternity questionnaire naming another possible father.

Establishing a Support Order:
The establishment process varies based on your specific case circumstances.

DCSS will establish a court order for child and medical support.

We cannot help establish court orders for parenting, visitation, alimony or custody.

A meeting may be scheduled with a Child Support Officer at the District Office to complete processing of the case. DCSS will request financial and health insurance information from necessary parties. We may obtain this information from other sources when necessary. DCSS calculates the amount of child support that is to be paid in accordance with the NH Child Support Guidelines based on the financial information gathered.

If the non-applicant does not attend the meeting, DCSS will attempt to serve him or her with legal notice for a court proceeding on the matter.

  • DCSS will file Court Documents requesting a court hearing.
    • Only a judge can deviate from the Guidelines amount.
    • A Hearing Notice with the location, date, and time to appear will be mailed to all parties. It is their responsibility to attend the hearing.
    • DCSS attorneys represent the State of NH. They do not represent either party.
  • The court may issue a temporary or final order, which will be provided to both parties.

Contact Your Child Support Worker
You can help DCSS manage your case by providing new information as it becomes available. Accurate information regarding address, phone number, occupation and income can affect enforcement activity.

When contacting us, please always provide the following information:

  • Your full name
  • Social Security Number
  • Case ID#
  • Your question, concern or information

You may contact us:

  • Electronically – Send an email to
  • By telephone to a District Office.
  • Fax information to the Central Information Unit (formerly Customer Service) at 603-271-4787.
  • In Person at a District OfficeMake An Appointment! We may not be able to see you right away without one. You can complete an intake form in the lobby or call ahead to request an appointment.


DCSS Child Support Workers decide the best actions to take on support cases.

Specific laws, policies and rules must be adhered to.

Keep your mailing address up-to-date! You may receive notices and paperwork in the mail! It is your responsibility to respond timely!

Failure to cooperate with DCSS may result in:

  • delaying the progress of your case,
  • closure of your case or
  • if you receive TANF, a reduction to your benefits.
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New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
129 Pleasant Street | Concord, NH | 03301-3852

copyright 2016. State of New Hampshire