NH Law About... Alimony

Introduction to... Alimony

Updated April 6, 2018.

Alimony is also called spousal support or spousal maintenance. Although we usually think of alimony as a state issue, there may be circumstances (for example, military marriages, tax issues, or bankruptcy) where federal law is involved. In New Hampshire, RSA 458:19 governs alimony and outlines the standards the courts must use for awarding alimony. Unlike child support, there isn't a formula that determines the amount and duration of an alimony award in New Hampshire.

There are several good resources about alimony in New Hampshire. Two, Family Law (Chapter 18) and A Practical Guide to Divorce in New Hampshire (Chapter 9) are available in several public libraries in New Hampshire. Click the links below to find the libraries.  

Please remember that this guide is for information purposes only and is not comprehensive. It is intended as a starting point for research, to illustrate the various sources of the law, and to provide guidance in their use. NH Law About ... is not a substitute for the services of an attorney.

 


Read about... Alimony

WEBSITES

Findlaw. Spousal Support (Alimony) Basics

Link verified on: April 6, 2018

The purpose of alimony is to limit any unfair economic effects of a divorce by providing a continuing income to a non-wage-earning or lower-wage-earning spouse. Part of the justification is that one spouse may have chosen to forego a career to support the family, and needs time to develop job skills to support his or herself. Another purpose may be to help a spouse continue the standard of living they had during marriage.   GO>

IRS.gov. Topic Number 452 - Alimony

Link verified on: April 6, 2018

Amounts paid to a spouse or a former spouse under a divorce or separation instrument (including a divorce decree, a separate maintenance decree, or a written separation agreement) may be alimony for federal tax purposes. Alimony is deductible by the payer spouse, and the recipient spouse must include it in income.   GO>


PRINT

Family law / by Charles G. Douglas. New Providence, N.J. : LexisNexis, 2014. 4th ed.   GO>

Link verified on: April 6, 2018

A practical guide to divorce in New Hampshire / editor, Jeanmarie Papelian ; marital masters, Robert J. Foley ... [et al.] ; authors, Michael L. Alfano ... [et al.]. Boston, MA : MCLE Ne  GO>

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Read the law about... Alimony

NEW HAMPSHIRE STATUTES

RSA 458. Annulment, Divorce and Separation  GO>

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Find it in a Library ... New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated

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Find the New Hampshire statutes in print at libraries throughout the state.   GO>

Learn About New Hampshire Statutes: New Hampshire statutes are the laws of the State of New Hampshire as enacted by the New Hampshire General Court. GO>
 

NEW HAMPSHIRE CASES

154 N.H. 275 (2006). In re Hampers

Link verified on: April 6, 2018

When determining matters of custody and visitation, a trial court's overriding concern is the best interest of the child. In doing so, the trial court has wide discretion, and we will not overturn its determination except where there has been an unsustainable exercise of discretion. ... RSA 458:19, I (Supp.2005) authorizes the trial court to award alimony if: (1) the party in need lacks sufficient income, property, or both to provide for his or her reasonable needs, considering the style of living to which the parties have become accustomed during the marriage; (2) the payor is able to continue to meet his or her own reasonable needs, considering the style of living to which the parties have become accustomed during the marriage; and (3) the party in need cannot be self-supporting through appropriate employment at a standard of living that meets reasonable needs, or is the custodian of the parties' child, whose condition or circumstances make it appropriate that the custodian not seek employment outside the home.   GO>

155 N.H. 738 (2007). In re Peirano

Link verified on: April 6, 2018

In determining the amount of alimony, a trial court must consider various factors enumerated in RSA 458:19, IV (2004). Nevertheless, trial courts have broad discretion in awarding alimony   GO>

163 N.H. 575 (2012). In re Dube

Link verified on: April 6, 2018

The primary purpose of alimony is rehabilitative, and it is designed to encourage the recipient to establish an independent source of income. Rehabilitative alimony is based on the theory that modern spouses are equally able to function in the job market and to provide for their own financial needs. Consequently, the purpose of an order for support is not to provide a life-time profit-sharing plan.   GO>

Find it in a Library ... New Hampshire Reports

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Find the New Hampshire Reports in libraries throughout the state.   GO>

Learn About New Hampshire Cases: New Hampshire case law consists of the published opinions of the New Hampshire Supreme Court. GO>
 

FEDERAL STATUTES

26 U.S.C. 71. Alimony and separate maintenance payments (I.R.C. sec 71)  GO>

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26 U.S.C. 215. Alimony, etc., payments (I.R.C. sec 215)  GO>

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38 U.S.C. 5301. Nonassignability and exempt status of benefits  GO>

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FOR MORE HELP ...

Circuit Court. Family Division. Service Center

Link verified on: April 6, 2018

Questions regarding Circuit Court Family Division cases (e.g., divorce, parenting, juvenile delinquency, CHINS, guardianship of minors, and cases involving DCYF) may be directed to the Family Division Service Center.   GO>

LawLine

Link verified on: April 6, 2018

Volunteer attorneys are available to answer legal questions through LawLine, a free service of the NH Bar Association. LawLine is held on the SECOND Wednesday of each month from 6:00 p.m. ~ 8:00 p.m. To reach LawLine, call (toll free) 800-868-1212.   GO>

New Hampshire Law Library

Link verified on: April 6, 2018

The state's only public law library. Call, email, or visit, we'll be happy to help.   GO>


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