Alimony in New Hampshire

  • By:Winer Bennett

Yes, we have alimony in New Hampshire. The law is RSA 458:19 (http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/XLIII/458/458-19.htm). The Legislature has tinkered with the law over time, but for more than 20 years, the concept has been pretty consistent. If one spouse has the ability to earn enough income to meet his or her reasonable needs, and the other does not have that ability, taking into consideration the style of living during the marriage, the first spouse can be ordered to pay alimony to the second spouse. The challenge is always how much and for how long. Alimony can be for a defined amount of years, it can be a lump sum payment, it can progressively decrease over time, it can be permanent. It will be up to the judge to determine what is fair and appropriate under the particular facts of each case.

Unlike child support, there is no formula to determine the amount or duration. As the statute indicates, many factors are taken into consideration, including: length of marriage, age, health, income, assets, needs. Because of the many variables involved, it is difficult to predict an alimony award. As a result, the issue of alimony often compels a case to go to trial, sometimes for the Court to decide only that limited issue.

By:  Peter G. Webb, Esquire

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Posted in: Family Law