580-47. Support orders; division of property
(a) Upon granting a divorce, or thereafter if, in addition to the powers granted in subsections (c) and (d), jurisdiction of those matters is reserved under the decree by agreement of both parties or by order of court after finding that good cause exists, the court may make any further orders that appear just and equitable (1) compelling the parties or either of them to provide for the support, maintenance, and education of the children of the parties; (2) compelling either party to provide for the support and maintenance of the other party; (3) finally dividing and distributing the estate of the parties, real, personal, or mixed, whether community, joint, or separate; and (4) allocating, as between the parties, the responsibility for the payment of the debts of the parties whether community, joint, or separate, and the attorney’s fees, costs, and expenses incurred by each party by reason of the divorce. In making these further orders, the court shall take into consideration: the respective merits of the parties, the relative abilities of the parties, the condition in which each party will be left by the divorce, the burdens imposed upon either party for the benefit of the children of the parties, the concealment of or failure to disclose income or an asset, or violation of a restraining order issued under section 580-10(a) or (b), if any, by either party, and all other circumstances of the case. In establishing the amounts of child support, the court shall use the guidelines established under section 576D-7. Provision may be made for the support, maintenance, and education of an adult or minor child and for the support, maintenance, and education of an incompetent adult child regardless of whether the petition is made before or after the child has attained the age of majority. In those cases where child support payments are to continue due to the adult child’s pursuance of education, the agency, three months before the adult child’s nineteenth birthday, shall send notice by regular mail to the adult child and the custodial parent that prospective child support will be suspended unless proof is provided by the custodial parent or adult child to the child support enforcement agency, before the child’s nineteenth birthday, that the child is presently enrolled as a full-time student in school or has been accepted into and plans to attend as a full-time student for the next semester a post-high school university, college, or vocational school. If the custodial parent or adult child fails to do so, prospective child support payments may be automatically suspended by the child support enforcement agency, hearings officer, or court upon the child reaching the age of nineteen years. In addition, if applicable, the agency, hearings officer, or court may issue an order terminating existing assignments against the responsible parent’s income and income assignment orders.
In addition to any other relevant factors considered, the court, in ordering spousal support and maintenance, shall consider the following factors:
(1) Financial resources of the parties;
(2) Ability of the party seeking support and maintenance to meet the party’s needs independently;
(3) Duration of the marriage;
(4) Standard of living established during the marriage;
(5) Age of the parties;
(6) Physical and emotional condition of the parties;
(7) Usual occupation of the parties during the marriage;
(8) Vocational skills and employability of the party seeking support and maintenance;
(9) Needs of the parties;
(10) Custodial and child support responsibilities;
(11) Ability of the party from whom support and maintenance is sought to meet the party’s own needs while meeting the needs of the party seeking support and maintenance;
(12) Other factors that measure the financial condition in which the parties will be left as the result of the action under which the determination of maintenance is made; and
(13) Probable duration of the need of the party seeking support and maintenance.
The court may order support and maintenance to a party for an indefinite period or until further order of the court; provided that in the event the court determines that support and maintenance shall be ordered for a specific duration wholly or partly based on competent evidence as to the amount of time that will be required for the party seeking support and maintenance to secure adequate training, education, skills, or other qualifications necessary to qualify for appropriate employment, whether intended to qualify the party for a new occupation, update or expand existing qualification, or otherwise enable or enhance the employability of the party, the court shall order support and maintenance for a period sufficient to allow completion of the training, education, skills, or other activity, and shall allow, in addition, sufficient time for the party to secure appropriate employment.
(b) An order as to the custody, management, and division of property and as to the payment of debts and the attorney’s fees, costs and expenses incurred in the divorce shall be final and conclusive as to both parties subject only to appeal as in civil cases. The court shall at all times, including during the pendency of any appeal, have the power to grant any and all orders that may be necessary to protect and provide for the support and maintenance of the parties and any children of the parties to secure justice, to compel either party to advance reasonable amounts for the expenses of the appeal including attorney’s fees to be incurred by the other party, and to amend and revise such orders from time to time.
(c) No order entered under the authority of subsection (a) or entered thereafter revising so much of such an order as provides for the support, maintenance, and education of the children of the parties shall impair the power of the court from time to time to revise its orders providing for the support, maintenance, and education of the children of the parties upon a showing of a change in the circumstances of either party or any child of the parties since the entry of any prior order relating to the support, maintenance, and education. The establishment of the guidelines or the adoption of any modifications made to the guidelines set forth in section 576D-7 may constitute a change in circumstances sufficient to permit review of the support order. A material change of circumstances will be presumed if support as calculated pursuant to the guidelines is either ten per cent greater or less than the support amount in the outstanding support order. The need to provide for the child’s health care needs through health insurance or other means shall be a basis for petitioning for a modification of the support order. The most current guidelines shall be used to calculate the amount of the child support obligation.
(d) Upon the motion of either party supported by an affidavit setting forth in particular a material change in the physical or financial circumstances of either party, or upon a showing of other good cause, the moving party, in the discretion of the court, and upon adequate notice to the other party, may be granted a hearing. The fact that the moving party is in default or arrears in the performance of any act or payment of any sums theretofore ordered to be done or paid by the party shall not necessarily constitute a bar to the granting of the hearing. The court, upon such hearing, for good cause shown may amend or revise any order and shall consider all proper circumstances in determining the amount of the allowance, if any, which shall thereafter be ordered.
(e) The responsible parent or the custodial parent shall have a right to petition the family court or the child support enforcement agency not more than once every three years for review and adjustment of the child support order without having to show a change in circumstances. The responsible or custodial parent shall not be precluded from petitioning the family court or the child support enforcement agency for review and adjustment more than once in any three-year period if the second or subsequent request is supported by proof of a substantial or material change of circumstances.
(f) Attorney’s fees and costs. The court hearing any motion for orders either revising an order for the custody, support, maintenance, and education of the children of the parties, or an order for the support and maintenance of one party by the other, or a motion for an order to enforce any such order or any order made under subsection (a) of this section, may make such orders requiring either party to pay or contribute to the payment of the attorney’s fees, costs, and expenses of the other party relating to such motion and hearing as shall appear just and equitable after consideration of the respective merits of the parties, the relative abilities of the parties, the economic condition of each party at the time of the hearing, the burdens imposed upon either party for the benefit of the children of the parties, the concealment of or failure to disclose income or an asset, or violation of a restraining order issued under section 580-10(a) or (b), if any, by either party, and all other circumstances of the case.