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Legal Statutes: New Hampshire

UPDATED August 17, 2016

New Hampshire Statutes

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Alimony, Allowances, Custody, etc.

back to top458:19. Alimony

I. Upon motion of either party for alimony payments, the court shall make orders for the payment of alimony to the party in need of alimony, either temporary or permanent, for a definite or indefinite period of time, if the motion for alimony payments is made within 5 years of the decree of nullity or divorce and the court finds that:

(a) The party in need lacks sufficient income, property, or both, including property apportioned in accordance with RSA 458:16-a, to provide for such party's reasonable needs, taking into account the style of living to which the parties have become accustomed during the marriage; and

(b) The party from whom alimony is sought is able to meet reasonable needs while meeting those of the party seeking alimony, taking into account the style of living to which the parties have become accustomed during the marriage; and

(c) The party in need is unable to be self-supporting through appropriate employment at a standard of living that meets reasonable needs or is allocated parental rights and responsibilities under RSA 461-A for a child of the parties whose condition or circumstances make it appropriate that the parent not seek employment outside the home.

II. Upon motion of either party, the court may make orders for the payment of an alimony allowance when such orders would be just and equitable.

III. Upon a decree of nullity or divorce, or upon the renewal, modification, or extension of a prior order for alimony, the court may order alimony to be paid for such length of time as the parties may agree or the court orders.

IV. (a) The court may make orders for alimony in a lump sum, periodic payments, or both.

(b) In determining the amount of alimony, the court shall consider the length of the marriage; the age, health, social or economic status, occupation, amount and sources of income, the property awarded under RSA 458:16-a, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities, and needs of each of the parties; the opportunity of each for future acquisition of capital assets and income; the fault of either party as defined in RSA 458:16-a, II(l); and the federal tax consequences of the order.

(c) In determining amount and sources of income, the court shall not consider a minor child's social security benefit payments or a second or subsequent spouse's income. The court may consider veterans' disability benefits collected by either or both parties to the extent permitted by federal law.

(d) The court may also consider the contribution of each of the parties in the acquisition, preservation, or appreciation in value of their respective estates and the noneconomic contribution of each of the parties to the family unit.

(e) In any proceeding for modification of an existing alimony order, the earned or unearned income and social security disability payments of a spouse of the obligor party shall not be considered a source of income to that obligor party for the purpose of modification, unless the obligor party resigns from or refuses employment or is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, in which case the income of a subsequent spouse may be imputed to the obligor party only to the extent that such obligor party could have earned income in his or her usual employment. In such actions, the court may consider the veteran's disability benefits of a spouse of the obligor party to the extent permitted by federal law.

V. The unanticipated consequences of changes in federal tax legislation or regulations may be grounds to modify any alimony order or agreement.

VI. The court shall specify written reasons for the granting or denial of any motion for an alimony allowance.

VII. In cases where the court issues an order for permanent alimony for a definite period of time, such order may be renewed, upon the petition of either party, provided that such petition is made within 5 years of the termination date of the permanent alimony order. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to change or alter in any way the terms of the original alimony order.

N.H. Rev. Stat. § 458:19, NH ST § 458:19

Updated with laws current through Chapter 112, except Chapter 110, of the 2017 Reg. Sess., not including changes and corrections made by the State of New Hampshire, Office of Legislative Services