How is Alimony Decided?

Alimony or spousal support is available in New Hampshire under RSA 458:19. Effective June 25, 2018; the law has changed regarding how the Courts will consider an alimony award from one spouse to the other. Similar to other states, New Hampshire has implemented a formula that takes into consideration each party's gross income, payment/receipt of child support, and payment/receipt of other paid expenses. The calculation is a result of 30% of the difference between the parties' adjusted gross incomes at a maximum and the duration for half the length of the marriage at a maximum.

Once the calculation has been done, it is important to have an experienced family lawyer in New Hampshire to make legal arguments relating to the recipient's need and the payor's ability to pay to arrive at an agreed-upon figure or proposed figure for the Court to consider. There are other factors to consider, like the standard of living during the marriage. The tax consequences on the federal level relating to the receipt and payment of alimony change effective January 1, 2019. To be sure you understand your rights regarding alimony, speak to one of our experienced family law attorneys.

After the alimony is calculated, New Hampshire Courts also consider many factors:

  • Marriage Length
  • Age of the Two Individuals
  • Employability Skills
  • Future Ability to Acquire Assets
  • Present Income

If alimony is not mentioned in the early stages of the divorce process, the courts could consider the issue waived. In other words, the party in need has to directly request an alimony order and demonstrate that he or she lacks sufficient income or property to provide for his or her reasonable needs while taking into consideration the standard of living during the marriage. The party seeking alimony also has to demonstrate that the party with the ability to support would be able to meet his or her own reasonable needs. The laws are changing on alimony to include tax treatment both at the federal and state levels, effective in 2019. Whether you would be a payor of alimony or a recipient, it is important to understand those changes.